Healthy boundaries are an essential aspect of any relationship. When a person becomes addicted in this relationship, boundaries become critical. Borders are a way of protecting ourselves and maintaining relationships. They let other people know what we accept and what not in our life. When a person struggles with an addiction, they often burden others and display unhealthy behaviors. Having an addiction doesn’t mean someone is a bad person – addiction just causes people to say and do things that they otherwise wouldn’t say or do.
It’s helpful to understand that addiction can cause people to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. It’s also important to realize that this problem doesn’t mean that you have to come to terms with behavior that is harmful to you or your well-being. When it comes to addiction, some pretty clear lines need to be drawn with your loved one until they are ready to accept help and turn things around.
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Things You Should Never Do When A Loved One Has An Addiction:
Don’t give them money.
Giving money to someone with an addiction is never a good idea. Even if the person uses the money to pay for food or rent, giving their money allows them to continue their habit. If an addict gets money, the chances are good that he will use that money on drugs or alcohol. Giving money to an addict does not help him. It only allows them to continue with their addiction. The sooner you learn to refuse this request, the better you and your darling will be. The exception is to send them for treatment.
Do not allow them to bring drugs into your home.
Just because your loved one is using drugs doesn’t mean they have the right to bring them to your home. Asking a loved one not to take drugs home is by no means arrogant or asking too much. If your loved one is struggling to the point that they cannot comply with this request, it is a sign that help is urgently needed. You have the right to choose what is and is not allowed in your home. There is nothing wrong with not letting drugs into your home.
Don’t get them out of their problems.
Often times, parents rescue their child from prison or help them get out of their problems and act in the belief that they are helping them. Those who are not allowed to experience the consequences of their actions are deprived of the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Someone who never sees the negative effects of unhealthy behavior will have no motivation to change because they don’t have to deal with problems. To stop repeating our mistakes, we need to be able to learn from them. We can only learn by experiencing our consequences. Even if it feels like you’re helping the person, it’s not really helping at all. Again, if you want to bail someone, make sure that treatment is a requirement for their release.
Don’t make it easier for them to continue their destructive behavior.
Anything that can help an addict continue with their addiction is some form of empowerment. When it comes to addiction, empowerment can be deadly. If you are not sure about the difference between helping and enabling, it would be good to spend some time finding out about the two topics in order to have a clear idea of what will help your loved one and what will harm them. Helping someone get better is very different from allowing them to stay the same.
Do not tolerate abusive behavior.
Abusive behavior is a boundary violation that should never be tolerated. Sometimes drugs and alcohol cause a person to become violent or abusive. If so, it is advisable to get out of the situation as soon as possible. If your loved ones cannot control yourself under the influence, you have every right to refuse to be around them when they are in this state of mind. Never allow a person to abuse you physically, mentally, or emotionally without consequence. Get professional help if necessary and get out of the dangerous situation immediately.
Things To Do When A Loved One Has An Addiction:
Help them find a suitable treatment program.
The most important thing you can do to help an addict is to help them find a quality treatment program that will help them overcome their addiction. When a person can join a long-term program, their chances of success increase exponentially. There are multiple resources available, so be sure to look around and speak to various agencies to find the one that best suits the needs of your loved ones.
Give them a shoulder to lean on.
If you can emotionally support your loved one, it will be of great help. It’s important to note that if you’re constantly feeling drained from your interactions with someone, it’s okay to limit the number of interactions with this person. There is nothing wrong with setting limits when it comes to your wellbeing; However, if you can listen and support, it can certainly go a long way.
Give empathy and compassion.
Addiction is a difficult thing, and sometimes the people who deal with it need a lot of empathy and compassion. Most people don’t plan on falling into the addiction trap, and not many people want to get addicted. It is difficult to get out of this lifestyle and many people who struggle with it are often faced with harsh criticism and judgment. A little empathy and compassion can often go a long way in helping someone.
Encourage them to get help.
People with addictions simply need help. The more you can encourage your loved one to seek help, the better. It’s important not to nag her because this usually doesn’t help, but small reminders and nudges don’t hurt anyone. Sometimes intervention is needed to get someone to consent to treatment. Interventions work best in cases where the person is literally destroying their life. Your loved one may get upset with you for suggesting that they go to rehab, but hopefully at some point they will agree.
Help them as they actively try to improve themselves.
Once your loved one has agreed to seek help and is actively working to change their life, then by all means, you are helping them as much as you are comfortable with. There are several things you can do to help your loved ones during treatment, thereby encouraging them to continue doing the hard work that is required to change their lives.
Setting limits is not always easy, but it is worth the effort. When it comes to addiction, it can be somewhere between a life of recovery and a life of ruin or even death. Sometimes the best we can do for the people we love is to set firm boundaries in order to maintain healthy relationships.