When a loved one is experiencing a problem, our first instinct is always to help.
If you know someone who lost a parent, you send over a casserole, prepare meals or send a message of sympathy to show how much you care. If you know someone who lost a job, you contact them with a lead on a new one. If you know someone whose pet ran away from home, you organize a search party.
But when that loved one’s problem involves alcohol or drugs, offering help becomes a lot more complicated.
It is difficult to know how to help your friend or family member without enabling them. You do not want to condone their drug or alcohol use. But at the same time, you do not want them to feel judged or abandoned, and you want them to know how much you care. Luckily, there are ways to help without enabling individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Take Stock in Yourself
First, before you reach out to your loved one, do a quick self-check to make sure you are ready to offer assistance. Make sure you are not engaging in self-blame for your loved one’s problems. Remember, addiction is a disease and no one is immune from it.
You can offer help but you cannot “cure” someone else’s problems yourself.
Beware of Enabling Behavior
Helping is not enabling. By offering your loved one support or love, you are not enabling their addiction. You are showing them someone cares enough to look out for them.
However, you do need to make sure you are not engaging in enabling behavior, such as:
If you recognize yourself in any of these behaviors, do not beat yourself up. Instead, make an effort to change the way you deal with your loved one so you can help instead of enable.
How to Help an Addict
There are so many ways to help an addict. Here are just a few ideas:
Get Help for Your Loved One Today
You can get the resources and assistance you need for your family member or loved one from Clarity Way. Contact us today for more information.
Posted on August 27th, 2015 in Help Blog