It’s great that you want to help your loved one overcome their opiate addiction. But, there are things you might do unintentionally that make you think you’re helping, but could potentially bump your loved one’s recovery backwards. Although it’s difficult to see someone you care about go through such a tough time, you’ll both benefit from you taking a step back and evaluating the situation in a way that’s unbiased. The following tips can help your family member beat their addiction with your valuable help.
If you push your loved one into recovery, chances are he’s not yet ready to face his addiction. The most important part of the process for any addict is coming to the realization himself that he needs help. You can talk to your family member about his thoughts regarding his addiction and quitting, but allow him to be honest. If he’s not ready, don’t harp on the subject.
It’s a good idea to let your family member know that you’re here for him when he’s ready to make this important step in his life. Let him know that you’re willing to help physically and emotionally so that he knows he has a good support system in place with the people who love and care about him.
Get Extra Outside Help
When your loved one decides to start a detox from opiates, you should consider seeking outside help from medical professionals who can provide both physical and emotional guidance to him. You and your other family members can, of course, provide a lot of help to your loved one, but it’s critical that medical professionals also be there to help him during his recovery.
Quitting an opiate addiction can be a long and painful process, sometimes taking years to fully overcome. It takes a toll not only on the body, but also on one’s mental health. Most young people are afraid to talk about their mental health with close friends and family. This is where an outside support system can provide unbiased opinions about your family member’s recovery and may be able to look at the situation without blinders.
The more support your loved one has, the better his chances for lifetime recovery. Licensed addiction therapists and meetings for recovery addicts may be good support systems to look into once the addict has decided that he needs to quit.
Understand and Prepare for the Process
Those who want to help a loved one through recovery need to understand the process as much as their family member. Preparing yourself for what’s about to come can help you support your loved one through his withdrawal symptoms, which will be intense, both physically and mentally.
It’s important to remember that the recovery process won’t be quick or easy for anyone. You’ll see your family member at one of the lowest points of his life, which can have profound effects on you mentally, too. You need to stay strong enough to continue helping him, whether it’s first-hand or with the help of his outside support system.
Try not to rush the process in any way. If your loved one relapses, it’s okay. Criticizing him will likely only do more harm than good and could put him on a dangerous path, beginning to resent his family who is his most important support system.
Avoid Enabling Your Loved One
Equally important, though, is remembering not to negatively enable your loved one through his addiction recovery. As difficult as it may be to see your loved one go through an intense detox process, you shouldn’t do anything that will inhibit his recovery just because it’s tough.
One common form of negative enabling is helping your loved one get a “fix” of his preferred drug when he’s experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. This might be easier than watching him become physically sick or unable to sleep, but it won’t help his recovery in the long run.
Addicts need to know that you’re there to help and that you won’t do anything that might cause a stall in their recovery. Be firm in saying no when it’s for the benefit of your loved one’s health and don’t allow guilt trips to cloud your judgment.