When your loved one tells you they suffer from addiction, it can be a huge blow to hear. But the fact that they came to you with their problem means that they took a huge step towards their recovery and they are trusting you to help them. Although you may not have asked for this responsibility, it is now yours, and you have to handle it carefully. The way you respond can impact how they take their next steps, but you also have to watch out for your own mental health, too. How to deal with a loved one telling you they suffer from addiction is never a one-size-fits-all process, but here are some tips from others in your shoes that have helped them and may help you.
When You are Dealing with Addiction, but You’re not the Addict
1. Recommend They Get Help from a Professional
Even if they are resistant and want your help and no one else’s, you need to remind them that you are not a professional. There are many Addiction Treatment Services out there to help you both. The best way for them to recover is with the guidance of someone who knows what they are doing and the support of you as their loved one.
2. Remind Them That There are Laws that Protect their Privacy
Most people are sympathetic to addicts who are truly struggling to put their lives back into place. However, many people choose not to get help because they worry others will judge them. If your loved one does not want to get help because they fear what others will say, you can remind them that there are privacy laws under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that protect them. You can use these resources to help convince them.
3. Learn about Treatment Options
If your loved one is willing to go into a treatment center, you can be there with them as they talk about their options. If not, you can do the research yourself and arm yourself with the facts so that you can help persuade them to get help and are prepared when they are ready.
4. Find Support For You and For Your Loved One
It is common to feel like you are all alone on this journey, but there are millions of others who are traveling on the same road. You can find support groups for family and friends of addicts to help you as you struggle.
There are many support groups for your loved one, too, as their battle will be a difficult one, as well. This step is crucial for both of you as you will need an extra shoulder and words of advice during this long process.
It’s a Hard Burden, But a Worthy One
To be the person your loved one turns to in their struggle is a heavy burden to bear, but they have shared with you their most difficult weakness.
Keep that in mind and know that it is an honor and a worthy burden as you now can help save them from their addiction and get them back on track to a healthy, happy life.