This blog post was submitted by a guest writer:
Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction. His mission is to provide people struggling with substance abuse with resources to help them recover.
Substance abuse can affect anyone. Addiction is a disease that affects not only the addict, but also everyone in their life. If you suspect your loved one may suffer from addiction, here is what you can do to help.
Every person needs something different from their treatment. Often, those who have addiction issues suffer from a co-occurring mental health disorder, known as dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis can be difficult to treat, as many health care professionals focus solely on the mental health issues, and not the addiction. If your loved one suffers from depression, anxiety or another dual diagnosis, make sure that both conditions are treated.
Luckily, there are options available. There are self-help groups, traditional twelve step models, psychotherapy, and even supplemental holistic treatment, such as massage or yoga, that seek to treat the disease and the reason it developed. Sometimes, multiple treatments are necessary to make sure all issues are solved, so addiction doesn't resurface. After all, it's important to take care of a person's soul during this time and not just their body.
To best avoid temptation, new and healthy habits need to be developed. Regularly practiced spirituality can give guidance and a sense of purpose. Try to find new habits that can replace old, negative ones that may remind your loved one of their time struggling with addiction. It's vital to keep spirits high, and thoughts positive. It will be difficult, but positive affirmation and prayer can aid your loved one in staying on the right track.
Eat healthy foods to keep the body full of good fuel, and encourage your loved one in recovery to stay physically active as this can not only fight depression, but also help them to feel energized. Socializing is imperative. Isolation can lead to depression, which can trigger relapse. However, that may mean forming new friendships as old connections may be toxic.
Signs of Enabling
Enabling can be difficult to identify. You may notice that you have been trying to hide your loved one's addiction. You may find yourself denying it, or overlooking behavior that identifies their addiction. It's hard to face and even harder to address. You may have tried to cover up for your loved one and repair their unacceptable behavior. You may also have put yourself aside, ignored your own needs, simply to try and bend over backward for your loved one in the hopes that you can save them. Don't make excuses for them and for abusive behavior. It will simply enable your loved one to continue feeding their addiction.
Your actions come from a place of love and faith, but these things can be destructive. You need to accept that your loved one has a problem, and that you are not responsible for that problem.
Talking to your loved one about addiction isn't going to be easy. They may do everything they can to avoid the topic, to deny it, or try to turn the conversation around on you. This is not your fault, but your loved one may be in denial, unable to face the truth. The first step to helping them is to stop enabling. If you keep doing those things, even out of love, they are likely to have little motivation to change. Support your loved one, but be firm. This is going to be a hard time, for both of you. You cannot make your loved one change, but you can offer them help by researching treatment and setting up appointments for them. You can't make them go, but they may not have the energy or ability to make these things themselves, so it can give them the gentle push they need to get help.
It can be hard to determine the difference between helping and enabling. We want to make their lives easier, and sometimes, our love for them can make us do things that may be harmful in the long run. You need to take care of yourself while encouraging them to get the help they desperately need.
Image Courtesy of Pexels.com
I just want to add my thanks to Adam for his timely and thoughtful words above. Addiction is hard, but there is hope for recovery. Please reach out to someone, use the recourses Adam has made available, and find a group of people to journey alongside you. GracePointe Church of Christ is pleased to offer Celebrate Recovery every Wednesday Evening at 6:30 PM, and if you're struggling, we would be happy to have you be part of our group or any of the many groups that meet for the purpose of providing support and hope! -JFW
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.