When a loved one begins falling deeper and deeper into the dangerous life of addiction, we are often left searching for answers as to how to help them embrace a life of sobriety. Our judgement is often clouded by our relationship with the individual and the love we have for them, and we may find it helpful to seek advice from an unbiased and trusted professional. There are, however, a few basic suggestions that we should take into account if we want to support our loved one through the process of recovery. Not everyone wants to get sober. It is an unfortunate reality, but without willingness and recognition of the consequences that have resulted from addiction, a person is unlikely to successfully recover. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells us that “frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices.” If we beg our loved one to stop using drugs or appeal to their emotions, they may enter into treatment as a way to assuage our concerns. However, they are unlikely to be successful unless they see their own need for sobriety and want it for themselves. This does not mean we shouldn’t do everything in our power to get them to go to treatment, however, and it is entirely possible that somewhere along the way, when their mental faculties are no longer clouded by the fog of addiction, they will recognize that they need recovery. Dr. David Susman, clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, expands upon this concept: “Remember that you can’t recover for someone else. While you can offer support, education, and advice, they retain the primary responsibility for their own recovery and for working toward their identified goals. It’s sometimes a delicate balance, but don’t rescue or enable the person by taking on things they should be handling for themselves. Keep offering gentle reminders that they (and not you) are ultimately in charge of their life.” Recovery is a process of self-development and change. If we give into our desire to help too much, we are at risk of enabling our loved one and impeding their own personal journey toward sobriety.
Sobriety is possible for anyone suffering from the disease of addiction and alcoholism. You can support your loved one’s journey of sobriety by encouraging them to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment center in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of cutting-edge treatment programs and methods, including a regularly scheduled Family Program, to give your loved one all the tools necessary to achieve and maintain permanent sobriety. For more information about treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777