What You Need to Do When You Think a Loved One is Addicted to Substances?


Certain signs of addiction are hard to miss, but it can be difficult to put all of the pieces together and realize what’s happening. Some people realize their spouse is spending too much time away from home and money is disappearing. Others might realize their kids are getting into more trouble and items are going missing around the home. Whatever the signs are, it’s important to take them at face value and see what could be the cause.

 If you suspect a loved one is suffering from addiction and you’ve noticed a few signs that seem to point that way, you’re going to want to find out the truth and work to help your loved one with recovering. You will need to set limits but can support them through all of this while they get help for the addiction. Use the tips here to get started. This can help you learn about how to help them and how to talk to them about the addiction.

Learn About Addiction and Treatment Options

Make sure you learn more about addiction and what treatment options are available. Addiction can be complicated and difficult to understand if you’ve never experienced it, so take some time to learn as much as possible about what causes addiction, how it can start, what is needed to end an addiction, and what someone will go through while they’re recovering. All of this information can help you understand what they’re going through and what they may go through in the future, so you’re prepared to talk with them and support them.

Then, look into different treatment options to see what’s available. In-patient rehabilitation is only one option, and there are differences between the various types of facilities. Look through at least a few local options to see exactly what is different and why one might be a better option for your loved one.  Get as much information as possible during this step, before you speak with your loved one. You can contact Harris House to get more information about the help they offer.

Sit Down and Talk to Them About the Addiction

You’ll need to sit down and talk to your loved one about the addiction and the treatment options that are available. You will need to let them know about your suspicions, what you’ve noticed, and why you suspect addiction. They may balk at this at first and refuse to admit to having an addiction but talking calmly and clearly can help them realize that you’re trying to help and that you want to offer support.

It’s okay to be afraid of this talk because it can be difficult, but it’s the best way to encourage them to start getting help for their addiction. The talk is not going to be easy for anyone involved, but it is an important step in trying to get your loved one to accept the help you’re ready to offer. Set aside a time for the talk when it’s convenient and when distractions can be limited as much as possible. Try to think about what you will say before the discussion happens.

The talk about the addiction can be one-on-one or it can be an intervention, depending on why might be preferred by or better for your loved one. An intervention often includes many family members and friends who are impacted by your loved one’s addiction. During this talk, make sure you review the different treatment options they might be interested in and let them know that you will be there to support them through the treatment program they choose. If possible, give them plenty of information about various treatment options and discuss why you think one might be the best choice.

Discuss Support and Limits

When you speak with your loved one, let them know how you plan on supporting them. However, support will come with limits so they can’t take advantage of the support and continue with their addiction. Discuss what you plan to do to support them, what they need to do to start recovering, and how you will help them through their recovery.

It’s important to make sure you have a limit for how much money you might spend helping them, how you’re going to provide support, and what they can and cannot do around you. Don’t forget to let them know what your limits are and what you will not do while you’re helping them. This way, they know you will be there but that they do need to put in the effort to get help.

Follow Through with Help and Limits

After the discussion with your loved one, it’s up to them to take the next step and look into treatment options. They may not accept treatment immediately, but it will be on their mind. Let them know they can talk to you more about it whenever they want. Provide encouragement during this step and offer more help in researching the different options and seeing what they can do.

Whether or not they enter a treatment program right away, continue to provide the support you told them to expect so they can see that you’re following through with what you told them in the discussion. At the same time, make sure you stick with your limits. If they see you’re holding to everything you said, this could be further encouragement to take the next step and start getting help for their addiction.

If you believe your loved one is suffering from addiction, there is a lot you can do to help them. Start by looking into different treatment options, they have an open conversation with them about the addiction and about what you will do to support them as they recover. This may not be easy to do, but it is possible for them to get the help they need and start recovering from their addiction. When you can provide support, you can help your loved one through this difficult process.


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