7 Boundaries to Maintain When Helping Someone with Addiction
Authored by Audra Franchini
Supporting Those Who Need Drug Addiction Help
It can be overwhelming at times to encourage a loved one to seek drug addiction help. The recovery process is ongoing and often involves relapse. This can be discouraging to both the individual seeking recovery and to the family member watching relapse happen. Often, individuals struggling with a substance use disorder remain reluctant to seek treatment. This can be devastating for family members to watch their loved one submit over and over again to the debilitating effects of drug abuse.
While those addicted to drugs are ultimately responsible for establishing sobriety, it’s often crucial for family and friends to jumpstart the recovery process through an intervention. As you begin to create a foundation of support for your loved one by asking them to seek drug addiction help, it’s important to understand the benefits, as well as the limits, of familial support.
7 Helpful Boundaries That Facilitate Effective Recovery
Encouraging your loved one to seek drug addiction help can be taxing. Navigating their recovery process can also be stressful without fully understanding addictive behavior. Use the outline below to develop boundaries that will benefit your loved one’s support system without detracting from negative consequences associated with drug use.
- Express love and concern for your loved one, but don’t preach. Lectures, threats, bribes and preaching can sometimes cause drug addicts to present with even more destructive addictive behaviors, such as lying or hiding drug use.
- Be wary of co-dependent behavior patterns. Maintain your own mental and physical health in order to prevent passive-aggressive emotional appeals and demands that may end up increasing your loved one’s compulsion to abuse drugs.
- Be truthful to yourself by not covering up, lying, or making excuses about your loved one’s destructive behavior. This will prevent enabling patterns in the future.
- Hold your loved one accountable to his or her responsibilities. Do not take over your loved one’s tasks and responsibilities or protect them from the consequences of their behavior.
- Avoid arguing with your loved one when he or she is under the influence. Individuals under the influence will not remember or effectively comprehend your advice, so don’t waste your time.
- Release any guilt or responsibility that you’re holding onto. It’s not your fault that your loved one is struggling with addiction.
- Maintain your own healthy habits. Don’t join in excessive drug or alcohol use, but don’t limit yourself due to your loved one’s behavior. For example, a glass of wine with dinner may be beneficial to you. You should be able to practice that ritual despite your loved one’s addiction.
As you work to create boundaries and urge your loved one to seek drug addiction help, you may start to realize that your support for drug addiction treatment is not enough. Intervention and assessment services, in addition to comprehensive treatment for drug addiction, are available at Lighthouse. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our 24/7 care consultants for more information by dialing 1-800-RECOVERY today.