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  • Families Getting Support

    For friends and family of people with substance problems. Connect with others here to share support and advice today.
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    Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:54 pm

    Families Getting Support

    Thu Nov 19, 2020 7:27 pm

    How do I help a loved one struggling with addiction?

    It’s a question that I’ve asked myself, and a question that not only comes up in a professional setting, but also one that generally presents itself in passing conversation. You might be at a café, the pub or even getting your car serviced… How can I get this person to see the error of their ways, and make positive changes in their lives? And, how can they not see how they’re hurting me, their mates and their family? Why don’t they just stop?

    The questions are all phrased a bit differently, but they all want the same thing; which is to help a person who seems incapable of helping themselves. The questions also show a person who is directly affected by the behaviour of others, and indicating that they are at a loss on how to help this person.

    Some people want to smother the person with affection, and basically love them into making the right change. Sure, that can work, but when the loving isn’t working… what do I do? Sometimes people are terrified of pushing this person away, which might lead to them increasing their substance use, and a further spiral out of control. Possibly, but we don’t know that’s going to happen. If what you’ve tried in the past hasn’t worked, you need to make a change in your approach, and you need to be adequately supported as to which direction you should move.

    Doing nothing and allowing the behaviour to continue would be regarded as ‘enabling’. Basically, you would be making it too comfortable for this person to continue their behaviour. The goal is always, how can I motivate this person to make a change, and how can I best support them through the process? The answer may involve putting boundaries in place and creating expectations. It may be saying you cannot use or be under the influence in the house, or not giving them money which is likely going to be spent on drugs or alcohol. It’s important to check in with people you trust, and professionals to make sure you’re moving in the right direction. Be open to new ideas and approaches, and find someone to help you stick to your plan, whilst managing your feelings and experiences during a difficult time.

    What strategies have worked for you?

    How do you cope whilst trying to maintain boundaries and also love someone whose behaviour is hard to understand?
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