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Whether it is your mother, father, sibling, friend or co-worker who has a problem, dealing with addiction is never an easy task.  Once it becomes evident that someone has a problem, it usually becomes a very stressful time in everyone else’s life surrounding that person.  Often family and friends don’t know where to turn or who to talk to.  They don’t know which first steps to take to go about helping the person in need but there are a lot of options out there and are very useful.

The first thing you as a friend or family member can do, is to learn more about the addition that has overcome your loved one.  Do some research to gain better knowledge about what it does physically, mentally, and emotionally. This first task will help you to become more aware of the actions taken by addicts and their change of emotions and physical actions, if any are evident.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that an addict has a very changed mindset from what you thought they were like before the addiction.   At times, you may want to desperately help the person overcome their addiction, so much that you are shadowed by the fact that addicts do lie to get their way. They may promise you that they will go to rehab if you help them get what they need or they may promise you they will quit if you help them.  The worst thing you can do is believe them.  You will only dig yourself into a hole of naivety.   Addicts are driven by the drug and it’s not that they are liars or want to lie to you, but they need the drug and will go to any lengths to get it.  Sometimes that means hurting their loved ones by being untruthful about quitting or even stealing money to get their quick fix.

The most important thing that you can do when dealing with an addict, as much as this may dampen your hearts, is to stop helping them.  Why?  The more that you give, is the more they take.  In this sense, when you provide the essential things such as food, clothes, and shelter, you are supporting the addiction.  You are allowing them to be comfortable with the addiction knowing that they are able do the drug and still have somewhere to sleep at night, clothes to wear, and food in their stomach.  It’s much like an addict’s paradise.  They have everything they need and can still get their daily dose.

Once you start setting boundaries and showing the addict that there are consequences to their actions, they will be provided with more of a drive to become sober.  Once they see the bad side to their addiction, they will be given more of a reason to quit before they hit an all-time low.

Knowing that a person you love has an addiction is never an easy thing to deal with.  But allowing yourself to be tangled up in the stress and heartbreak that it brings in will not help you or the person that needs help.  Help yourself and the addict by following these few simple steps while you are on this difficult journey that will not be easy to overcome.  It will definitely help you to be stronger and although you may never understand why your loved one has succumbed to the pressure of addiction, the journey can be a bit more clear-cut and straightforward.