When you are in love with an addict, you are not always sure what to do or how to help him or her. You want to offer support, but do not want to send the wrong message or make the situation worse. Here are some things you can do today if you are in love with an addict in Colorado.
1. Get support for yourself.
On a plane, passengers are always told to put on their own breathing mask before helping someone else with theirs, because you cannot take care of someone else in a dire situation if you have not taken care of yourself first.
You can get involved with Al-Anon, which is for family members of those struggling with substance abuse. You can see a counselor. Maybe you have a supportive friend or group to whom you can talk. Finding a source of support for yourself will help you be more supportive of your loved one.
2. Support your loved one, not his or her behavior.
Psychology Today suggests that you can be compassionate toward your loved one without enabling destructive behavior. Instead of previous advice to walk away from the situation and let them deal with it until they decide to get help, showing compassion and doing whatever you can to help your loved one decide to get help for addiction can be the best way to support an addicted loved one.
There is one caveat, however. If your loved one has become abusive as part of the addiction, leaving the situation is the best course of action. You may need to cut off contact until recovery is achieved, or you may be able to be supportive from a distance if it is safe to do so.
3. Offer help, but do not nag.
Studies have shown that addicts forced into treatment have about the same outcomes as people who choose to enter treatment on their own, so pushing someone into treatment is not necessarily a bad thing to do. Nagging them, however, is usually not effective and can make them dig in their heels more.
While you have the right to determine whether you will stay in the situation if your loved one does not get help, it is best to explain exactly what you are willing to do and what will happen if the situation continues as it is (with your loved one continuing the addictive behavior) and then sticking to it if your loved one still refuses to enter treatment.
4. Learn the difference between support and co-dependence.
The main sign of co-dependence is a lack of personal boundaries and honesty between you and the one you love. If you are tiptoeing around your loved one, afraid to upset him or her, and letting the addicted person violate your boundaries without standing up for yourself, these unhealthy behaviors are not likely to help your loved one see that he or she needs help and that addiction is a problem.
Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is a Colorado drug rehab facility with treatment programs to help with all kinds of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. We stand ready to help you and your loved one find the support you need to move beyond addiction and toward a healthy, happy relationship. Call us to learn about admissions and treatment options today!