- Addiction is a disease, not something anyone can cause.
- Help from loved ones driven by guilt can be very unhelpful.
- The more you learn, the better able you are to stop asking why your loved one keeps using and start examining what needs to change and how.
You may roll your eyes, by the most important way you can help is by getting your own education and support. We get so caught up in their addiction that we enable the disease and forget about our own life. Instead, be an example of peace and self-care.
The 6 Things You Should Do to Help
- Get educated
- Evaluate areas you may be enabling and set boundaries
- Keep healthy communication open that stresses sobriety
- Attend support groups
- Participate in individual or family therapy
- Take care of yourself and your own needs
It’s natural to want to help, but enabling takes it a step too far. We do things out of guilt, fear or control, but we usually call it love.
Deep down you may recognize your behaviors seem wrong or ineffective, yet primal instincts compel us to protect the ones we love.
Enabling happens when you protect them not from addiction, but from consequences that could be real incentives to change.Covering
- Don’t lie, cover-up or trivialize the facts about their actions.
- Don’t make excuses or apologize for them if they don’t show up for work or family obligations.
- If your loved one disappoints someone, they need to feel that disappointment (not you).
The first step is to determine if your loved one is serious about sobriety. Worrying or constant monitoring doesn’t help. But, pretending everything is OK, because you want it to be OK, is even more harmful.
Walk the thin line of being supportive, yet aware and ready to speak up. A relapse doesn’t mean failure, but it can’t go unaddressed.Source: A Comparative Study of Factors Associated with Relapse in Alcohol Dependence and Opioid Dependence What are warning signs to watch for after rehab? 1. Are they asking for money?
- Part of the recovery process is stepping up to take responsibility. This includes maintaining a job or committing to school (or both).
- More than likely, they manipulated you in the past to get what they wanted. Putting an end to this is a huge part of their (and your) healing.
- Things like paying for the first few months of sober living can be helpful, but don’t be afraid to verify where the money is going. You can ask for account passwords, call the company, get copies of the bill or pay directly without completely take over their finances for them.
- Ultimately, giving your loved one money shouldn’t be the norm.