When you have a male relative, spouse, or friend struggling with addiction, you may want to help them. However, it is not as easy as you might think to attempt to get them to admit they have a problem, let alone admit they have an addiction or even accept they need help. This can make reaching your addicted loved one seem nearly impossible. However, there are several things you can do to help him get the help he needs.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Reaching Your Addicted Loved One
There is a right way to help and support your addicted loved one and a wrong way. These can be broken down into simple do’s and don’ts that can help you along the way.
- Do focus on trust. When you can build and maintain trust, your loved one is more likely to be open to listening, allowing you to continue reaching your addicted loved one.
- Do respect their privacy. It can be tempting to breach their privacy as you may think you are helping, but this will only make your loved one angry and upset.
- Do be upfront and honest. Let your loved one know how their substance abuse impacts your life and your relationship with them.
- Do take care of yourself. Ensure you can support yourself financially, even if it means setting up individual accounts. Remember to eat healthy, exercise, and get sufficient sleep.
- Do expect challenges. Your loved one may not think they have a substance abuse problem. They may not yet be ready to want to change or stop using. They may enjoy how they feel too much when they use.
- Do remain understanding. Men may tend have a hard time opening up and admitting when they need help. Your loved one can feel awkward, embarrassed, or guilty about their addiction. As such, they may not be forthcoming or want to discuss it with you. They could also be struggling with a mental health issue that is fueling their addiction.
- Do get the support you need. Before you can help your loved one, take steps to ensure you are being supported. This could include joining a support group, educating yourself about addiction, talking to a therapist, speaking to an addiction treatment center, or getting help from a professional to stage an intervention.
- Don’t enable addiction. You do not want to cover up your loved one’s addiction or support it in any manner. Allow them to experience whatever consequences arise.
- Don’t make ultimatums. Your loved one will not respond to threats in the way you want them to. Instead, they may pull away further, take steps to hide their substance abuse, or even move out.
- Don’t be overly critical. This is another negative behavior that causes your loved one to retreat further into themselves, withdraw from family and friends, and turn to their addiction for support.
- Don’t expect quick results. Addiction is a medical disorder that your loved one will struggle with their entire life. It can take time before they decide to start on the road to recovery. Even once they start, there can be setbacks along the way.
Finding the Right Approach for Your Loved One
You can use various approaches to attempt to get your loved one to admit they have an addiction and need help. However, what works for one person does not always work for another. This is just the nature of addiction and how it affects and impacts people differently.
To find the right approach for your loved one, you can work with an addiction treatment center, peer support specialist, or other addiction treatment professionals. They also can help you continue to stay strong and avoid enabling behaviors.
What to Expect Once You Get Through to Your Loved One
Once your loved one is open to the idea they have an addiction, do not expect them to immediately enter an addiction treatment program. Their initial response may simply be that they want to think about it first.
After thinking about it, they may deny they have an addiction. Or, they could be ready to admit they have a problem and want help. In some situations, they can feel so guilty about how their addiction has hurt you. So, they may decide not to tell you anything and seek help on their own. If they do, let them.
The duration and length of treatment will vary based on the severity of the addiction and whether there are co-occurring disorders. The thing to remember is recovery will be a life-long process.
Furthermore, once your loved one is ready for you to be involved in their recovery, make sure you participate in family therapy and treatment programs.
Addiction Treatment for Men in Dallas
Reaching your loved one is challenging when they are struggling with addiction. However, following the do’s and don’ts of helping can result in your loved one admitting they need help. When they are ready, help is available at Casa Colina.
We offer peer support specialists, peer support groups, family programs, and customized addiction and co-occurring treatment programs to help your loved one on their road to recovery and sober living. For further information about our Dallas sober living support and addiction treatment programs for men, please feel free to contact us today!