It’s hard to watch someone you love struggle with drug abuse. You want them to overcome the addiction. You want their struggle to end. You want to see them take control of their own life. For people who have never experienced an addiction, it is impossible to understand what the addict goes through mentally, emotionally, and physically when their brain tells them that it NEEDS a drug. Once your loved one has an addiction problem, they lose the freedom of choice and cannot control their use of the drug. Addiction is a serious disease that affects people in every walk of life.

What can caregivers, family, and friends do to support an addicted loved one?

  • Don’t judge or blame them. At this point, neither you nor they have control of the addiction. Placing blame does nothing to help.
  • Use your influence for support. Don’t try to force them to get help. Recovery must be the addict’s choice for the best chance of success.
  • Talk to them about your concerns. Continue to offer your support even when help is declined. Eventually, they may accept help, so they need to know it is still available.
  • End codependency. Sometimes, in an attempt to “help”, we end up enabling the loved one to continue abusing drugs. Set boundaries and don’t agree to unreasonable requests.

Remember that caregivers are not helpless! Your support can be a valuable influence for your loved one to consider treatment!

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