To those who have never been through substance abuse, it is very difficult to empathize with loved ones who are struggling to escape it. This disconnect can create a frustrating environment for both those trying to recover and those trying to help. It is important to set aside an emotions or previous notions associated with substance abuse and the negative connotations that come with these drugs. Getting involved with addictive substances very rarely involves the intention of becoming addicted. Nobody wants to rely on something, nobody enjoys withdrawals and nobody actually wants addiction.
One of the most important things is not to keep reminding someone who is struggling with abuse that they are ruining their lives or causing harm because this guilt and fear just pushes these loved ones away and makes it much more difficult to open up. Trust is key here; they need to trust that you do not judge them for their past mistakes and that you believe in them to fix anything they’ve messed up along the way.
There’s no way to pinpoint where substance abuse originates or why people involve themselves with drugs that are known to cause addiction, but there are certainly patterns. Many are born into environments where this is normal, and others seek it out due to emotional trouble at home. Overly strict households or too loosely regulated households breed environments more likely for children to get involved. It’s important to teach your children about these dangers rather than trying to hide everything from them for their own protection. Knowledge is the best way to prevent mistakes and it’s better that they learn from those who love them than from those trying to sell to them.
Remember to listen to those who need help and offer guidance rather than trying to force the right thing on those who seem to need help. Create a safe space, free of judgement and blame, and the road to recovery will slowly pave itself. And please feel free to contact us with any more questions or for more information on substance abuse.