One in seven Americans will face a battle with substance addiction, yet only 10 percent will seek treatment.
That means that one out of every seven people you know could be suffering from addiction. This number can be daunting if you know someone struggling with addiction.
Therefore, it’s important to know what to expect and how you can help. Here are seven important tips for dealing with an addict.
1. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay
If you’re dealing with an addict, you’re likely experiencing a pretty severe flood of emotions. That’s normal and shows that you care about your friend and loved one.
Yet it’s easy to forget that your emotions matter, too. Help isn’t limited to the addict.
Allow yourself to seek treatment if you’re feeling angry or depressed. Talking about your issues with a licensed professional can be extremely beneficial.
2. Stay Skeptical
If you’re close the addict, you’re likely going to hear many promises. They’ll say that they’re going to get help for their problem or that they’re going to stop any day now.
As they say, talk is cheap — it’s actions that count.
Remain skeptical when hearing an addict out. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t believe anything they say or put up with abusive behavior, just know that substance addiction can make people behave like someone else.
3. Support The Addict, Not The Habit
It’s so difficult seeing someone you care about battle abuse. But for your sake and theirs, avoid becoming an enabler.
You can support the addict without supporting the addiction. That includes giving them money for substances or providing them a safe location to imbibe.
4. If You’re Going To Stage An Intervention, Have The Right Intention
Most people host an intervention with good reasoning, but the wrong intention. An intervention is about offering your loved one an alternative to a life of addiction.
It shouldn’t be used as an excuse to yell at or belittle the addict. It may feel good at the moment, but it will only push them further into the throes of substance abuse.
5. Don’t Expect Overnight Change
There are some addicts who genuinely want to get better. However, it’s dangerous and unfair to assume that an addict can change his or her ways overnight.
Addiction isn’t always something that can be “beaten” but something that can be managed with proper treatment. Those impulses will remain, but learning how to manage and control one’s self can help.
6. Trust Your Instincts
Thanks to centuries of evolution, humans have inherited instincts about our surroundings. Trust your gut, it’s the best compass you’ve got.
If your gut is telling you to get away from the addict, get away from the addict. It doesn’t make you a bad person.
7. You’re Only Responsible For Yourself
Finally, understand that in this situation, you’re only responsible for yourself. All you have control over in life is how you react to things and adjust accordingly.
If you’re blaming yourself for the actions of an addict, you’re doing more harm than good.
Dealing With An Addict? Find Help
Dealing with an addict can be frustrating, heartbreaking, and even scary at times. Keep these seven bits of advice in mind and you’re sure to keep your sanity and maintain healthy boundaries.
If you or someone you know are battling addiction, it’s important to know that help is out there. Get in touch with us today to begin the recovery process.