How to Be There for Someone Struggling with Addiction
Addiction is extremely difficult to deal with on your own. If your teen is struggling with addiction, you inevitably want to be there for them and support them however you can. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to enabling them. So how can you be there for someone who is battling addiction? Today, Ozarks Teen Challenge offers some ideas on how to support your teen if they’re an addict.
The first step to helping someone who is addicted is to get a better understanding of addiction. It’s important to understand that addiction isn’t a choice, it’s a disease that changes the chemistry of the brain. True, they made the choice to try the substance they’re addicted to, but it wasn’t with the intention of developing a dependence on it.
There are a variety of reasons why someone might become addicted to a substance. It could be genetic or a number of other factors, but the cause of the addiction is less important than the solution. Just understand that an addict isn’t doing it to hurt you.
Often, when an addict is under the influence they may seem like a completely different person. They may be angry, selfish, and overly emotional. This is just something that comes with the territory when dealing with addictions. Addicts will do things that they end up regretting, and that can include hurting the ones they love.
Again, it’s important to understand that this isn’t who they really are. This is something that happens to most people who have a loved one as an addict. Which brings us to our next point.
Learn to Forgive
Forgiveness is important on the road to recovery. When an addict is making an effort to get better and beat their battle with addiction, it’s important to be supportive. If they’ve hurt you in the past, finding the heart to forgive them will definitely help them on their journey.
Supporting, Not Enabling
Remember, there’s a difference between being there for someone and enabling them. You can be supportive but you shouldn’t justify or cover up their problems for them. If an addict is ever going to get better, they have to confront the consequences of their actions.
This is especially difficult for a parent because you want to protect your child, but if they don’t realize their addiction is ruining their lives they’re less likely to get better. Constantly bailing them out of their problems doesn’t help them come to this realization.