Often when a member of your family, a loved one, or a close friend is battling addiction, you feel helpless. Unable to really help or steer them back on the right path, you can only sit by and watch them fall further and further into the black hole of their addiction. Saying the words “drug counseling” is only met with resistance, even resentment. And so it seems that there is absolutely no way to help, nothing that can be done. Save the efforts of a drug addiction counseling specialist, you yourself are powerless to do anything…right? Not necessarily. There are things you can do, albeit not necessarily akin to what a person with extensive addiction counseling training can accomplish, but ways nevertheless in which you can help that person you love who might be suffering from substance abuse disorder.
1. Recognize the signs of drug addiction.
Often one of the best things you can do is to take notice and understand that your loved one is in fact grappling with a very dangerous, potentially deadly addiction. Watching out for the various signs and symptoms, you can at least urge them to seek professional help and thus benefit from drug counseling. Physically–do they have bloodshot eyes or have they lost a great deal of weight inexplicably. Behaviorally–do they seem depressed and lethargic, or conversely, jittery and overtly aggressive. Understanding what to look for is essential. Recognizing the signs can save their life.
2. Show your Love and Support.
Addicts may continually push those around them away. Becoming more and more dependent on the source of their addiction, they refuse any sort of drug addiction counseling, they even refuse to interact with those closest to them. Just continue to be there, continue to encourage them to seek help, and express to them the fact that you will be there for them during drug counseling should they choose to go.
3. Don’t Feel Guilty.
The fact that your loved one may be using is not your fault. You did not push them into the situation. And thus it is not your responsibility to single handedly lift them out of it. Placing blame on yourself, being hampered by intense feelings of guilt is not going to help get them back on track. Only counseling by those who’ve gone through addiction counseling training will give your loved one a fighting chance back to their life.
4. Help Locate a Counselor or Treatment Facility.
You can’t necessarily force them to go, but you can do everything within your power to give them the tools they need to help themselves. Start by researching drug counseling facilities. Look in your area for specialists who’ve been through addiction counseling training. Reach out to these experts and ask their advice even on how you might persuade your loved one to seek help on their own.
5. Learn All You Can About Addiction.
Knowing is powerful. By taking the time to understand the nuances of drug and alcohol addiction, you are arming yourself with the information you need to better help your loved one who may be suffering as a result of substance abuse. This might not inspire them to enter drug counseling, but it will help you to better comprehend the situation and its potential outcome. When they simply refuse drug addiction counseling you can still pursue channels and information that may ultimately assist you in getting them there. Not just recognizing the signs and symptoms, but learning about the foundations of the disease, the course it may run and the way it affects their personality, their physical being, and their relationships, is a huge benefit to you and the one you love.
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