It isn’t easy to help someone with an addiction. If you provide money or excuses, you are accused of enabling. If you turn your back on the person, you must live with a lifetime of guilt if the unthinkable occurs. There has to be a line to walk – a line between providing the needed help and support without encouraging the behavior to continue.
There are ways to get an addict to confront the problem, but it isn’t always an easy process. To help you along the way, concentrate on the ways you can help – both the addict and yourself. By keeping your focus, you have a better chance of encouraging your loved one into a recovery program and keep you from losing yourself in the process.
Talk about It
You may have to confront the individual about his addiction, but the way you approach the subject will directly impact how he responds. Instead of keeping tabs on every time the person drinks or uses, talk instead about things in the addict’s life that have been neglected. By focusing on how the addiction has taken its toll on the person’s personal and professional relationships, activities and health, you have a greater chance of the person admitting a problem.
Avoid Blaming the Addict – or Yourself
Blaming the addict for his behavior is a fast track to a defensive reaction. Forget the blame game – it will not provide any positive benefit. At the same time, avoid blaming yourself for the addiction. You can’t control the person’s behavior so ownership of the addiction does not belong to you.
Care for Your Own Needs
It is easy for those close to an addict to neglect their own needs in the interest of helping their loved one. However, neglecting yourself will only lead to stress and resentment in the long run. Understand that addiction affects others besides the person using. Seek out your own support from groups like Al-Anon.
Consider a Formal Intervention
If your efforts do not bring forth the desired result, consider a formal intervention to confront your loved one about his addiction. Interventions are generally more successful if they are carefully prepared ahead of time and enlist the assistance of a professional intervention specialist. This is particularly true if you worry the addict might become violent during the intervention.
Living with someone who is living with an addiction is a tremendous challenge. However, there are steps you can take to bring your loved one closer to a treatment program and the road to recovery.