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Overcoming Addiction: How To Help A Friend In Need

Overcoming Addiction: How To Help A Friend In Need

Addiction is a disease. It is an ailment that only those who have a predisposition to allowing their addictive personalities take charge can fully understand and relate to. It doesn’t matter if the addiction is to food, drugs, alcohol, gambling or extreme exercise, the impact on the addict’s life and the lives of those around them can be profound for all involved. Witnessing a loved one or a friend in the throes of addiction can be heartbreaking, and it can be impossible to know what to do for the best. All you want to do is help, to get your friend back on the right path and enable them to see how worthwhile their life is without the need for their addiction. Take a look at these tips to help you help a friend in need.

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Listen

If your friend is willing to talk, take this as a positive sign. Addicts tend to isolate themselves even from those who they love and care about the most. If your friend is eager to talk to you, even if it is not about anything remotely linked to their addiction, be willing to listen. Be the shoulder that they can cry on, the sounding board to voice their ideas and the impartial person who they can vent their anger at.

It’s vital that your friend understands that you have their best interests at heart. As they become more comfortable talking to you, they may open up about their feelings towards their addiction but be wary of the terminology you use. They may not use the word addiction and may simply refer to their dependency on drugs, alcohol or gambling as a problem. The word ‘addiction’ can be terrifying for an addict making them feel shame, anger, and negative self-worth. Just being there to listen to your friend may be enough in the first instance.

A Need For Understanding

The idea that you can just say to your friend who is an addict that they should ‘look on the bright side’ or that they ‘don’t know how lucky they are’ is oversimplifying the situation and shows your lack of understanding for their addiction. What your friend is going through is acutely traumatic and emotional. Don’t belittle their addiction through the use of platitudes. Your friend may retreat further and be unwilling to address their problems.

Facilitation Is Not The Answer

Your friend may be in the depths of an addictive episode when they come to you for help. Your idea of help is to see them in a rehabilitation program. Their idea of help is $20 to secure their next fix of an illegal substance. Don’t give in, however tempting it may be. Your friend is not the same person as they were before the addiction. Their impulsive craving for their vice has altered their personality to try and manipulate you into giving them what they want. Be the best friend that you can be and say no, however heartbreaking this may be.

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Rehabilitation Is The Answer

Only when you sense that your friend is ready for external help, can rehabilitation be successful. It may be your friend who initiates a conversation with you to seek help. You can investigate which recovery center is the most appropriate for your friend. Think about the programs that they offer, the support they provide and the after care guidance that they will continue to give.

It’s important to realize that the hardest part may not yet have come on their road to recovery. Addicts must confront many demons before embarking on their new sober, addiction free lives. You may need to take a step back and allow them to confront their issues on their own with specialist help. Just make your friend aware that you will be waiting for them when their period of rehabilitation is over.

There may be some blips and relapses along the way. This is normal, but if your friend is still willing to admit their issues with addiction, they can continue on their road to recovery.

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Only when your friend has completed their rehabilitation and is settling into their addiction free life, will they realize the impact that their addiction has had on you. Being a strong and stable figure in your friend’s life while they try to overcome addiction can be one of the most challenging things you ever have to undertake, but if you stick with it, you can help turn your friend’s life around.

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Why Asking For Help Isn’t A Bad Thing

Why Asking For Help Isn’t A Bad Thing

 

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It’s a big step, asking for help. There are so many of us who never ask for it for fear of being perceived as “weak,” and you would think that the message has been communicated for so long that asking for help or advice is okay now. And it always was, but why is it such an issue for a lot of us? We all end up being consumed with worry over the tiniest thing sometimes, but the big issues we tend to brush over and adopt the stiff upper lip method of carrying on. What are the reasons we tend to avoid asking for help when we are in completely dire situations?

Well, the main thing is that, apart from the perception of being weak, it’s actually the fact that you feel that you are letting yourself down in some way. Even if you know you have a problem, such as an addiction, the fact that you are admitting there is something wrong is communicating the realization that you are weak; and it’s official now that it’s out there. Pride, ego, or sheer self-centeredness are the things that stop us from asking for help. And we can very easily fear asking for help, but unfortunately, it’s something that we are unable to do by ourselves. But what does asking for help accomplish, and what can you do to make it an easier transition to recovery?

Courage

While we all perceive asking for help as a sheer and utter weakness, it’s actually the opposite. It’s your pride and inability to ask for help that makes you weak, and in standing alone to deal with your problems, you might think that it’s easier for you. But if you looked at the impact it has on people you love, that is usually the reason a lot of addicts reach out for help. This is the biggest step in recovering, but it’s also the hardest, and you are showing a lot of courage by asking for help.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

This is the key when asking for help. If you haven’t been honest up to this point, that when you do finally ask for the help you realize you need, it’s time to come clean. Deception, no matter how big or small, doesn’t inspire trust, and it’s the time for a clean slate. The other side of the honesty coin is acceptance. It’s never easy to sit with your faults and accept that you have been dishonest because if it was so easy to be honest, we’d all do it right away to get the help we need without damaging our pride or ego. But the real fact is that when we face up to everything with an honest outlook, only then can we, and our loved ones, move on.

Do You Think You’re A Burden?

When people ask for help, the concern is that they may have put loved ones through enough. It’s common to feel like you’re dead weight, and you’re just a burden to them and nothing more. The fact is, you’re not. Family members won’t help you because they feel it makes life easier for them, it’s because they care about you! When you ask for help it means you are ready to take on board the advice and support of professionals. Whatever addiction you have, you will always have the support of professionals on hand once you’ve reached out. There are organizations like The Recovery Village that are purpose-built to help you not just “dry out,” but to enable you to build a new life that is healthy and happy, independent of the trappings of addiction. Asking for help is all about reaching into yourself for that notion of strength you didn’t realize you had.

You Shouldn’t Feel Embarrassed

Asking for help, regardless of the situation, leaves us in a vulnerable position, and as a result, we can feel very embarrassed when we finally ask for help. But if you decide to open up to your loved ones after toying with the idea, it’s very likely that they’ve already noticed. So don’t feel nervous. Or if they haven’t noticed, they will still want to help you because they care! We all show that we care in different ways, and if they are showing willing to do everything they can to help, then it’s apparent that they care, and it’s important to not be nervous about approaching the subject. They want you to be well and happy above everything else, so asking for help, as difficult as it may be, will lead you towards the best outcome for you.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram

Addiction and Recovery: How Do You Know It’s Time To Seek Help?

Addiction and Recovery: How Do You Know It’s Time To Seek Help?

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Addiction is a serious condition. It occurs when someone either ingests a substance or carries out an activity which directly results in person pleasure. Now, we all engage in activities that create a sense of happiness within ourselves. But addicts don’t know when to call it a day. Someone is an addict if the pursuit of these pleasures begins to interfere with their day to day life. For example, work, family responsibilities and personal relationships. It also becomes a problem when the behaviour is damaging to the individual’s health. Many addicts don’t even realize how destructive their behaviour is. Both personally and interpersonally. Others will simply be in denial and make excuses for their behaviour. Some are open and honest but don’t have any intentions of altering their lifestyle.

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When To Seek Help

If you’re worried that you’re an addict or are concerned on behalf of a partner, relative or friend, then it’s never too early to seek help. As soon as you notice dependence on physical stimulants or problematic self-conduct, it’s time to search for some support and assistance. There are plenty of options. Remember, addiction isn’t necessarily to hard drugs. Common addictions include alcoholism, gambling, smoking, sex and shopping. Don’t forget that addiction to prescription drugs also occurs. If you feel you are having problems when it comes to dependence on prescribed medication, talk to the GP prescribing it to you. There might be alternative options that will have less of a negative influence on your life.

Where To Seek Help

There are plenty of options when it comes to getting help with your addiction. Your GP will be able to advise you on whether you are an addict or not. However, if you’re seeking a specialist, you might like to consider an addiction counselor.  An addiction counselor is a professional individual who will listen to your concerns. They will help you in ways specifically tailored to you as an individual. If you find comfort in numbers, you could attend weekly recovery meetings and sessions. You will meet other people in the same situation as yourself. You’ll be able to provide one another with a strong support network. With other people who are in similar situations to you. If you’d rather not tackle the problem face to face with other people, then there is a seemingly endless number of helplines that deal with issues surrounding addiction.

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Overcoming Denial

It’s often said that the first step on the road to recovery is acceptance. If you are in denial about your addiction, you can’t begin to tackle the real problem. People often can’t be helped unless they want help. You can’t force an adult to seek professional help. Many addicts are embarrassed by themselves and ashamed of their behaviour. But it’s important to acknowledge that addiction isn’t a sign of weakness. It also doesn’t reflect an individual’s morals. You will not be judged for reaching out for a helping hand. Admitting that you need assistance with overcoming your addiction is a brave, strong and bold move. It’s something to be applauded for, not condemned or shunned.

If you are worried about the effects that addiction may be having on your relationship, you may be worrying about other things that might be negative or damaging between you and your partner. Check out our article on common errors couples often make that lead to separation.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.