Addiction is so difficult for the person that is suffering, but it’s also an incredibly hard situation for the family and friends of that person. Seeing a loved one going through a hard time like that can be very emotionally draining, especially if they’re going back and forth without ever getting better. If they’re ever going to recover, they’ll need their loved ones to be there for them and support them. But often, family members don’t know what they should be doing and whether they’re helping or making things worse. If one of your friends or family members is struggling with addiction, here are some tips to help you be there for you.
The biggest problem that people have in this situation is a lack of understanding. Addiction is a complicated thing and most people don’t have a realistic idea about it. That often leads to people doing and saying the wrong thing to a person that has addiction problems. Learning about how addictive substances react with the brain, and the psychological processes that lead to addiction can help you to empathise with that person. There are also a lot of new addiction treatments that are being developed, learning about them can help you to stay positive during this difficult time and get your loved ones the best possible help that you can.
Find Them Some Help
Regardless of how much you learn about addiction, you’re not equipped to deal with this on your own. The only way to properly beat it is to get help from others that are more qualified. Going to narcotics anonymous groups can be a big help. The extra support that they get at NA, from people that understand their situation, can really help with motivation. It’s also a good idea to get them to see a doctor. They will be able to offer potential treatments that can help people to wean themselves off drugs, as well as referring them to mental health professionals.
Help Them To Manage Mental Health
Often, addiction problems are a symptom of a wider mental health issue. That’s why managing mental health is so important when trying to combat addiction. While you might not be able to help with everything, you can help your loved ones stay on top of their mental health. Always make yourself available for them if they want to talk through anything with you and remember to listen without judgments.
The food that they eat also has a big impact on their mental health. High sugar foods are going to give a temporary energy boost before they crash and start to feel low. Not getting enough nutrients also has a big negative effect on a person’s mood. Always try to make sure that they’re eating well and help them out with cooking if you can.
Exercise is another great tool to help people improve their mental health. In fact, most doctors say that it’s one of the best ways to improve mental health. Try to get them up and out exercising on a regular basis.
Helping a family member with addiction is difficult and there are going to be a lot of ups and downs along the way. The most important thing is to be supportive and patient with them.
This is a contributed post.