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How to Help When a Loved One is Struggling with Addiction

Substance abuse exists on a spectrum. At the lower end, one has a substance misuse issues while at the other end is substance misuses disorder. In the US alone, over 23 million people are affected by substance use directly. However, when those affected indirectly are considered, the figure is as high as 60 million. This means that it is more than likely that you know someone who is struggling with a certain addiction.

Unfortunately, when people are faced with a situation where they have a loved one with an addiction, some will try to fix it themselves. This is not advisable unless one has undergone professional training. The causes of drug dependency are complex and it is often a chronic condition. It often requires professional help to overcome.

The thing you need to remind yourself is that you are not responsible for the outcome when your loved one is an addict. However, you can try to ensure they get professional help. Here are a few tips to achieve that.

Admit It

The first step into helping a loved one seek addiction treatment is to admit they have a problem with drug dependency. It can be hard for a loved one to admit that their partner or best friend is actually battling addiction. While this does not seem like it will affect the individual, it does. By admitting it to yourself, you are preparing yourself to embrace the issue and offer genuine support. Addiction treatment is a journey that will require you to offer a lot of support. You cannot do that unless you first acknowledge your loved one has an issue.

Get Educated on the Issue

To encourage someone to attend treatment, you need to understand what is ailing him or her. While each habit is unique, most addictions come with life-threatening symptoms. It is important to educate yourself so you can be able to offer assistance in the future.

Besides that, it will help you to understand what you are facing. It can be quite difficult for a third party to understand what the addict is undergoing unless they do research on the issue. Speak to experts and read professionally reviewed journals to become knowledgeable.

Get the Person to Seek Medical Assistance

When someone is at the cusp of drug dependency, there will be some obvious signs, which are easy to spot if you educate yourself. It could help to persuade them to attend a routine medical checkup. However, ensure that you inform the doctor of what you suspect. This way, the doctor will be able to see past the addict’s excuses.

Besides that, they will be able to recommend a course of treatment. This might just be what it takes to steer the situation from becoming a disaster. In some cases, it only takes a speech by a medical expert to help the individual realize how bad things have gotten. For instance, they could get a report that shows how bad their health has deteriorated and this will act as a revelation. Studies have shown that it usually takes someone outside their social circles for the addict to wake up.

Stop Funding the Habit

In some cases, you might discover that you are the one who has been funding the individual’s addiction habits. He or she might have slowly manipulated close family and friends to feed his habit. However, this needs to be done in an intelligent manner.

Ganging up on a struggling individual is never a good idea. Instead, it should be done in a methodical manner. Simply learn to have an excuse when they ask for cash. This way, it’s less likely that they will disappear and try to find cheaper and harmful methods to fulfill their need.

Offer Support and Encouragement

Without being obvious, let the loved one know that you are there for them. This will ensure that although they are not getting funding for their bad habit, they do not feel ostracized. By avoiding bringing up the exact words, it shows that you are not judging them. You are just interested in helping them.

At this stage, the person might actually come out and start showing positive changes. If they are not too far off, the loved one with addiction might even decide to check into rehab for addiction treatment. However, this will only happen if you continue to show encouragement and support to them. It is going to be a long process, which requires extreme patience and love. No matter how hopeless it seems, you must not give up.

Refrain From Using Guilt

It can be quite easy to fall into trying to guilt the addict into getting better. However, that will not work. This only makes them feel ashamed and drives them further into their addiction. Any negative or hostile emotions you try to use on them will only push them further into solitude.

Check Where You Stand

After some time, you will need to analyze where you stand. Has all the love and attention helped the individual? If all other attempts to get the addict to voluntarily seek help fail, it might be time to try a new approach. Closely check whether your actions in the past few months have borne fruit.

Opt for an Intervention

This should be a professionally supervised intervention. It should not be family and friends ganging up on an individual and telling them what is on their mind. Instead, a professional needs to be consulted. He or she can then direct how the entire exercise will take place. This is usually as a last option. It needs to be solemn and it should be designed to make an impact on the addicted individual’s life.

While emotional bonds could be affected by intervention, it is necessary. At an intervention, the family will be able to deliver ultimatums. However, it should always be done under the supervision or advice of a professional.

With the above pointers, it should help to get the loved one to seek professional treatment. However, it is important to keep an eye out at all times. If you suspect a loved one might be slipping into addiction, working early ( to resolve the issues can help to save them.


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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.