Whether you’re the family member of someone who has an addiction or are currently suffering from an addiction yourself, you know the trials and tribulations that can accompany it. Family members are important in supporting and helping a loved one with addiction as they work toward addiction rehab recovery and sobriety, but you shouldn’t overburden yourself with this responsibility to the detriment of your own life, and theirs as well. Here are some ways you can help a loved one with addiction without becoming their caretaker or enabling their destructive behaviour.
Step 1: Educate Yourself About Addiction
It’s important to arm yourself with as much information about overcoming addiction as possible. This is your loved one’s—and your family’s—primary disease, so you should know everything you can. The more knowledge you have, the better you can help your loved one through his or her recovery. Learn everything you can about substance abuse and how it works, what types of treatment options are available, and anything else that might be useful in your situation.
Step 2: Set Boundaries
Before getting involved in your loved one’s recovery, it’s important to set boundaries. With your support, they need to seek treatment and other ways of managing their addiction. It can be hard to let go of responsibility, but setting boundaries means supporting them while treating their disease as if it were your own.
Step 3: Give Them Space
When you have a loved one who is recovering from addiction, it’s easy to feel responsible for their happiness. It is tempting to reach out too much and try to take on all of their responsibilities. However, more often than not, when family members do things like clean up after your addicted relative or pay their bills for them, it leaves that person feeling overwhelmed and unable to meet those needs for themselves.
Step 4: Be An Example Of Recovery
The most important part of recovery is taking those first steps toward helping yourself by admitting you have a problem. Then, you must seek help from others who know what they are doing and won’t let you down. Recovery requires energy, strength, courage and self-discipline—all areas where people tend to fail without support or outside influence. Learning how to stay on track in addiction rehab means having people around who truly care about your health.
Step 5: Take Care Of Yourself First
No matter how much you love your family member, addiction is still about them—and not about you. It’s easy to become so wrapped up in your loved one’s recovery that you neglect yourself and your own needs. Take care of yourself first, because if you don’t, how can you be there for anyone else? Talk to other people in similar situations, especially those who have successfully navigated their loved one through treatment and back into a healthy life; use them as examples.