Be Their Rock: 10 Heartfelt Tips for Helping Someone Through Withdrawal
While millions of Americans suffer from drug and alcohol abuse, only one in ten of us are getting the help we need. For those brave souls willing to face their addictions, it’s not an easy path.
It’s hard enough to admit there’s a problem. Then they have to go through withdrawal and find new ways to manage life without using and abusing substances.
Having a support system helps, especially when going through drug withdrawal. But it’s not easy to find ways to support someone going through withdrawal without enabling them.
If you know someone going through withdrawal, keep reading. We’re sharing with you 10 ways to help them.
1. Keep Mentally Healthy During Their Withdrawal
Alcohol and drug withdrawal is no picnic. There are not only physical withdrawal symptoms but mental ones as well.
You need to be in a good place in your life mentally and physically in order to help someone during their time of need. And it helps to prepare yourself ahead of time.
Do your research to help you understand addiction. It’s not uncommon for mental withdrawal symptoms to include anxiety, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, and even poor memory.
Make sure you know how to handle those types of symptoms. Also, make sure you do something for yourself every day to help you stay mentally healthy while you take care of your loved one.
2. Have Them Write a Letter
Going through withdrawal isn’t easy. It’s so hard, it’s not uncommon for addicts to give up, even when they want to get help.
One way to help them through this tough period is to have them write a letter. Tell them to write a letter to themselves about why they want to get clean and healthy.
This letter is great to pull out during times when they feel they want to give up.
3. Spend Time with Them
The symptoms of drug withdrawal are hard enough to go through, but when someone is doing it on their own, it’s nearly impossible.
Just spending time with someone while they’re at their most vulnerable helps them realize they aren’t alone. Often, you don’t need to say or do anything, you just need to let them know you’re there and you care.
4. Provide a Stable and Positive Environment
Addicts use for a variety of reasons but by the time they’ve gotten to the point where they need help, their lives are usually very unstable. One way to help is by providing a stable and positive environment.
Don’t blame them, yell at them or remind them of all their failures and faults. Instead, provide a positive environment by reminding them how strong and loved they are.
5. Be Patient
There is no real cure for addiction. And relapse is common.
Be patient with your loved one. Do not expect their recovery to look like a straight line. Instead, expect there will be setbacks.
And be patient with yourself. You can’t force or love someone into recovering from their disease. You can only love and support them while they help themselves.
Having realistic expectations ensures neither of you ends up burnt out or disappointed when things don’t go the way you wish them to be.
6. Hold Them Accountable for Their Actions
Just because addiction is a disease, it doesn’t give the addict a pass to do whatever they want. Instead, hold them accountable for their words and actions.
Set and communicate healthy boundaries with the addict and do not let them cross those boundaries. Enforce repercussions if they try to break through those boundaries so they know you’re serious.
7. Get Rid of All Temptations
You don’t go to a candy store when you’re trying to give up sugar. Make it easier for your loved one by removing all temptations from the home.
Have the person going through withdrawal block those who are bad influences in their lives so they aren’t tempted. Keep healthy foods and drinks in the house to help manage symptoms.
If there are triggers around, remove as many as you can.
8. Know and Watch for Potentially Dangerous Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
The physical symptoms of withdrawal may differ slightly depending on what substance(s) the addict used. It’s not uncommon for someone going through withdrawal to experience headaches, a racing heart, nausea, sweating, and even the shakes.
However, there are some withdrawal symptoms that aren’t normal and require medical attention. Pay close attention to your loved one to ensure they stay safe while detoxing.
Signs such as heart attacks, hallucinations, a stroke, grand mal seizures, and delirium tremens (DTs) are not normal. They often occur when someone suddenly stops using and goes “cold turkey”.
Seek medical treatment if any of these more serious side effects occur.
9. Help Them Fight Cravings
Often, the cravings are the hardest part of an addict’s recovery. And unfortunately, these intense cravings happen during the detox process.
It can often threaten an addicts sobriety. But there are steps you can take to help them fight their cravings.
One easy way is to distract them so they focus on something other than their cravings. You can invite them to watch a movie, take a walk or do some activity they love.
Even just listening while they vent their frustrations and fears is often enough to help someone make it through a craving.
10. Seek Advice from a Counselor
You are not a medical expert nor are you a therapist. Helping someone else through withdrawal will affect you.
Talking to a drug counselor helps you understand and prepare for what’s ahead. They can tell you what symptoms to expect and how to handle certain situations.
But you can also talk to a therapist yourself to make sure you stay physically and mentally healthy while your loved one gets the help they need. It’s not okay to put your life or health on hold while you tend to someone else’s needs.
Taking good care of yourself enables you to take even better care of the person going through withdrawal.
Recommend a Good Rehab Center
Going through withdrawal at home will save money but it’s a much more difficult and complicated process. A good rehab has a team of doctors who are experts in helping addicts heal.
And most rehabs provide a few different types of programs to choose from. But you need to reach out to get the answers you deserve. Click here to contact our rehab centers in Baton Rouge.