We all probably have them: a friend or a friend of a friend who is struggling from addiction, be it drugs or alcohol related. One of the most difficult things in helping out a person with either of these problems – or both – is for them to acknowledge that they have a problem. No matter how many times you tell them to mend their ways, something in their brains prevent them from doing so. Their thinking is distorted and they keep using dangerous substances even if they know it is damaging to do so – both to themselves and to society.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, addiction is a complex brain disease that manifested by a compulsive substance abuse despite harmful effects physically, psychologically, or socially.
The first big step to recovery is for the person to recognize that there is a problem. This is a positive response, and involvement of family and friends like you would be an encouraging action. Going to a rehabilitation centre like Bali drug rehab center is one big move, but recovery is more than just going to rehab because the problem is much more complex. There is a risk that the patient might go into relapse.
You want to help, but you do not know how. Do not worry, we are here to guide you. If you want to help your friend recover from drug or alcohol addiction, we suggest these 5 things you can do to help your friend in need.
1. Assist them in getting the support they need. Support of family and friends often triggers prompt action and treatment. Help your friend find professional support as well A healthcare provider can give a formal assessment to see what can be done. Treatment is highly beneficial, no matter how severe the substance abuse problem is. The problem is most people who need treatment do not get treatment. Do not allow this to happen to your friend.
There are several rehab centres that you can turn to as well. These include The Caron Foundation in Wernersville, PA; Hazelden Betty Ford, which can be found nationwide; Ocean Breeze Recovery in Pompano Beach, FL; Asana Recovery in Costa Mesa, CA; and Benchmark Recovery Center in Austin, TX.
2. Be there for them always, and let them know it. Part of the problem is that people think that those with substance abuse problems are hopeless. There is nary a doubt that what they are going through is very difficult for them and would need all the help they can get. If the first step is going to a rehab centre, then they probably need someone to take them there. One problem for recovering addicts is the tendency to drop out of rehab. Drop- out rates are high. If your friend drops out, it actually does not mean rehab was a failure. You may encourage them to continue with the process.
Be careful not to overdo it though. You would not want to be seen as too pushy. Know how to set your boundaries. Be supportive, but also be patient and calm.
3. Be patient. Very patient. Addiction affects almost all facets of a person’s life. Due to this fact, many types of treatments are required in the recovery process. Treatments for medical, social, and psychiatric problems should be given to help undo the problems caused by the addiction.
Obviously, this would not be a walk in the park, and there will be many challenges. Do not set your expectations high in the first stages of recovery. It is possible that you would not see much improvement, if at all. Be prepared for all the struggles that your friend will go through, and bring with you lots of patience.
4. Make them learn how to be accountable for their actions. Let them know that they are responsible for themselves alone; that this is something that they are doing for their own good and not the good of others, though it is a side benefit to the recovery efforts. It is up to you to make your friend know this.
5. Give feedback, but do it carefully. It is important that you give your friend the proper guidance as well. Be a guiding torch. Point out to your friend things that they need to improve on. Once in awhile they would need to be admonished. Just be careful on how you will do it. Put yourself in their shoes, and you would know that they are in such a sensitive state. Compassion is one thing they need at this hour.
Helping out a friend overcome drug and alcohol addiction is a long journey, and could be at times heartbreaking, but achieving the final goal makes all the sacrifices all worth it. Be a committed friend. As they say, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”