According to the findings of one survey, 64 percent of people have experienced addition in a person close to them. A close friend, uncle, aunt, child, sibling, parent – it isnt hard to find a person that has lost control of their alcohol or drug consumption.
It is therefore both useful and important to have some guidelines when dealing with a person dealing with addiction. To help you in such a crisis situation, here are some Dos and Donts.
Do: Maintain your integrity and balance. You shouldnt allow the addict to lure you into using alcohol or drugs with him/her. You shouldnt also let him/her convince you about being wrong for seeing the problem.
Dont: Expect results by simply asking the addict to quit. It will hardly ever do any good to tell the person that they would quit if they truly loved you. The compulsion to get more drugs or alcohol is greater than the addict and is usually greater than his/her love for his/her loved ones. It is simply overwhelming. If you were to accept this, you would start working on the solution without delay.
Do: Find a reputable rehab facility/program for the addict. If you have any choice in the matter, ask many questions before you settle on a particular one. Find out how exactly the program works, ask whether you can find somebody that has completed the program to talk to them and learn more. The program needs to make sense to you.
Dont: Settle for a time-limited 30-day program whenever possible. The recommendation according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse is to choose a program longer than 30 days for a better chance of sobriety. Addiction almost always never happens overnight and theres plenty of destruction of life skills along the way. Rebuilding a life does take time.
Do: Stand by the person battling addiction in your life. In some instances, particularly where children are involved, it is important to remove both yourself and the children from the situation. Whenever possible, let the addict know that you are supporting him/her and his/her recovery. The alcohol and drugs might have convinced them already that they are worthless so when they receive support, theres a greater chance of the person turning things around during rehab.
Dont: Put yourself in such a situation where you might be physically or mentally abused. If you are vulnerable because if emotional state, size, or any other reason, try finding your own support. You can and should utilize ministers, counselors, family, or even law enforcement. You may feel embarrassed or ashamed about being in such a situation, but thats perfectly natural. You need to speak out for your own protection. It is impossible to help anybody if you are ill or beaten down yourself.
Do: Insist on rehab being the proper solution for the addiction. Families whose members are addicted live in terror of the phone call that informs them that the addicted individual(s) is either dead or in jail. Find an effective rehab program and ensure that its the only solution that you accept instead of promises of the addict cutting down, weaning themselves off, or doing it just one more time.
Dont: Expect the addict to take off for a drug rehab center immediately when you approach him/her initially. It might require your intervention. You can either find a professional interventionist that has successfully helped people to consent to rehab or get together with all your family and the close friends of the addict and then cut off all means of escape. If some have been providing shelter or money, they should all be in agreement that rehab is the only viable option. There shouldnt be any other way out besides going to rehab.
Do: If you plan to stage an intervention, ensure that you only do so from love and care. Blame or criticism only serves to push the addict further into his/her uncomfortable guilt. Drugs and alcohol are already this persons solution for the guilt.
Dont: Assume that because the person has gone to rehab, that everyone has been resolved. The addict will need your guidance, love, and support during rehab and after as he/she establishes a new drug/alcohol free life. Help the addict move back into life systematically all while ensuring that you maintain your support.