Quitting An Addiction – How to Tell Your Loved One is Ready, and How to Help Make it Stick
Quitting an addiction is hard stuff. It’s never easy to make a lifestyle change like overcoming an addiction to substances or alcohol. Even gambling, sex addiction, and eating disorders can be really tough to overcome. It’s not like you just wake up one day and decide that you no longer want to do this thing that’s been harming your life so you quit. Instead, it’s more of a transition. You might stop for a while and then relapse. You might try to wean yourself off your addiction and eventually you get there.
Many of us have addictions and we don’t even consider them. Take nicotine, for example. It’s not mind altering, exactly, and it’s not illegal, so we just don’t think much of it. It is bad for your body, though, and that’s why many decide to quit. Or, let’s make the case for an addiction to pornography or video games. It’s not illegal, but it can, and often does affect the health of your body, mind, and spirit. Your financial life can suffer, and in some cases, even your job.
Why the Emphasis on Quitting an Addiction to Substances or Alcohol?
So, why does an addiction to alcohol or substances seem so different? Well, the legal trouble you can get into, for starters. When you’re struggling with this type of addiction, you might drive drunk. You might be obtaining your substances and get busted, which is a crime. As an addict or alcoholic, we often find ourselves in a cycle of trouble that can last for years. It’s because drugs and alcohol alter the mind, and they make us just not care about the consequences of our efforts to get more of the source of our addiction.
This ensures that almost everyone you know is pushing for you to stop drinking or using, even though your Uncle Ralph has got his bleary eyes glued to his big screen Call of Duty game every night, and your mom smokes two packs a day and calls it a “small” habit. It’s frustrating, to be sure, but its life. Or is it? Unfortunately, the simple mind altering attributes of substances and alcohol have a way of doing significant damage to all aspects of our lives, and that’s why there is such an emphasis on overcoming these types of addictions.
What You Can do as Friends and Family
One of the biggest problems that loved ones of an addict face is what they can do to help their loved one with quitting an addiction, without putting themselves in a situation that they cannot sustain. It’s often very difficult for loved ones of an addict to help their loved one because of the ups and downs, emotional challenges, and even the relapses that their friend or family member is likely to go through.
There is research that suggests that many of these issues can be minimized by making the addict’s nearest and dearest be an integral part of the actual recovery journey. The idea is that by putting an addict in the middle of life with friends and family, he or she will begin to see the negative effects of continuing the addiction, while actively working on kicking their addiction.
It’s called Network Therapy, and it’s when friends and family get in on the therapy sessions with a person battling an addict. In many cases, it works, too, because loved ones are often much more forthcoming about the addiction their friend or family member struggles with than the addict himself. In many cases, this open, honest exchange and a willingness to truly help can give the one who struggles with the addiction the courage necessary to face the effects of the substance or alcohol addiction and embrace the possibility of quitting for good.
Why Does Recovery Take So Long, and What Should We See as Progress?
When it comes to quitting an addiction, it can feel like a really long road. When someone we love is struggling with an addiction and chooses to get clean and sober, we often expect them to be different after just a few days of quitting. The trouble is that everyone has their own way of making this happen. Often, addiction treatment is just the beginning to a healthy recovery journey, and there are relapses for many who choose to quit their addiction.
Recovery is a road riddled with potholes. There are stops and starts and bumps along the way. This is often why the going is so slow. Eventually, though, with continued practice and a good beginning, recovery, and a healthy life can be achieved. Normalcy can become a reality instead of just a dream.
In fact, some research suggests that almost everyone who chooses to kick an addiction actually makes it over time. It’s not as simple as everyone thinks, and it might take years’ worth of personality changing, coping skills and therapy, but studies show that if the desire to overcome an addiction is true and sincere, then recovery usually happens with time.
When Your Loved One Is Ready to Start Overcoming an Addiction
Now comes the tricky part. Most of the time, someone who struggles with an addiction isn’t going to just come up and say, “Okay, I’m ready to get clean now. Let’s go check me into rehab.” It can happen, but according to most experts, it usually doesn’t. The nuances of a person’s addiction often require you, the loved one or friend, to recognize when the addict in your life is ready to start on the road to recovery.
It’s no easy task, but these indicators might be helpful. Remember that quitting an addiction is often a process, but when you start to see the signs, you can begin to talk to your loved one about getting help, and the types of help that might benefit him or her.
- When your loved one is around a lot more and the only thing he wants is your company. Chances are, he’s trying to stay away from using or drinking. He might not say it, and there is always the possibility that there is something else, but it’s also possible that your loved one is testing the proverbial recovery waters to see what it’s like.
- When your loved one starts to talk about “doing better,” and “getting things straight,” this can be an indicator that your loved one is seriously thinking about improving her life.
- If he starts to talk about the things he used to be interested in as if he’d like to pick them back up again. Another indicator is if your loved one begins to think about things like working without your prompting.
- The mention of rehab, addiction therapy, or treatment of any kind. When they talk about it, it means they are thinking about it and likely pretty curious.
- If your loved one mentions things about using or drinking in a negative light.
These are all signs that your loved one is ready to think about quitting an addiction, but it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a guarantee from here out. Remember that recovery is a long road, and it takes time, but the hint that your loved one is starting to think differently can be considered a step in the right direction.
What to Do When You Think it’s Time
One of the most important things you can do to help your loved one who is quitting an addiction is to be supportive. Follow her lead and listen to her. Don’t rush, don’t expect, and don’t question. When your loved one indicates a desire to seek treatment, make sure that you have many different options laid out for her, so your addicted loved one doesn’t get scared and run.
Show your loved one that there are treatment options by calling us at Elite Rehab Placement. We’ll walk you through all you need to know about addiction treatment so you can help your loved one find the best rehab or addiction treatment program possible. You’ll learn a lot, and your loved one will have a ton of options to help him get started on his recovery journey.
We can help to change the perspective from “needing help,” to “seeking a new way of life,” and we can help put the recovery power back in your loved one’s hands. In fact, we’ll even help with the financial aspect of your loved one’s recovery journey by exploring insurance coverage and payment options.
If you see that your addicted loved one is ready to get started quitting an addiction, and you want to be of the greatest help, then believing in your loved one and helping her to get the addiction treatment that will give her a strong, healthy start to the rest of her life. So, why not call today because if you wait until your loved one is ready, you might not have time to get things exactly right?