As the world evolves, we’re getting so many amazing opportunities and options, but also vices. The world is connected and more accessible than ever, but that also means we have easier access to things that aren’t good for us. This combined with the ever-growing wealth gap in the west has resulted in a big spike in the number of drug abusers. And if someone you love is suffering from drug addiction, you certainly want to do everything in your power to help. But if you’re not informed enough, you might end up making the situation worse, so here are the things you need to know:
Help them find treatment
You can’t just tell someone you wish they’d quit and expect them to do it. If you really want to help them, you need to get them professional help. You’ll need to be resilient – they might not want to go the first time, or it might not even work, but you have to keep trying and get them to go to the program, because you can’t do it for them. Remember that there are a lot of different rehab clinics out there, and that not all of them are actually good. Ask for opinions and recommendations, go to the clinic to see the space, look at their program, staff and proof of track record. Finding a good facility is the biggest and arguably most important step of the process, and your loved one will not take the time to do that.
Be there for them
Sometimes they might want to be alone while they are going through treatment, but they need to know that you care and that you are there to support them. Ask the staff at the facility what are the best times you should visit, and how frequently. You want to be there enough to show support, but also allow time for them to focus on their treatment. The facility you have chosen will do a medical detox if needed, and in those times, you might have to be a lot stronger. The addiction and the lack of drugs in their system will make your loved one lash out and generally make you feel pretty horrible, but you need to understand that they are in a completely altered state of mind and that point and you cannot abandon them. Keep a safe distance and remove yourself from the situation if it gets too much for you to handle, but show support if you can.
Prepare them a situation to go back to
It’s all too easy to slip back into drug addiction after detox if you go back to the same life and same surroundings that you left. So, what you can do is help by making sure they have something stable to go to. An apartment that’s clean and in a good part of town and most importantly – something to fill their time. You don’t want to go as far as getting them a job, but getting them a position to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or animal shelter can be a great way to get them on their feet and make sure they stay clean.
Find a long-term support system
Eventually, they will need to find their own support system that works for them, but as soon as they come out, they will need something. Ask the clinic where they were in rehab to recommend a place for daily anonymous meetings and perhaps a sober sponsorship system. Most importantly, make sure that their closest friends and family know what they’ve been through and are offering their love and support as they get back on their feet. If they are surrounded with positive influences and reasons to keep clean – like their kids, friends and other people who depend on them, the lesser the chances are that they will relapse.
Support them if they fall
Relapses happen much more frequently than people think. A relapse isn’t the end of the world and going back into rehab doesn’t mean that it’s a cycle that’s going to keep repeating itself. You’ve been through this once, and you have to approach it again with as much love and compassion as the first time to make sure they succeed.
The absolute most important thing you need to remember is that nobody is hopeless or a lost cause, and that without the support of their loved ones an addicted person’s chances drop immensely. So be kind and compassionate to a loved one that needs it and get through this with them, as long as it takes.