Some guidelines for family/friends of an addict.
Finding out a friend or family member has a substance abuse problem can be a tough situation. Especially if you've had no prior experience. Your loved one is ill and needs care, here are some tips that can help you handle the situation.
Educate yourself - Best way to find out about a subject is to get the opinions of people who've been through it and experts in the field. Give us a call here and come along to one of our info nights. Speak to any friends or family who've been in a similar situation. Jump online and see what you can learn.
Understand that an addict is viewing a different reality, and can often not perceive their use as serious as what it is. Respect their perspective.
Keep a level head and don't judge - fear of criticism from others and very harsh self criticism is a big part of what has led them where they are now, please don't reinforce that.
Seperate the person from their behaviour.
"Man can only choose the good" - Socrates.
Compassion is us accepting that everyone, in each moment, is doing the best he or she can with who they are and what they know.
Don't accept the addicts behaviour, but accept them, love them and have compassion.
There most likely will be anger, frustration and fear. But remember you're keeping a level head, any anger from you will only elicit defensiveness and more anger from your loved one.
Set boundaries of honesty - Keep communication lines open, if they slip up it's very important that they can come to you and confide that they need more help.
Life will offer many triggers for an addict. Having a safe, sober, open and fun environment for them to go is very powerful, make one of those places with you.
Recognise and acknowledge their potential. Let them know their strengths and who or what they can be. It's easy to get stuck in negative thinking when we're experiencing inner battles, let them know what's possible.
Treat them as though they're suffering with an illness. Would you be treating them differently if they had a heart condition?
Take care of yourself - Don't forget you, take time out for yourself. You still have a life you need to live.
Don't blame yourself - This can be hard if you're a parent, but remember this. Your child needs your help in this present moment, right now is the only moment that matters. Be present, blame is in NO WAY part of recovery.
Meet them half way - Fulfil your half of destiny. You can't do everything for them, they need to want to stop and be ready to take some action.
DON'T LOSE HOPE:
You are not alone, other people are dealing with helping a friend/family member through recovery. There's also many that have dealt with it in the past and seen their loved one return to them and live a happy and healthy life.
WE ARE HERE:
Contact us here at The Melbourne Centre of Healing.
Our mission is to not only rehabilitate, but have as many Australians as possible live their potential in this life. It is everyone's birthright to be happy, healthy and strong.
We are here for you.