According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), an estimated 23 million Americans over the age of 12 suffer from drug or alcohol addiction. If you are living with an addict or alcoholic, you may encounter a variety of complications that can be difficult to cope with. These four strategies can help you improve your coping skills, avoid arguments with the addict, and get the help you need to live peacefully.
Know When Your Living Environment is No Longer Safe
Many people who live with addicts and alcoholics have a difficult time discerning when their living environment has been compromised. This is especially true for people who have become accustomed to dealing with an addict's behavior and mistakes. If the addict displays violent behavior, such as harming you or breaking things within the home, you should not remain in the living situation. If you are being verbally or physically abused in any way, you must get yourself out of the home for your own mental health and wellbeing.
Communicating with an addict or alcoholic is not an easy task. It is important for you to remain calm during your conversation. Individuals suffering from an addiction often feel as if they are being attacked, which causes them to defend their actions and withdraw from communication. Plan out what you want to say ahead of time to avoid miscommunication and confusion. Do not give someone an ultimatum, as this tends to be unsuccessful. You can set boundaries instead but do so in a loving and straightforward way. If the addict does not respect your boundaries, you must take action.
When to Seek Professional Help
Friends and family members of addicts often attempt to convince their loved one to seek treatment on their own. Unfortunately, this is not always successful. Since addiction is a disease, it requires professional intervention and treatment. If you have tried to encourage your loved to get help without success, you may want to consider setting up an intervention with a reputable and experienced interventionist at the Virtual Therapist Network.
Don't Ignore Your Needs
When you are living with an addict or alcoholic, it can be easy to ignore your needs. Doing so can only complicate the situation and cause emotional problems. You should consider getting the support you need from other people who are going through a similar situation. Support groups such as Al-Anon are available for you to take advantage of.
Addiction doesn't only hurt the addict or alcoholic, it also affects everyone within the home. Use these strategies to help you avoid problems and get the help you need for yourself and your loved one.
Get online therapy and help for addiction at the Virtual Therapist Network