Understanding Addiction and Tips for Loved Ones

Addiction is a response to suffering. And with suffering being something everyone will experience at some point in life, everyone is addicted to at least one substance or pattern that impacts their health and well-being. 

Some of the most common addictions are socially accepted, such as drinking, shopping, and the use of social media.

With addiction being so complex, let’s go over some helpful tips to keep in mind in order to understand addiction a little better.

The Power of a Support Group

Some addictions are especially hard to witness. If our loved one’s health and well-being are severely impacted by their addictions, being around them can break our hearts. 

This is often the case for those addicted to hard substances as well as alcohol. Witnessing their health deteriorate right before our eyes can be devastating. 

Being a witness to a loved one’s struggles with addiction can be deeply impactful and isolating. Finding a support group where you can connect with others who are going through similar challenges is a great place to start. Recognizing how common (unfortunately!) these situations are can alleviate the feeling of isolation you might be experiencing. 

support group for addiction

Perspective and Understanding Addiction

For one reason or another, your loved one has found their solution in a substance. Facing addiction is often a source of great agony and shame for those in recovery. Our society isn’t necessarily inclined to offer kindness to those whose suffering becomes visible. 

Healing is also a time of great change and transition in one’s life. Be a safe space for your loved one. Don’t pressure them to change, but support them by being as respectful and compassionate as you can. 

Seek support on how to effectively communicate with someone who is questioning everything about their lives. This is often the state of mind of someone who is healing deeply. Speaking with a counsellor and looking after yourself is crucial for your mental health during difficult times.

Healing is for Everyone

Don’t think therapy is only for those few unlucky ones struggling through life. Get to know your own challenges and pain, your own traumas and difficult emotions. 

Your healing and well-being are the best gifts you can give to your loved one who is also struggling. Through your own healing, you can connect with your loved ones on a deeper level. 

man speaking with therapist about addiction

Understanding Addiction and Moving Forward

Keep an attitude of moving forward. Find support from a therapist or a support group who specializes in addiction. Learn more about addiction and recognize your own challenges in witnessing the struggles of your loved one. Just remember, it will take time.

We are in this together. 

Sunshine Coast Health Centre and Georgia Strait Women’s Clinic are world-class centres for addiction and mental health treatment. Our approach recognizes the importance of the physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of individuals in treatment and recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use or mental health, give us a call today.

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