My Loved One is Addicted

Helping Someone with Addiction

Too often, we receive calls from relatives stating they just found out about their child’s substance abuse. We also discovered that in most cases, the parents have no clue what actions to take, never having dealt with this before. There is a sense of fear, worry, concern, and a feeling of failure as a parent.

First and foremost, you did not fail your child as a parent. Clearly, we are speaking of the average family home setting. It is important to realize what and how your child may have begun using drugs or alcohol in the first place.

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Why would a person from a good home have substance abuse issues?

More often than not, most people, young and old alike, will influence others or be influenced by others. It comes down to types of personalities. The extrovert will tend to be more forward and affect their peers. The introvert will more often listen to or follow the extrovert. Of course, an extrovert will not necessarily influence others negatively. But it is easier for a friend who is a leader type to coax another to try drugs or alcohol. As we know, it is called peer pressure.

Another issue that can occur is someone having experienced an unwanted situation with no immediate solution. It can be emotional or physical but undesired, and the person now seeks relief. They will discover that certain substances bring momentary relief. But, left unchecked, dependency can develop. And when substance abuse is out of control, it won’t handle by itself.

The First Step to do After Discovering Substance Abuse.

There are literally hundreds of varying advice on this subject coming from a wide variety of resources. In my years of working in the field of substance abuse, I can say with certainty that the first step to take after discovery is to gain some understanding. If you have no idea what Crystal meth is, find out. If your daughter is addicted to cocaine, well, learn about cocaine.

We have on our site some pages on different substances. Also, one of the best platforms on mind-altering substances is a website called; www.drugfreeworld.org. Here you will find answers, learn what you are dealing with, and know the subject. This action gives you an advantage in knowing what you discuss with the person.

Second Step After Knowledge on the Substance

The next action would be to start a dialogue with the addicted person. This dialogue is specific. You are not telling the person your opinions, know-best, or authoritarian dictates. Having that type of attitude is important. What is needed is question and answer, question and answer, only. You ask they answer. Their answer is not something to attack, judge, evaluate, or invalidate. Simply understand what they say and acknowledge it.

The whole purpose is to be compassionate and friendly. You want to create a safe and friendly atmosphere which permits the person to talk to you. Doing this will ease the person and make them willing to talk to you. Once you have an open conversation and know more about what is going on, you can begin to offer help. Normally by this time, the person will try to find solutions. They know and recognize that their life is a mess.

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Finding the Right Addiction Treatment Service

As you approach the person by doing the step above, you should do some homework. That is researching treatment facilities and the methods they use. Determining what best suits your loved one is a key factor in sobriety. Another vital question is whether you send them to public access or private rehab services.  This way, you will be prepared when the person states they need to do something about it. Statements such as I want to stop, but I don’t know how, or I need to change, I want to be happy again, and more. Any form of communication of this type is the green light to offer help.

In Conclusion

The whole point is that you don’t need to be affected by someone’s substance abuse. You can do something about it. It begins with

  1. Knowing the subject,
  2. getting the other to talk to you,
  3. listening without judgment, and
  4. opening the door to solutions.

If you need assistance, we can help.

Marc J. Bernard

Marc J. Bernard

Author,
Substance Use & Addiction Recovery Professional,
Referral & Consultation Counsellor

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You can find public-access help from this website: www.canada.ca/