One of the most devastating things that can happen to any family is substance abuse in any form. Anything in excess is never good for anyone. That could be anything from too much food, exercise, alcohol or even shopping. Addictive behaviors can turn relationships upside down for those who are exhibiting the behaviors and for those who have to deal with them and pick up the pieces. The great thing to know is that addictive behaviors can be reversed. It can begin when family and friends are there for those who are clearly in need.
It is also important to know that when people have substance addictions having a shoulder to lean on and someone who listens can mean the difference between a relapse and recovery. Addiction problems can be short or long. However long it is never a positive experience for those involved.
It is critical to not judge an addict. Constant judging can put someone right back in the state of mind they were already in when they were addicted to drugs or alcohol. It is also important to not bring up bad experiences that they may have caused you, your friends, or family. You don’t have to forget bad experiences, but you also don’t have to harp on them either.
Remembering that you can be the catalyst to a bright future for an addict is a heavy burden to carry, but it can be extremely rewarding as well. Being able to keep an addict on the straight and narrow is a difficult proposition for anyone and that is why there are professionals who specialize in addictive behaviors. For family and friends, however, it can be a lot harder and even at some points, feel nearly impossible. But showing love and support can go a long way especially if your friend or family members have already gone through a round of therapy and rehab.
It will take some time for addicts to be functioning adults again so they need all of the help they can get. Be there for them if there is a sudden relapse, or when they come home from a treatment center. Most will rely on your for food, board, and emotional support.
Some addictions can be harder to kick than others depending on who you are. If your friend is a former alcoholic be sure to keep alcohol and infuse their life with healthy eating, yoga, and other forms of exercise. If you give them options in a healthy way, they’ll love being sober and now under the influence of drugs all of the time.