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Addiction and drug abuse - Part 4: Helping loved ones wean off drugs the right way

Addiction and drug abuse – Part 4: Helping loved ones wean off drugs the right way

02-06 | CDAH Team

The devastating force of drug addiction has the potential to leave behind a toxic trail. The effects of addiction are felt not only by the victims but also by their friends and family members. Supporting the loved one without aggravating their drug abuse and not losing sight of one’s own needs and well-being is not an easy task.

It is important to be there for the loved one, but at times, a person willing to help those with addiction can unknowingly come in the way of their recovery and can fuel their drug abuse while supporting them to come out clean. Some of the instances of this are:

  • Giving them allowances while being aware that they might use it to buy drugs
  • Repaying their debts to those who have given them money
  • Coming up with excuses for the loved one when they fail to show up in social gatherings, school or work
  • Keeping potential drugs around the loved one’s vicinity
  • Taking up the role of the emotional lifeguard by whitewashing their destructive behaviors, gobbling up their sob stories and molly-coddling them
  • Not adhering to set boundaries

Implementing boundaries

The nature of addiction is such that drug abusers become adept at pushing limits and crossing lines. Establishing boundaries can benefit both the parties. This can be consummated by conveying to the loved one what is not acceptable in writing and the consequences elaborated if they were to break their vow and have them sign it. Some of the ways to do this are:

  • Abusing drugs in the presence of their supporter, would compel them to leave the place.
  • The support can ask him/her to leave or find accommodations elsewhere, if the loved one is indulging in anything related to theft.
  • Failing to attend social obligations, school or work, the supporter will not make excuses for the absence.
  • If the loved one finds themselves in financial troubles, the support will not bail them out.

If the loved one is against visiting a mental health professional or a specialized treatment facility for addiction, it is very likely that they have not come to terms with their addiction and drug seeking behaviors. In such situations, the supporter may consider an intervention. The support can speak to an interventionist prior to the intervention and learn the most effective way to communicate with the loved one. The supporter can rally a few more individuals close to the loved one to help in the treatment.

Tending to oneself

Individuals who help those with addiction are susceptible to depression, stress and decreased overall well-being. They also have a higher risk for experiencing fear, anger and worry. Such individuals can tend to themselves by following certain methods:

  • Regular exercising lowers anxiety, stress and advocates resilience
  • Practicing mindfulness through yoga, meditation, body scanning to alleviate stress, anxiety, depression along with maintaining a clear mind.
  • Talking to a therapist can sort out complex emotions. It can also realign the individual’s conviction and goals in their attempt to aid the loved one.
  • Attending support groups can provide a platform to connect with others who are also helping their loved ones.

Road to recovery

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug addiction, it is imperative to seek help. The Colorado Drug Addiction Help offers the best evidenced-based treatment plans for addiction. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-218-7546 to connect to the best addiction treatment centers in Colorado. You can also chat online with our medical representatives for any information on addiction treatment in Colorado.

Read other articles of the series, “Addiction and Drug Abuse:”

Part 1: Helping a person with drug addiction

Part 2: Some deadly synthetic drugs seized in 2016

Part 3: Families can be contributing factor to relapse


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