It is incredibly difficult to witness a loved one suffering in a downward spiral of addiction. It can be like watching an accident in slow motion; as it develops you become deeply saddened, you know exactly how it is going to end, and yet you are unaware of how to make it stop. Addiction is so destructive, not only to your loved one but to everyone else in their life.
What to Do?
Below is some encouragement and advice for anyone in this tough situation.
Keep Yourself Informed
This is so important, because you must know what to do if you’re loved one comes to you for help. You must keep yourself informed about the type of addiction that you are witnessing and the potential consequences they could endure from it.
If your loved one comes to you unexpectedly and needs help at that very moment, you should have an understanding of how to help them. Sit down and listen to what they are telling you and get them to understand that they can trust you, and you will help them. In this situation you will be prepared and will be able to confidentially speak to them about their situation and talk about how they can begin their treatment and recovery.
Keep Communication Open
While witnessing a love ones addiction, you may feel like there is constant conflicts, various emotions, and unpredictability. You may have to deal with verbal abuse or emotional abuse. You should not have to go through this, so instead try to keep the communication open while being calm; this is the safest way possible.
Figure out what will be the most appropriate method of communication. This may be meeting in a public or neutral location or talking over the phone. Be sure to be clear and helpful as possible. If they become disrespectful or threatening let them know you will walk away, hang up, etc. Be sure they understand that if they need help, you are listening and are more than willing to get them started with some kind of treatment for their addiction.
Get Support for Yourself
It is crucial that while you are witnessing a loved one’s addiction, you get some kind of support for yourself. This is because not only is addiction stressful for the addict, but it is also stressful for everyone in their life. If you are stressed out, depressed, or lonely, you will not be able to help your loved one.
There are various support groups that you may try out. Alanon is one of many support groups that are set up for family and friends of alcoholics and drug addicts. This support group is known to help people deal with situations in their life, and the realities of their loved one’s addiction. There is a great deal of support and advice to be found at these groups and you may learn various ways you can help the person that you love and care about.
Witnessing a Loved One’s Addiction Is Not Easy
It is not easy to witness someone destroy their life, especially when you care about and love that person. You cannot force them to quit, they have to want to do it on their own. However, you can prepare yourself to be there when they are ready to get help. You can also help yourself by finding a strong network of support and learning how to cope with the ups and downs of not only addiction, but also recovery.
It will never do any good to sit back and watch because you feel helpless. So instead, get informed, keep communication open, and find support. Both you and your loved ones can make through this with a little time, patience, and effort.