Helping a Loved One with Addiction

Addiction Treatment Center in San Diego
If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, you may feel powerless. Fortunately, there are ways you can support their recovery process. If you are committed to helping a loved one with addiction, here are some ways you can do it.

Remember, Recovery Is Possible

There is nothing worse than watching a loved one suffer from addiction. You can see that they are sick but don’t know how to help them. You want to help, but you don’t want to make the situation worse, and you are constantly worried that tragedy could strike.

Ultimately, your loved one has to choose recovery for themselves, but you can encourage them to seek the care they need and take proactive steps to support their recovery. Remember that you are not alone. Millions of families struggle with a loved one’s addiction, but there are also millions of people in long-term recovery.

Understanding Addiction

Addiction is not a choice or a moral falling. It is a severe disorder of the brain. A tendency towards addiction can be hereditary, and drugs or alcohol can alter your loved one’s brain structure, making them dependent.

Because it is a serious medical condition, it is almost impossible for your loved one to recover independently. It is important to remember that your loved one is not “choosing” drugs over you or doing this to hurt you. Addiction is not personal. It is a disease.

Admit to Yourself that There May Be a Problem

The first step towards helping your loved one is admitting to yourself that they may have a problem. It can be challenging to recognize addiction for two reasons. First, people who struggle with addiction often go to great lengths to deny they have a problem.

Second, it can be difficult to accept that your loved one has a problem. You may choose to believe their excuses because you are too scared to admit your loved one is grievously ill, but that only prolongs the danger they are in.

Learn the Symptoms of Addiction

While addicts may try to hide their addiction, several red flags may indicate there is a problem:

Trouble keeping a job, attending school, or participating in daily activities
Sleeping excessively or exhibiting unusual sleep patterns, such as staying up all night
Blacking out where they appear to be awake but aren’t aware of their actions and don’t remember them later
Nodding out or having trouble staying awake
Drinking or using prescription or illicit drugs regularly
Spending more time trying to get access to these drugs
Relationship difficulties with other members of the family or friends
Spending more time with people who are currently active users
Being constantly sick. This may be a sign of withdrawal when your loved one isn’t able to or is trying not to use.
If you notice these symptoms or any other unusual behavior, encourage your loved one to seek help. However, if they seem to be in respiratory distress or show overdosing signs, call 911 immediately.
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Encourage Your Loved One to Seek Help

This is the most critical thing you can do when you know your loved one is an addict. You may wish to gather a group of family members and friends and stage an intervention, or you might want to talk to your loved one on one.

Your loved one may not be willing to admit they have a problem, or they might be worried that they are unable to afford treatment. They might feel embarrassed or have other objections, but they are not alone. Be supportive and assure them that there are ways to access the care they need to fight addiction.

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Seek Help for Yourself.

It can be challenging to watch a loved one who is sick all of the time, and you might be willing to do anything to make them feel better in the moment. This can become a codependent relationship and can make the situation worse. By seeking help for yourself, you can learn the best strategies to cope with a loved one’s addiction without making the problem worse.
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Set Boundaries

When someone is dealing with addiction, they will do anything to access the substances they need. This isn’t personal. When they stop using, they get extremely sick and may do anything to avoid that feeling. Learn to say no if you know that saying yes may result in a more dangerous situation.
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Be Supportive

While it is important to make sure you are not enabling your loved one, it is also essential to support their recovery efforts. Love cannot save someone who is struggling with addiction. They must choose to take this journey on their own, but the support of a loved one can help them stay on the right path.

Drug addiction is highly stigmatized, and many people struggle with self-esteem while struggling with addiction. It can help to have the support of a loved one who understands that addiction is a disease and believes in their ability to recover.

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Take Care of Yourself

Addiction is a devastating illness that can cause severe trauma to both you and your loved one. Make sure you seek professional help if it becomes overwhelming or if you believe you have become codependent. In addition to getting help, make sure you are taking care of your basic needs like eating and getting adequate sleep to make better decisions.
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How To Help Your Loved One Find Help

Step 1: Encourage Your Loved One to Seek Help

This is the hardest part of the process. Your loved one needs to choose recovery for themselves, but you can encourage them and point them in the right direction.

Step 2: Learn Your Options

Once your loved one admits they need help, there are many treatment programs available. Your loved one may choose inpatient or outpatient care. Insurance may cover part or all of the treatment.

Step 3: Seek Help for Yourself

Whether or not your loved one chooses recovery at this time, helping a loved one with addiction is an intense and emotionally draining process. Make sure you are getting the support you need to avoid enabling your loved one. Taking care of yourself needs to be your priority. A healthy mindset will benefit you both.
Helping a loved one with addiction

Why Choose Healthy Life Recovery in San Diego?

First, take a deep breath. You have come to the right place. Helping a loved one with addiction may be one of the most difficult things you will ever go through. At Healthy Life Recovery, we understand how challenging this situation is for you, and we are here to provide the compassionate care you need to help your loved one recover.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

I did not like rehab before I came to Healthy Life Recovery, but this place gave me the chance to change my life! I couldn’t be more grateful. The environment and the energy in this place are amazing, the staff is caring, open and very willing to help, and very professional. Highly recommend this place to people looking to start a new chapter in their life. Keep it up, guys!

— Andrew C., via Google.

Helping a loved one with addiction

How Much Does Treatment for Addiction or Substance Abuse Cost?

We work with all insurance companies to help you and your loved one recover. Insurance may even cover the entire cost of care. If you don’t have insurance, we still may be able to help. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out due to concerns about cost.

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Encourage Your Loved One to Seek Help

Helping a loved one with addiction

If your loved one is struggling with addiction, be supportive and remind them that recovery is possible. If you need additional information, give us a call at (858) 888-5332. We are here 24/7 to listen to your concerns with compassion.

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Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen

Dr. Sanjai Thankachen graduated from Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medicine in 2000. He completed his residency in psychiatry in 2008 at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in New York. Dr. Thankachen is currently working with Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists in an outpatient practice, as well as working at multiple in-patient psychiatric and medical units bringing his patients the most advanced healthcare treatment in psychiatry. Dr. Thankachen sees patients with an array of disorders, including depression, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, anxiety, and dementia-related problems.

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Dr. Sanajai Thankachen

Edited for Clinical Accuracy By:

Sean Leonard, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Sean Leonard is a board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. He received his master’s degree in adult geriatric primary care nurse practitioner from Walden University and a second postmaster specialty in psychiatry mental health nurse practitioner from Rocky Mountain University. Sean has experience working in various diverse settings, including an outpatient clinic, inpatient detox and rehab, psychiatric emergency, and dual diagnosis programs. His specialty areas include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD, ADHD, and OCD.

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