Addiction is a mental and cognitive disorder in which an individual is attached to an activity or a substance, while not aware of or ignoring the physical, mental, or legal consequences of continually engaging in such an act. In the case of substance or drug addiction, it constitutes the largest percentage of addicts in the world. To help an addict stay clean or sober, you must understand addictive behavior, you must know how to behave with an addict, how to provide the right support system and identify their addiction triggers.
If you really want to help an addict stay clean, you must first of all understand how an addiction takes hold of a person and takes hold of their life. It is recommended that you get to know other addicts or addiction professionals who have faced the struggle with drugs, alcohol and found a way out. This helps you understand addiction in its entirety and gain insight into the lives of people who have suffered or are still suffering addiction.
Do you want to help an addict stay clean? If YES, the following steps can help you achieve this.
Offer Support: Addicts don’t always understand how much their family and friends love them, and this often makes them feel alone in their struggle, especially when they enter their journey into recovery and sobriety. For this reason, you must directly support your loved one, ensuring that they do not go back to using drugs or alcohol. Lending your open support to an addict at all times is a way to deter them from going back to use drugs and alcohol. Don’t just tell them you are available to listen to them and give them support. You must be available in a real sense whenever they need your support or assistance, especially in situations where they are struggling with temptation.
Provide Safe Environments
For a former addict who is trying to stay clean, different things may serve as a trigger that reminds him/her of her addiction. Triggers range from people, events, places, and you as someone who wants to help an addict stay clean must do everything humanly possible to keep them from having any encounter with their addictive past. Ensure that they avoid social gatherings, events, parties where alcohol is served. Driving past a local bar or pub where alcohol is served may serve as a trigger; finding an alternative route is advised.
Co-dependence increases the level of addiction. Therefore, you must first of all ensure that the addict is not in any codependent relationship of any kind and you as their support should rid yourself of any trait of codependency. This you can do in the following ways
– Learn to not always to take responsibility for the addict
– Teach an addict not to ever put other people’s feelings first, this results in self-neglect
– Teach an addict to not hold on to a relationship to avoid abandonment. Any relationship where you are not valued is terrible for you, end it!
– Teach addicts to set personal boundaries.
Not every relationship is codependent; it becomes codependent if one of the parties involved starts to struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. In any case, it is advised that both parties seek help from at least a therapist to overcome this problem.
Help Them Get Into Treatment And/ Or Meetings
It’s not enough to advise and suggest to an addict what to do; you have to go all the way with them. Get them professional help, attend sessions with them. This is because the recovery process is a long one, and it is essential that all the parties involved are in sync before starting this process.
Support Recovery and See it as an Ongoing Process: Once an addict decides to enter treatment, it is essential that you remain by their side and involved. See the process of rehabilitation as a continuum and if and when they relapse, do not be deterred. Instead be strong for them because an addict will most likely draw his/her strength from your strength. This has to happen though in accordance to the treatment program. Most programs are directed in certain ways which can render certain types of support around as “damaging support”. Always stay in close contact with the treatment center and talk about the needs of the recovering person. This is the time when it has to be about them.
Always Tell Them How Far They Have Come:
Sometimes, the whole process becomes overwhelming for a former addict, and in these times, they would feel unsure of what they are doing. Always remind them of where they were and where they are at this moment. Tell them how proud you are and count the days they have gone in sobriety; it renews their faith in the process.