When a Loved One Has an Addiction

There’s often nothing harder than watching the people we love struggle. Caring for someone who is going through something that we can’t really change is difficult to accept and even more difficult to cope with at times.

When you’re not the one with the problem, it can feel selfish to admit that you’re struggling, but keep in mind that these are far-reaching issues that can have a serious impact on many people other than the person with the addiction and you’re valid in your concerns and struggles.

How to Cope When a Loved One Has an Addiction

If you’re not sure what to do or how to handle the situation, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Do What You Can

In these cases, for the sake of the one you care for and for your own sake too, it’s important that you offer them support in whatever ways you can.

Perhaps you can help them book themselves into a rehab center or explain to them why you think it would be helpful. If you’re in the area and think it would be a good idea, you could look into options like Alcohol Rehab, Carmel, Indiana to help them deal with the problem professionally and in a safe environment.

If this isn’t in your capacity, you might just want to offer them emotional support or to spend some time with them doing fun and normal things that can help them feel like they’re capable of getting their life back on track.

Accept What You Can’t

While it’s important that you do whatever you can to help them, you need to realize that there is only so much you can do.

Sadly, you cannot help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves, and in many cases, you can’t force them to make a change.

As a partner, parent, friend or whatever other relationship you might have with them, you need to accept the fact that this is a decision they will need to make for themselves in the long run and that you can only encourage it as far as possible.

Their actions and choices are not your responsibility, nor something that you should feel guilty about – remember that this is not your fault.

When a Loved One Has an Addiction

Reach Out For Help

It’s normal if you find that you yourself need help through this situation as well. The effects of addiction can be intense and emotionally distressing on both the affected person and those around them.

You may find yourself struggling to cope with the changes you see in the person you love and the whole situation can cause anxiety, trauma and feelings of hopelessness that nobody wants to deal with.

If this is the case, it’s normal and okay for you to seek out help for yourself too – a psychologist or psychiatrist will be able to help you work through your feelings and find ways to cope and move past what is happening or happened in the past.

Your feelings matter just as much in these situations and you’ll need to take care of yourself in order to support others. 

365 Days of Gratitude