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Self-Care Can Help You Help Loved Ones With A Drug Addiction

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Helping a loved one through recovery from Substance Use Disorder (SUD) can be stressful, traumatic, painful and complicated. You know it’s important to pay attention to your loved one’s well-being with nurturing love without enabling their illness. It’s hard for many people to know what to do or how to handle it.

 

Of course, every situation is different, but keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy is a good first step to helping your loved one. Some people liken it to the instructions you receive on an airplane, “Put on your oxygen mask before helping someone else.”

 

It makes sense. When you are able to breathe freely, you are more capable of helping others. Here are some things you can do to take care of yourself.

 

Know that self-care is not selfish

You need to have the energy to support your loved one. Taking time for yourself to do things you like to do or to just get away for a moment are things that allow you to breathe. Exercise, eat well, engage in your favorite activities. This can help you maintain your strength and peace of mind to be able to help others.

 

Educate yourself

The more you know about SUD and recovery, the more you will be able to understand what’s going on with your loved one and how they might feel.

 

Don’t blame yourself

Your loved one has an illness that’s treatable. You didn’t do anything to make it happen. If you know you are free of blame, you can be a stronger source of love and support during the process of recovery.

 

Beware of enabling

The desire to help a loved one by enabling their behavior can often perpetuate their illness rather than foster recovery. So, covering for bad behavior, taking over responsibilities, financing them can be detrimental to the process and thus, detrimental to your own well-being.

 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Trying to do it all yourself is a formidable task. The best thing to do is to seek out friends and family members you can trust to talk with and support you. You can also seek your own professional counseling and join support groups for families of SUD sufferers.

 

If you have a loved one who you believe is suffering from SUD, talk with your doctor or a recovery specialist.

Dale Willenbrink
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If you’ve been worried about a loved one, or if you’re concerned about the way you use your pain medication, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible for help. To take the first step, contact us online or call 855-993-0960  right away.


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