If your loved one or family member in Ohio is suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. You will have questions regarding what actions you can take, what treatment options are available, and what other resources are available in your community. In addition, you may not fully understand what addiction means, and you may feel unable to cope with the situation.
You are not alone; addiction is an overwhelmingly emotional topic and requires great understanding, patience, and perseverance to handle.
Below are some first steps to get you started on helping your loved one address addiction, accept it, and work toward a successful recovery.
The first conversation is often the hardest part of the process. Many people think immediately of having an intervention like you may have seen on TV. In reality, however, an intervention is not always the best place to start.
Instead, try having a one-on-one conversation with the person about whom you are concerned. Choose a quiet room in a familiar, comfortable setting, and begin the conversation by asking if he or she is open to hearing your thoughts. Be gentle but clear in your concerns and impressions, and try to use non-blaming language. Ask if he or she is willing to seek professional help, and be ready to accept the answer. If the person refuses, there are other options you can explore.
This is critical to both your loved one’s well-being and your own. The more you know, the more effective help you can offer on the journey to recovery.
This step is actually an on-going process, one that can begin before you initialize a conversation with the person struggling with addiction. However, just remember that knowledge is power, and you must use that power wisely. Do not attempt to scare somebody into recovery by sharing everything you know; it could easily have the opposite effect.
Some topics to research might include:
Ongoing and consistent support is absolutely crucial to any successful recovery. Your involvement represents a network of love and support that the person can lean on during bad days or when he or she needs to be reminded of the progress that has already been made.
If your loved one checks into a facility, try to visit when it is allowed. Attend the days where friends and family are welcome, participate in workshops or therapy sessions, and send cards and care packages in the mail; whatever it takes, stay in the game.
Be aware of the appropriate level of your involvement, however, and do not dive too deep. Avoid micromanaging someone’s process, or ‘hovering’ over the person as he or she works through the addiction recovery process. Be present, be available, and be flexible.
Do not expect your friend or loved one to enter treatment, finish his or her stay and come home healthy, happy, and ready to fully participate in life. Recovery can take years to work through fully, and the first year after treatment is often the hardest to endure. The recovering addict will be scared of temptation, possibly angry or depressed, and may not entirely resemble the person you know or love.
Being prepared for this can help you manage it successfully. There will be challenges, mistakes, and roadblocks, but as part of a support network, you can help get the recovering addict back on track with recovery if relapses occur.
Take Care of Yourself
Many people assisting somebody with recovery can forget this step, but it is absolutely key to providing the support for which they depend on you. If you are not well yourself, how can you help somebody else get well?
Do not forget to show self-love and spend time creating joy for yourself. Practice yoga, go for a walk, read a good book, go for dinner with friends, or head to the beach for the weekend. In other words, find whatever it is that brings you pleasure and happiness, and continue to pursue it. You are no good to somebody struggling with addiction if you are overworked, upset, and fatigued.
These are some good first steps to take when helping somebody toward long-term recovery, but remember that it is a process, and the process is different for every individual. For more on how family members can cope with addicted loved ones, read this helpful article.
If you are looking for addiction services in Ohio, Recovery Village Columbus invites you to our brand new facility. We are centrally located to serve you, and offer full substance-abuse disorder treatment plans customized to suit your needs. For more information about Recovery Village Columbus, contact us today!