Watching a loved one sink into the grip of addiction is a heartbreaking and frustrating experience. As their disease progresses, it can be hard to know what, if anything, you can do to help. Sometimes the very things that feel like the right thing to do can actually enable the addict’s condition to continue.
The first thing any loved one of an addict must do is develop a thorough and accurate understanding of addiction. Counselors and recovery helplines are excellent sources of information. These professionals can help you understand the following aspects of the disease:
- The basics of physical addiction
- How psychological addiction works
- Issues related to biological predisposition
- How to avoid enabling the disease
- Setting healthy boundaries
- How to communicate with an addict
- When to consider an intervention
- Different treatment options for addicts
If you would like to increase your understanding of addiction basics, please call our toll-free helpline.
Addiction and Intervention for a Loved One
Any time you get in between your loved one and his or her disease it can be considered an intervention. When most people hear the term they think of an organized confrontational meeting in which friends and loved ones ask a person to hear the group’s concerns about addiction.
While these types of interventions are occasionally called for, they should never be the first attempt at getting through to the addict. A private and carefully constructed confrontation should be your first effort. The psychological nature of addiction leads to denial that is difficult to break through. If repeated attempts at personal confrontations are unsuccessful, a group intervention may be useful.
Addiction counselors can help you decide if a formal intervention is a good idea and can help you find resources for successful interventions. Professional interventionists are also available to help people prepare for and conduct meetings.