Educate Yourself When You Love an Addict

Educate yourself when you love an addict if you want to help them get sober. It’s true that an addicted person has to

want to recover for any efforts to be effective, but there are ways you can be exceedingly helpful. Unfortunately, there are always ways you can be very unhelpful.

The Loved One’s Dilemma

None of us should be expected to know all the answers when we’ve never done something before. When it comes to dealing with an addicted loved one, this is especially true. Don’t be ashamed that you feel confused and lost. If nothing else, these are the feelings all of us have when in such a situation. If we’re to be perfectly honest, those feelings are only the tip of the iceberg. We can unfurl a seemingly endless list of what loved ones feel up against addiction in the life of a friend or family member. It is a painful and tumultuous thing to live with. Being at your wit’s end is something you have in common with most loved ones of an addict, and it’s not just a temporary thing. It lasts until there are some real solutions. Even then, loved ones have an emotional process to deal with. It’s hard to trust that recovery is working, and you’ll often find yourself waiting for disaster again.

Education is the Key

Education is truly a key to finding some surer footing for yourself. It is also key in finding the most effective ways to help your addicted loved one. You can educate yourself in many ways to better equip you for self-care and loving, healthy support of the addict in your life. Here are some important things to find out about your situation:

  • Addiction is an illness–it has symptoms and like other illnesses can be mild, moderate or severe.
  • Many of your questions about your loved one’s behavior can be found in the symptoms of compulsion and obsession.
  • As addiction progresses, the severity of the illness progresses.
  • As addiction progresses, the addict ‘needs’ enablers to continue substance use.
  • There are many ways to enable the continuing illness of an addict.
  • It is important that you learn how you may be enabling the addiction.
  • An open line of communication with your addicted loved one is vital if you want to help, but that does not mean enabling.
  • You need to set limits and boundaries to not enable and to protect yourself and other loved ones.