If your loved one is battling addiction, you know that it's a vicious fight. Addiction is a dead end road that destroys careers, relationships, and one's health. As a person on the sidelines, you want to jump into the middle and do everything possible to turn the situation around. You can't force someone to recover from addiction, but you can be the support system that can turn the tide toward freedom from substance abuse. Consider five tips that can help your loved one to win this life or death fight.
Don't be an enabler
No matter how difficult it is, do not be the person that helps an addict to continue on the path of substance abuse. That means no handing out money when your loved one is in a pinch. If there's a need for food, clothing, shelter, or affection, you can always be at the ready. However, your cash will probably end up in the wrong place. Don't buy those cigarettes, get that last can of beer, or hand over your prescription pain medication. While an addict may find another source, it should never come from you.
Have a strong shoulder to lean on
When your loved one stumbles and falls, be there to pick him or her up. Don't say "I told you so," or turn away. Be the helping hand and listening ear that everyone needs at some point in life.
Point your loved one in the right direction
When your loved one is finally ready to admit that there is a problem, it is time to seek professional help. Many facilities are available for rehab for women. Men are often reluctant to admit that they cannot handle addiction on their own. Accustomed to being caregivers and a financial support system, they feel it is a sign of weakness to turn to others. However, many programs focus on rehabilitation for men, giving them a therapy program that is tailored for their needs.
Keep in touch
While your loved one is in a recovery program, stay in contact if possible. If visits are not allowed, send cards or a care package. Pick up the phone. Let your loved one know how much you care. Be a safety net.
Once your loved one has left a rehabilitation program, be available. Do things together. Make sure your loved one eats well, is occupied, and well rested. Live the song, "Stand By Me."