Coping with drug addiction is an arduous task that can destroy friendships and families. Unfortunately, there are only a small percentage of addicts that receive proper treatment for their addictions in the United States. Accepting, finding, and participating in treatment can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Addicts must understand that they are not alone in their battle against addiction. Most addicts believe their addiction is the lone struggle. They do not believe there is anyone else out there that can understand their struggle or help with their situation. This country has millions of individuals fighting the same battle with thousands willing and able to help those struggling. Staying sober after receiving treatment can be difficult for many to maintain. The fear of relapse can be even greater for family and friends of an addict. Loved ones sometimes believe they can prevent relapse by staying on top of the recovered addict twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Here are three ways to end the hyper-vigilance of a recovered addict.
Admitting Your Actions Are Not Working
The very first step to righting this wrong is to admit that what you are doing is not working or helping. Ask yourself: “Am I helping?”, “Is what I am doing preventing relapse?”, “Are my attempts keeping them sober?”, “Can I keep this up?” The fact is that they are adults and must be accountable for their own choices; that is what treatment and rehabilitation teaches them. This attempt to keep them sober is strikingly similar to enabling behaviors that helped them continue their drug abuse.
Believe in a Better Solution
Life throws curve balls at us daily. We are constantly dodging obstacles our entire lives. As one problem reveals itself we must adjust, face it, and overcome it. Coping with addiction and a recovering addict is no different. It is but one more issue to which must be dealt. You might feel as though the world is against you or that you have no where to turn. You must believe that there is a solution out there. There is another way to tackle this task. As new techniques and strategies present themselves they may eventually prove unsuccessful or difficult to maintain. The best way to continue the fight and help an addicted loved one is to find someone who has weathered the storm. Individuals are much more likely to continue their struggle with enthusiasm and hope if they can see their own situation solved in another. If you can believe your battle is similar or identical to another’s, who has overcome the issue, you can continue the fight. There are endless sources for these families and stories. Al-Anon, Narc-Anon, and various support groups are available in nearly every town or via the internet.
It Is Going to be Painful, but Do It Anyway
Coping with an addicted loved one is difficult and painful, but it must be done the right way. This may seem painful, cruel, and heart-breaking, but you have to do it. Addicts must be held accountable for their actions. It can be difficult to allow them the chance to sink or swim, but it is the right thing to do. It is the responsibility of the addict to prove their integrity, responsibility, honesty and accountability. The vary basis of treatment is that recovering addicts must hold themselves responsible for their own actions. Using others as crutches or holding them responsible is not therapeutic, rehabilitation, or progress. Once again, this may be very difficult. The help and support of support groups can provide guidance. These groups, as well as family and friends, can give you the strength to do the right thing. Gaining support to overcome hyper-vigilance is pivotal in truly helping an addict.