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4 Tips for Helping a Loved One Through Drug and Substance Addiction

It’s hard to watch someone go through an addiction. Whether they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, they could be heading down a path that can lead to harm and even death. If you have a loved one who is suffering from an addiction and you’d like to help them, follow the tips here. This could encourage them to seek treatment and help them on the road to recovery.

Offer Resources for Them to Get Help

Someone who is addicted will know that there are treatment programs but might not realize there’s one that’s right for them or might not be sure how to find it. Look into the different inpatient drug treatment programs near you as well as the different types of treatment that are available and gather information for your loved one. When they’re ready to seek help, you will have all the information you need to help them find the right treatment program and start getting the help they need.

Know How to Handle an Emergency

Make sure you know how to handle an emergency that might happen while you’re around the person. If you know what they’re addicted to, learn more about the signs of an overdose so you can contact emergency services if they’re needed. Some signs they might need emergency assistance include losing consciousness, seizures, suicidal thoughts, or withdrawal symptoms that may be severe. If you notice any of these symptoms, call for emergency services and let them handle the situation from there.

Provide Support Through Treatment and Recovery

Make sure your loved one knows you are available to support them while they’re seeking treatment and through their recovery. You may want to talk with their treatment provider to learn how you can support them and so you know what can be done to help them once they leave the treatment program. This can include things like avoiding potential triggers or making sure they can start using the knowledge and skills they learned while they received treatment. Understand that relapses are common and provide the support they need to get past the relapse and back toward recovery.

Set Limits for Your Help

While it’s important to be supportive while your loved one is going through treatment, it’s also important for you to make sure you’re protected. You should have limits for how far you will go to help them and what you will do for them. Make sure you protect your finances, your health and safety, and your other relationships so you are not doing more to save them and losing things in your own life. You can discuss your limits with your loved one so they understand what they are and that you aren’t willing to go past your limits just to help them. An understanding of your limits can help encourage them to seek treatment as they may find out that, while you do support them, you’re not encouraging their addiction and want to see them recover.

It’s hard watching a loved one who is struggling with addiction. While they must ultimately make their own decision to seek treatment, there is a lot you can do to encourage them to take that first step. Use the tips here to start talking to your loved one about treatment and to support them while they seek help. 

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