If you know someone struggling with addiction, you’re probably experiencing a range of different emotions. You may feel sad, angry, or confused, and don’t know what to do. Laguna View Detox is here to tell you one of the best things you can do is help this person find addiction treatment, and then find help for yourself. The best way to support someone is to understand what they’re going through.
Addiction: The Disease
Addiction is a disease, not a choice.
Addiction is now classified as a chronic disease, rather than a moral failing. During addiction, the chemistry of the brain is changed, causing a type of short-circuit, where the addict has a compulsive, uncontrollable urge to continue using drugs or alcohol. Their brains literally tell them that the substance is more important than anything in their lives and ultimately becomes their singular focus.
Although it sounds scary, these mental and physical changes can be treated effectively with professional intervention. It’s important to be supportive before, during, and after the treatment process.
How to Offer Support
Once you have decided that your loved one or friend would benefit from getting sober, it’s important to do your research and understand not only immediate treatment options, but resources to use once this person is out of treatment, and rebuilding their life.
Things to do while your loved one is in treatment:
- Provide encouragement while in rehab
- Seek education about substance abuse
- Open your heart and mind
- Prepare your home to be a sober environment
- Change lifestyles or the home to encourage long-term sobriety
- Continue to work with the treatment center after the initial program
- Attend Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meetings
There are community resources that can help you, your family, and your loved one understand addiction and create long-term solutions and support networks.
Al-Anon is the counterpart to Alcoholics Anonymous. This group consists of the friends and families of alcoholics, both past and present.
Al-Anon considers close friends of self-constructed families to be part of the family unit – so even if your loved one is just a friend, Al-Anon considers them part of the family, which helps in the healing process.
Al-Anon recognizes that alcoholism is often more than a singular person’s issue, and looks at the family dynamic as a whole to understand how the addict fell into addiction. Al-Anon helps the family to change the attitudes and dynamics in order to foster a solid foundation for the alcoholic to recover in.
Nar-Anon is the counterpart to Narcotics Anonymous. This group is made up of family and friends of someone who is suffering from substance abuse, no matter what that drug or substance may be. This group often covers a wider range of addictions.
Official Nar-Anon groups follow a 12-step program. These programs help the friends and family members who have been impacted by a loved one’s addiction by creating a community of support.
No matter what kind of support group or community resources you join, you will gain knowledge into your loved ones addiction and also start the healing process for yourself.
Maintain Compassion & Support Throughout the Process
Recovery is a lifelong journey that is most enjoyable with the support from others. A loved one getting sober is a lifestyle change and huge accomplishment, so make sure you acknowledge that for your loved one. It’s not uncommon for recovering addicts to feel anger towards their current situation, grief over what they have lost, and guilt about actions they have taken while they were using drugs or alcohol. The best thing to do is provide a shoulder to lean on and listen.
Do You Know a Struggling Addict?
If someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, please reach out to us today. Laguna View Detox is a luxury addiction treatment facility located in Laguna Beach, CA. We offer a truly individualized approach to addiction treatment and have six beds in our facility, which ensures we can give each and every client our undivided attention.