When you have a loved one going through an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to know what action to take, especially when the person isn’t ready to get better.. We need to learn how to help a drug addict who doesn’t want help, and take care of ourselves in the process. From finding an addiction treatment center to setting boundaries, there are many things we can do to help in these trying situations. Here are five things you can do when you have a loved one who doesn’t want help for their addiction.
Educate Yourself on Addiction
One of the best things you can do when a loved on is struggling with addiction is to learn about the experience. Learn about some causes of drug addiction, different methods of recovery like opioid replacement therapy, and other pieces to the puzzle that is addiction and recovery.
The more you know, the more you will be able to show up with true understanding of your loved one’s experience. As we begin to understand addiction a little more deeply, we can meet the situation with wisdom. Addiction doesn’t always make sense, and we struggle to understand. With some research, we begin to learn about addiction, see that we’re not alone, and perhaps learn some ways others have gotten through the experience themselves.
This is much easier said than done. First you have to set your boundaries, then you have to actually stick to them. Therapists can be extremely helpful in this process, as can support groups like Al-Anon. By setting boundaries, you can both protect your wellbeing and help your loved one.
We can set boundaries with love and compassion. A simple example of a boundary is saying to your loved one that they cannot use drugs or alcohol in your home. If they do, you will ask them to leave. This both helps keep you safe and sane, and doesn’t enable the addict’s addiction. The important part is to follow through with your boundaries. Don’t set one if you’re not going to be able to follow through!
Research Treatment Options
One of the best things you can do is have an option for help ready. You never know when the person addicted to drugs or alcohol is going to have a moment in which they’re willing to get help. You can get some treatment options ready, just so you have something to offer them in these moments of willingness. Remember there are some dangers of finding treatment online. See if you can get some recommendations from somebody you trust like a doctor, close friend, or addiction specialist.
By finding treatment options, you have something ready in your back pocket. It may not be useful to push these opportunities on the struggling addict. Sometimes we need to wait until the time is right. Maybe it’s when they show some willingness, or maybe it is when you set an ultimatum. Find different options such as inpatient treatment centers, therapists, and support groups.
Practice Patient Compassion
Dealing with an addicted loved one requires some patience and compassion. You can try some meditation practices for compassion, talk to a trusted therapist or spiritual advisor, or join a support group. By cultivating compassion, we can show up with love and care. Compassion doesn’t mean we need to be a door mat or enable the person. We can use our compassion to be firm.
With compassion, we often need some patience. When watching somebody going through the difficult experience of drug addiction, we want to change the situation right away. Often, the addict isn’t ready for help and we end up just pushing the addict away. If we can be patient, we can seize the moment when it’s right and help the person recover.
Intervene When Necessary
Sometimes, an intervention is necessary. When somebody is struggling with addiction to a drug like heroin or experiencing polysubstance abuse, it can be quite dangerous. An intervention is the process of helping the addict or alcoholic see the harm they are causing to themselves and those around them with their addiction, and offering a path to recovery. If you’re worried and ready to set firm boundaries, an intervention by a professional may be the best solution!