Supporting an individual with a substance use disorder can be difficult, especially if you are not sure what to do or where to start. One of the most important things to remember is that there is no "one size fits all" approach to supporting those who struggle with substance use.
The best way to support someone is by getting educated about their condition, knowing how best to help them, and taking an active role in making sure they get the treatment they need.
One of the most important factors determining if a person can beat an addiction is whether or not they have a supportive environment. Those who do have a supportive environment are more likely to succeed in overcoming their addiction.
When it comes down to it, there are a few key aspects that make up a supportive environment:
- A safe space (this could be physical space or virtual space)
- An outlet for expression (counseling, therapy)
- A sense of belonging within the family unit
What is a safe space?
A safe space is a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed, free to make decisions and speak your mind. It's a place where you can be yourself, where you know that your loved ones will accept you as you are and help you work through issues together.
Having a safe space in your family is important because it helps reduce the stress and anxiety that can come from dealing with a substance use disorder, and that's especially true for people who have a loved one who suffers from this condition.
The importance of having an outlet for expression
When people are struggling with substances, they often don't know how to express themselves or how to process their feelings. They may feel like they're going crazy or like they don't have anyone who can help them.
In this situation, it's important that they have an outlet where they can talk about what they're feeling and get feedback from someone who can give them perspective on what's going on. Having a supportive environment helps them deal with the stress of giving up substances by providing a place where they can be heard and understood.
What does it mean to have a sense of belonging within the family unit?
A person with a substance use disorder will often feel like they are not good enough or that they don't belong in their family because of their addiction. This feeling may be intensified when other members of their family are also struggling with addiction themselves.
It's important to let them know that they are loved and that they matter just as much as everyone else in your family, even if they don't always make good choices or live up to expectations.
A supportive environment can make all the difference
If you have a loved one who has substance use disorder, you can't just ignore it and hope it goes away. A supportive environment can make all the difference in helping someone recover from substance use, so here are some things you can do:
Be there for them: Whether they're going through treatment or not, it's important to be there for them when they need you most.
Boost their confidence: Let your loved one know that they're important by telling them often! Make sure they feel valued in every way possible.
Stay positive: Substance use can be an incredibly dark time for everyone involved, but especially for those who suffer from it themselves. Remember that every day is another chance at getting better!
You can help create a supportive environment!
The first thing to remember is that you can help create a supportive environment. Helping a family member with a substance use disorder can sometimes be tricky. Individuals need to consider their own boundaries in any relationship and any tendencies toward co-dependency. Also, people can never give from an empty vessel; taking care of one's self first is essential for helping others.
If you are able to help, setting up an appointment with a therapist or counselor can help your family member start working on their issues. You can also encourage them to join a support group.
If you're in a position to do so, you can also try to maintain open communication with them about how they're feeling and what they're going through. If they know that you're there for them, they'll be more likely to feel comfortable discussing their problems and asking for help from professionals or other people in the community who have experience dealing with these issues.
If your family member has been using substances for a long time, it can be difficult for them to stop using completely, especially if they aren't ready yet! But even if your loved one isn't yet ready for sobriety, it's still important for them to have support from friends and family members who will stand by them no matter what happens next in life.
The next steps
If you or your loved one is ready to take the next step then consider supportive residential treatment in California, as this can be one of the most effective components in any substance use disorder recovery journey for your loved one.