When you realise that a family member has an addiction of any sort, it can be extremely upsetting. Often, those who have never had to deal with this sort of issue before can come across problems when they are trying to help the family member out.
If you have a family member that needs help with their addiction, then make sure to keep reading as we have put together some tips on how you can help them to cope.
Talk To Them
One of the most important things that you can do when a family member has an addiction is to talk to them. Many people with addictions struggle to find the strength to tell others about their addiction and so this might be tricky at first. Approach the situation in a positive and calm way. Don’t expect too much from your family member too soon. Once they feel comfortable enough to talk to you about their addiction, you can then start thinking about how you can help them to get past it.
Try not to push them to talk to you too much as often it can be very difficult to talk to someone close to you when you are struggling with something like this.
Do Your Research
Before you start trying to help your loved one recover from their addiction, it is important that you understand what this addiction actually entails. If you have never suffered from a similar situation before then you might find that you don’t actually know much about it. This is why our next tip is to do some research on the addiction. Addiction is very common and so you will find plenty of resources that are directed at both the victim of the addiction and their loved ones.
It is, of course, important that you don’t let the research that you do scare you too much. Often information online can give the worst-case scenario and so you need to remember this when you are doing your research. Be logical and find out the best solutions for your family member and you will be on track to helping them to cope with it.
Talk To A Professional
Do you find that your family member is finding it hard to open up to you? If you cannot get them talking at all then you might want to think about having them contact a professional. Many people find it easier to open up to someone who is not close to the situation and so they might actually be willing to give this a chance. Mention the idea of them seeing a therapist or a doctor and see if they are open to the idea.
There are, of course, other ways that you can encourage your loved one to talk to other people about their addiction. Many addictions like gambling, drug and alcohol abuse have support groups that they can join to talk to others in the same position. Try to encourage your loved one to join one of these in order to support them through their addiction.
Our next tip for those who want to help a family member with their addiction is to offer some sort of alternative. You might find that your family member relies on their bad habits to get them through the day but there are always ways to replace these habits and wean yourself off them.
For example, if your loved one is addicted to smoking and is struggling to beat the habit, you might find that they could benefit from the many alternatives to smoking. Some people invest in smoking patches to beat the habit, but others feel addicted to the physical act of smoking. A good alternative to this is a vape like those available from Grey Haze. While this is not a permanent solution, the alternative could help with losing the smoking addiction over time.
Helping a loved one with an addiction can be incredibly difficult so it is important that you try to be as supportive as you can. It is possible that they will lie to you about their addiction and their recovery, but this is normal. You need to make sure that you show that you understand how they are feeling, whether you have been through the same situation or not. Getting angry at them for going back on their promises to stop will only cause more problems and so you need to show support.
Try your best to stay positive throughout the situation. Don’t let your own feelings get in the way of your loved one’s recovery. A supportive family member or friend is often what someone with addiction needs to get through it so don’t let your emotions stop them from becoming a better version of themselves.
Look After Yourself
If you really want to help your family member with their addiction, you need to make sure that you are also looking after yourself. It is possible to let their recovery get in the way of you staying healthy and living your own life, so you need to try your best to avoid this. Exercise regularly and make sure that you are eating a healthy diet.
If your loved one needs constant support then you should aim to cook and prepare healthy, fresh family meals to enjoy together. This way, you can ensure that you are both staying healthy and that you are not letting their addiction affect your own life. It is also important that you look after yourself emotionally as dealing with another person’s addiction can affect your own mental health. If your loved one is okay with you sharing details about their situation, talk to an outsider and ensure that you are in the right place mentally to help your loved one.
Give Them Space
Our final tip for those who want to help their family member cope with addiction is to give them as much space as possible. Of course, this entirely depends on the type of addiction that they have as those in a worse off state might need a lot of supervision.
Try to remember that they are struggling with something and they might need some time alone to think about the next steps that they are going to take. Try to give them as much space as you can and show that you are there for them when they need you to be.
Dealing with addiction can be very difficult for everyone involved so you should make sure to always approach this sort of situation with caution. If you have a family member who is struggling with addiction to smoking, gambling or alcohol, you should make sure to take our advice on board.
Try to offer alternatives that could keep them occupied and stop them from going back to their issues. Try to talk to them and ensure that they know that you are there to help them on this journey. No matter how severe the addiction is, your support will help them out a long way. Try to remain positive and offer support when they need it most.