Not all addicts are lost. They’re more than their addictions, and it’s vital that the people around them remember that. Addicts need people in their lives to prevent them from spiraling out of control and suffering potentially fatal consequences.
Yet, that doesn’t mean the people around them know how to deal with a drug addict when they’re not improving. Drug addiction is a complicated and messy situation that hurts everybody involved. While addicts are in pain, the people around them shoulder burdens nobody should have to bare.
They do it out of love for the person beneath the addiction. And that person is always there, it just takes time for them to come out. Even when you’ve made every last effort to help an addict recover, you just need to have faith that it’s possible for them to get better.
Keep reading below if you feel like you’re at your limits and still want to help someone recover from addiction.
They’re Not Addicted Because They Choose to Be
The important thing to realize about drug addiction is that, no matter how much you’re suffering from it, they’re suffering more. Nobody chooses to get addicted to anything, but rather become addicted out of deeper, underlying issues. Addicts usually cope for a deep kind of pain by using drugs, because they don’t know what else to do.
When people cope with pain with such extreme methods, they usually feel isolated and alone. Addicts’ lives are usually consumed by a psychological and existential kind of darkness. No matter where they go, they may feel afraid and alone, desperate to escape something they don’t fully understand.
The best thing you can ever do is to remind them that they’re not alone. As long as you’re there for them, addicts will have a reminder that things aren’t actually the way they seem. They can get better, and will with time – and with you.
They Need You, Now More Than Ever
Isolation is a crushing sort of sensation which has been proven to traumatize people. The more people feel alone, the less of a grip on reality they have and the more pain they feel. People act as a sort of buffer from the pain of reality that everyone experience in varying degrees.
Some of us are dogged by memories of painful experiences, others are haunted by memories of times gone by. Everyone has problems, and some are worse than others.
Abandoning an addict will not help them, it never will. Addicts need to know that they’re not alone before they can take the first steps towards recovery. Otherwise, they will just feel more and more lost, clueless to the steps they need to take to get better.
Here’s How to Deal with a Drug Addict
To most people, the best way to help an addict is to connect them with someone trained to help them. Once addicts get the information they need to contact a treatment program, people tend to wash their hands of them. But just going to a treatment program is never enough to fully recover from drug addiction.
People also need to feel loved and valued; people need to feel like they belong somewhere other than a treatment program. Otherwise, they may stay in treatment forever, since they may not know where else to go. And for ways to demonstrate that you love and care about a drug addict, keep reading below.
Push for a Rehab Program
The best way to let someone know that you care about their wellbeing is to push for a treatment program. Don’t just hand them a pamphlet one day and expect everything to work itself out. Instead, attending a treatment program should be a point in your relationship with them.
Mention treatment programs whenever you see them in the same way you would the weather, or the news. When the fact that they need help is treated as a matter of fact, they’re more likely to act on it. By constantly bringing it up, they’re also subtly reminded that you care about them enough to keep asking.
Don’t Expect Results Out of Nowhere
Once a person agrees to attend a treatment program, it doesn’t mean they’ve been cured. Recovery is a long and arduous process, with many obstacles in the way. They will relapse, and they will struggle throughout the way.
None of that means they’re beyond help, though. It means they’re finally addressing the inner pain which resulted in addiction in the first place. And to move past that, they need you. Be there for them throughout the recovery process, and you will be able to see them morph into a better person.
Know When the Situation Is Safe, and When It’s Not
Sometimes though, the situation isn’t always entirely safe for them, or for you. People have flaws, and sometimes those flaws are dangerous. They may reveal themselves during the recovery process.
You need to know when it’s time for you to step away from a situation. If things ever get violent, or if a person is an immediate harm to themselves, it may be time to let other people handle things. Contact the police if you need to, and once the person is no longer in as dangerous a situation, return to them.
This is especially important if children are involved. They will always take precedence over an addict, by virtue of them being children. If an addict is potentially endangering children, it’s your responsibility to remove them from the situation in any way you can.
Know Your Own Limits
Finally, you need to know your own limits. You will never fully know how to deal with a drug addict if you’re operating at your limits. You’re human too – you’re allowed to take breaks from someone for your own emotional health.
Just make sure they understand that even if you’re gone from them, it doesn’t mean an addict is alone. If you’re the person an addict looks up to, it’s your responsibility to make sure they’re safe before you back off. You should at least connect them with people you know can help before you step away.
We can be those people. If you don’t know how to help a drug addict in your life, just contact us. We will work with them to make sure they recover as fully as possible and start being the person you know they can become.