Seeing a loved one go through the harrowing phase of drug addiction can be a traumatic experience. Backing out is not always an easy decision to make in such scenarios. Good families and friends know better than rule them out. Instead they make effort to help them in overcoming addiction.
Overcoming addiction is usually not an overnight process. So, before you make the decision of helping a loved one conquer this battle, you must be willing to have “heroic patience”
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a state of being unable to stop engaging in a habit that is capable of ruining one’s life. It is that awful point where one finds it difficult to control a persistent harmful habits.
In this article we will be addressing drug addiction as already indicated. Drug addiction occurs when a sufferer is intoxicated by substance abuse. It is a dangerous physical and mental state where the sufferer finds it extremely difficult to do or be without the abused substance.
Holding the hand of a loved one in the journey of overcoming addiction is not an easy one. The good news is that many have conquered. So winning is a 100% possibility. With appropriate cognitive, medical assistance and most certainly the grace of God, restoration is assured.
Here are practical ways to effectively help a loved one to overcome addiction:
1. Don’t Be Judgmental
Being judgmental will not give you the mental readiness to embark on this journey.
As God waves our punishments, we are expected to put the done deeds behind and focus on what we set out to achieve. You want your son, parent, friend, colleague or sibling back. Counting their demons won’t help.
Engage in honest conversations with them. Many strayed off into the world of addiction because of unexpressed concerns, unresolved issues and no one to listen to them.
An empathic and accommodating approach helps them to open up to you. It helps them see reasons with you to be better. Love conquers all.
2. It’s A Gradual Process
Please avoid the temptation of expecting a drastic and over night transformation. Rome was not built in a day, and so is the process of overcoming addiction. Take things slow and steady.
Expecting too much too soon will be sabotaging your efforts. It will only set you up for frustration. The habit was learned over time. So also will the healing you seek come over time.
There will be relapse days; days where they hate you for talking them into counselling or other counter addiction programs. Be ready. Be understanding. It won’t be easy but totally worth it.
Go the ultimate goal ahead, stay positive and be hopeful for your loved one. Celebrate their little breakthroughs and milestones, no matter how small it may be. This serves as a source of encouragement for them.
3. Understand That It May Not Be A Smooth Sail
Aside from the fact that the process of overcoming addiction maybe slow, it is also not an easy process. Sometimes your loved one can prove too stubborn and refuse your help.
He or she can even go as far as thinking you are trying to control their lives or show them how perfect yours is. Such situation calls for caution on how you present your help and necessitates building trust.
You also can speak to his or her health care giver for advice on how to go about it.
4. Earn Their Trust
Let your loved one know how much they can trust you, when they do, avoid betraying their trust. When they confide in you, respect their decision to keep an information secret.
Respect their privacy and no matter how much you want to know what happens with them, give them time to open up. This is necessary because when you intrude it can out rightly make them avoid you.
Another thing you may want to do is let your loved one know how much you trust and believe in them. When they know that someone believes in them, it serves as an encouragement.
5. Keep Off Their Triggers
Always remember that it’s your journey as much as it is yours. So being supportive at this time entails keeping away from activities, conversations and environments that may trigger their addiction.
Irrespective of how in control you are of that attitude, in a bid to help your loved one, you too may have to give up that habit for as long as possible.
How about deliberately going on an alcohol fast with your loved one. No more late nights at clubs? Because of a higher good that you hope to see, you may decide to try other entertaining platforms where triggers won’t show up.
This is a good time to start inculcating new habits that will help overcome their cravings – exercises, take walks together, do water therapies, cook a healthy meal together, join a book reading club among others.
6. Pray For Healing
This may be an unlikely practice for but the truth remains that God heals all forms of addiction. Nothing is impossible for HIM to handle.
It is important you pray to God to take away that uncontrollable urge that engulfs and holds them bound. Keep praying and trusting God no matter how long it takes. HE will come through for you.
It is a very noble thing to try to help a loved one overcome addiction, it may be difficult and take a lot of time, but at the end you will be happy with the result.
In a situation where he or she has a health care giver, to make things easier for yourself, it is best go work hand in hand with the medical professional. Educate yourself more on Mental Health.