We all want to be supportive to our loved ones, especially when they are recovering from the effects of a substance abuse disorder. Addiction is incredibly difficult for not only the direct sufferers but their loved ones, and it's becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in the United States. Not only are some of the most addictive substances, like alcohol and some opioid medications legally available; but when people suffer from an addiction to one substance, they often become addicted to secondary substances as well. In fact, over 90% of heroin users also use other types of drugs.
There can be a way out for sufferers of substance abuse disorders. But they need support from their loved ones while they're in recovery. Let's explore how you can best support your loved ones as they recover from a substance abuse disorder.
This may seem obvious, but it's actually sadly common for sufferers from substance abuse disorders to be treated like they're monsters, or subhuman. On the other hand, they can also be treated like they're fragile. Both of these approaches can be hurtful and frustrating. The sufferer is still the person that you know, deep down. Treat your loved one like a human being first, and an addict second.
Check out books from the library. Reach out to doctors and experts on subjects like opioid dependence treatment. Ask questions! The more you know about the specific substance that your loved one is addicted to, as well as their treatment program, the more you will be able to help.
Sometimes, enabling is obvious; some people enable their loved ones to the point that they buy additional drugs for them. Other times, enabling can be more subtle. For example, you may agree with your loved one that they can skip Alcoholics Anonymous this one time. Check in with yourself regularly, and make sure you don't enable your loved one.
Recovery is not a simple process. It lasts for a lifetime, and many people face serious setbacks during recovery. Be patient, and be prepared for this process to be never-ending.
It's not easy to help someone recover. But if you're patient, you could make a big difference in your loved one's recovery process.</p