8 Common Mistakes People Make When Trying To Help An Addict In Recovery

Drug and alcohol addictions ruin lives. Sadly, levels of addiction have never been higher than they are now.

Younger and younger people are turning to addictive substances to escape from the harsh realities of the cost of living crisis and massive unemployment.

Thankfully, most addicts have supportive families there to back them up. If you are the relative of an addict then it is essential that you do everything you can to help them.

However, you need to help them the right way and avoid making common mistakes. This post will tell you how to do that:

addict recovery

Foregoing Rehab

In order to effectively treat a loved one’s addiction you need to enlist the help of professionals. Most experts agree that long term rehab is the most effective treatment for addiction.

What makes rehab so effective is the fact that it gives addicts the opportunity to meet other people in the same situation as them. In rehab, addicts are also given access to state-of-the-art treatments and drugs, as well as counseling.

Foregoing rehab is, therefore, one of the worst mistakes that you can make. Sending your loved one to a clinic is crucial.

Being Forceful

The worst thing you can do to an addict in recovery is to be too forceful. Overcoming addiction is like walking along a tightrope.

One misstep can lead to failure. Pushing your loved one into doing things that they do not want to do will add pressure to an already intense situation. Instead of forcing your loved one to do things, gently work with them to improve their life at their own pace.

Offer support, guidance, and kindness.

Negative Influences

Addicts surround themselves with negative influences. Unless your loved one makes a proactive effort to distance themselves from such people, they will never be able to escape from under the thumb of addiction.

Explain to your loved one the importance of cutting themselves off from other drug addicts. Until your loved one’s recovery is complete and they have stability in their life being around drug addicts is too dangerous.

That said, you should not force your loved one to estrange themselves from their friends. Doing this will cause a fissure in your relationship with them, for the reasons explained above.

Comfortable Environment

Cultivating a comfortable and homely environment for your loved one is one of the best things that you can do to support their recovery.

Even if your loved one has their own place, you should invite them to come and stay with you. During their board with you cook their meals and clean up after them.

Doing everything you can to make your loved one’s life comfortable will make achieving total recovery much more manageable for them.

Do not overstep boundaries and start checking up on them, however. If your loved one feels under pressure they could drift back into drug or alcohol use.

Financial Support

Offering financial support to an addict in recovery is an extremely risky thing to do. Rather than giving them an allowance to spend of their own accord, buy things for them.

When an addict is in recovery, giving them money is one of the worst things that you can do. If they are having a bad day, money gives them the means to then go out and pick up drugs or alcohol.

Cutting them off financially for the duration of their recovery is a very good idea. That being said, still ensure that they have all of their essentials.

Rebuilding Relationships

Addicts have a tendency to push the people around them away, including their family members. When addicts are unable to source money for drugs or alcohol themselves it is not uncommon for them to turn on their loved ones.

While addicts seldom mean to harm their loved ones, they often still do it. Explaining to a person who has never used drugs that their loved one did not steal from them out of malice is a very hard thing to do.

Theft can destroy one person’s bond with another. Work with your loved one to rebuild their relationships if their addiction has destroyed them.

Mental Health

Mental illness is rampant in the drug community. Addiction and poor mental health go hand-in-hand.

There is a very good chance that your loved one suffers from some kind of mental illness if they have been under the thumb of drugs or alcohol for some time.

Unless you are a trained counselor or therapist you should not attempt to treat your loved one’s mental illness. Instead, you should hire somebody for them or send them away to rehab. In rehab, they will be given access to counseling and therapy.

Your loved one must want to work on their mental health however, you cannot force them to.

Being Understanding

Trying to get an addict to quit drugs if you are not understanding and sympathetic is a pointless endeavor.

Unless you seem to genuinely care, your loved one will not confide in you. If they cannot trust you and you are the only person they have in their life, convincing them to give up drugs will be hard. It can be very difficult to understand an addict’s reasoning and justification for drug use, especially if you have never been a user yourself.

That being said, you need to do everything you can to show your loved one you care and understand. Consider attending recovery groups with them to learn more about addiction.

Offering Guidance

Offering guidance and support to your loved one will help improve your relationship with them. No matter what you have experienced in life, you can still guide and support them.

As a normal person, you will be able to teach your loved one how to be equally as normal and functioning as yourself.

While you may not be able to truly empathize with them and understand the depths and nuances of their situation you can still give them the encouragement and support that they need to overcome their addiction.

Drug addiction is not easily overcome. It can take even the most determined individuals years of continued efforts before they are able to finally beat drugs and live ordinary lives.

In spite of how difficult fighting back against drugs is, your loved one can do it with your support. Do not judge, alienate, or antagonize them. Be supportive, kind, and gentle.

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at momooze.com. She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.