Sadly, many countries are currently struggling with an opioid crisis. Opioids are destructive substances that can destroy lives. Not only do they destroy the lives of the individuals struggling with the addictions, but they can often ruin the lives of their friends and family members.
If you know someone who is currently struggling with an opioid addiction, there are things you can do to help. While you singlehandedly can’t cure them of their addiction, you can take steps and practice habits that help to create a conducive environment for recovery. Here’s how to support a loved one who’s struggling with an opioid addiction.
Don’t Judge or Yell
People who are struggling with opioid addiction don’t always make the best decisions. In fact, many of them can be downright cruel in how they treat their friends and family when they are in the lowest depths of their addiction. You should set boundaries with any person who is still active in their addiction. However, if the addict in your life is on the road to recovery and is actively seeking help, then it’s important that you don’t judge them or yell at them for past mistakes. Recovery isn’t about forgetting about the mistakes you made while you were active in your addiction, but it is about learning to forgive yourself and let go of the past.
Be A Good Role Model
We all have bad habits. While we might not be struggling with something as serious as opioids, we all have our vices and our recurring negative behaviors. When your loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, it’s important that you try to act like a good role model when you’re around them. You don’t have to be fake or insincere, but try to present to them the best version of yourself.
Listen More Than You Speak
Most people who find themselves on the path to an opioid addiction are struggling with a lot of pain and past traumas. Many of them turned to drugs because they felt empty, alone or like they had no one who really believed in them and what they were capable of achieving. When you’re visiting a friend who’s on the road to recovery, one of the best things you can do is to be a good listener. Focus less on speaking and put more emphasis on asking questions and really listening to what your loved one has to say.
Don’t Compromise Your Boundaries
Just because your loved one is struggling with an addiction doesn’t mean that you should become a doormat. It’s important that you always respect yourself and refuse to compromise your boundaries. If you need time for yourself, take it. If you’re open to communicating with your loved one in recovery but aren’t yet ready to welcome them back into your home, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for that decision. Your mental health is just as important as the mental health of your friend in recovery.
Recovering from an opioid addiction is a challenge not only for the addicted person, but for their family members, friends and loved ones as well. Remember, always be supportive of a person going through recovery, but don’t be afraid to articulate your own needs as well.