We know how you feel. Someone you care about, someone you love, is struggling with addiction. You see the damage it is doing. You see all the potential for happiness and health squandered while someone you know wrestles with a powerful destructive force. We’ve been there, and we go back every day. Here at Seasons Bali, we dedicate ourselves to helping addicts recover. You may feel powerless sometimes, but you know you are not. You want to know: “what can I do to help someone recover from addiction?” We’ve got answers. There is hope! Read on and learn how you can help an addict recover.
First Take Care of Yourself
It is not selfish to put yourself first. You can’t save someone from drowning while you are drowning. If you want to do your best to help someone, you have to be at your best, not staggering around dazed and wounded in a fog of emotional damage arising from your loved one’s addiction. Many people who are close to addicts find they need therapy themselves. You also need to establish firm boundaries and stick to them. Understand what you can give and what you can’t give.
Addiction is complex, a multi-headed hydra of a monster. It attacks the addict from many angles in ways that range from very obvious to very subtle. To defeat addiction, we arm ourselves with knowledge. Millions of people have fought addiction and won. We know people can succeed in this immensely important struggle. A wide range of experts, from recovering addicts who understand addiction in a deeply personal way, to neuroscientists with their insights into the impersonal world of brain chemistry, to ancient mystics with their philosophies of connection, a parade of figures carry the light of centuries of wisdom and lead the way to recovery.
Encourage Your Loved One to Seek Help
Addicts are often reluctant to admit they have a problem. Share your general knowledge of addiction and explain how it applies to them specifically. Do not inflict shame or guilt; these emotions can paralyze a person and drive them back into addiction. Be firm and stick to two core messages. 1) The person you care about has a real problem 2) They have the power to solve that problem and you are ready to help.
You might need to stage an intervention to convince them. Seasons Bali’s skilled team of specialists is available to travel worldwide to help coordinate and guide friends and family through interventions using our proven and tested method that is designed to bring your loved one to a clear understanding of the facts. The bad news: they have a serious and undeniable problem. The good news: there is a solution and you are willing to support them as they do the work to solve their problem. Want more information about our intervention counselling service? Please call us at (toll free Australia) 1800 288 348 or +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.
Help Them Follow Recommendations
As the old saying says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. “ Ultimately, the addict must make their own choice to follow their course to recovery, but you can offer encouragement. Addicts often feel demoralized and may lack motivation, feeling hopeless. Remind them that they can succeed!
They may be skeptical about parts of their treatment plan. Remind them what is at stake and encourage them to leave no stone unturned. Emphasize that is worth making the commitment to make a sincere attempt with every tool available, even if they can’t immediately see it is helping.
Addicts can often be unfocused, trapped in a mire of unprocessed emotion, and may not be good at remembering appointments or medication schedules. Help them remember what they need to do and stay in touch with their treatment team to make sure the person you care about is following through.
Encourage Abstinence from Alcohol and Other Drugs
Addiction takes many forms. An addict may recognize they are addicted to one particular thing, and believe that other potentially addictive things do not pose a threat. But addiction reflects a more complex mental health disorder. Any alcohol or drugs can make their symptoms worse and potentially trigger relapse into the main addiction.
You can help an addict recover by explaining why total abstinence is essential for recovery. Help guide your friend or loved one away from social situations where others will consume alcohol or drugs to minimize temptation. Guide them towards healthy alternative sober social activities.
Help Build Coping Skills
Stress comes to us all. This inevitable fact of life presents a special challenge for addicts, who usually lack strong skills for coping with stress. Encourage the person you are helping to talk about their problems and stressful experiences. Help solve practical problems causing stress but be careful not to take control; encourage the person to make their own good choices and take action.
Address Problems in the Family
If addiction doesn’t arise in part from dysfunction within the family in the first place, it is quite likely to create new problems. If the person you want to help is a family member, you have a special opportunity to help. Formal family therapy can be a great help in supporting addiction recovery. If you don’t opt for formal therapy, be aware that stress and friction within the family can have a big impact on a person’s ability to recover. Try to communicate well and let the person know their family cares about them. Season’s Bali offers support for families in all our programs. In our special family week program, relatives join their loved one at our rehab facility for a week of integrated therapy activities and counselling.
Encourage Building a Sober Peer Network and Participating in Support Groups
You can’t be there all the time. The Twelve Step Program has helped millions of people recover, in part by providing support groups composed of other people struggling with addiction. By connecting with others, by listening to and supporting each other, addicts help themselves come to a better understanding of their personal challenge. Healthy social connection outside the formal context of a support group is important too. Encourage the person you care about to seek out sober peers and build new, healthy social relationships. Help connect them with people you know who can be a good influence.
Help Recognize that Recovery is an Ongoing Process
They say Rome was not built in a day, and recovery is not completed in a treatment program. Recovery is an on-going process, a glorious achievement to be sure, but it is a triumph that we need to strive to repeat every day. A good recovery program will teach the skills to combat addiction and stay sober. Recovering addicts can be over-confident and stop ‘doing the work.’ Stay committed to supporting recovery, and stay engaged. Talk to your recovering friend or loved one about what they are doing to remain free from their addiction each day. Help plan meaningful structured activities to fill the void in their life that addiction leaves in its wake.
Take the First Step to Help Someone Recover from Addiction
You know it will not be easy to help someone recover from addiction but it is one of the most important things you can do. Don’t wait until it is too late; the losses addiction inflicts can become permanent. We can help you set a course and create a plan of action to help someone you love recover from addiction. Seasons Bali offers general information and advice for families and friends of addicts as well as special family therapy programs. Call us now (toll free Australia) 1800 288 348 or +62 8124678 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you. Talk to one of our friendly experts in addiction recovery today and take the first step in helping guide someone down the road to recovery. It may be the most important thing you do today.