By Michael Russell
Drug or alcohol addiction is a sneaky disease. It keeps you believing that everything is under control and it all depends on your will whether you want to quit or not, but in reality it doesn’t work that way. An abuser who keeps thinking that “its no big deal” and “everything is under control” is in a state of denial. This can keep a person in the cycle of addiction for years.
Once the addict comes to term with his addiction and recognizes that a problem does exist, you can help the person stay on the road to recovery.
It is likely that most of the abuser’s friends and acquaintances also drink or do drugs. When already recovering from addiction, the person may face the biggest problem of sobriety, the loneliness of not having friends to talk to and deal with. To avoid this, be available to your loved one who is becoming clean and sober. Let the person feel that you are available to talk with and are interested to listen to his stories, so that he may not feel alone and without friends.
Many drug addicts and alcoholics become sedentary as a consequence of their addiction. You can encourage your loved one to stay physically healthy by engaging in a worthwhile exercise routine. He can take a walk, jog, ride a bike and play tennis or badminton. You can be his exercise buddy so that he will be encouraged to continue the healthy habit. Exercise will make him clear his mind of drugs and at the same time it releases endorphins that make a person feel good. This are the body’s own “feel good” chemicals.
If your loved one needs to attend support groups, offer to go with him. The first few meetings of these support groups can sometimes be too intimidating for a recovering substance dependent. Be there to support him and show him that you care and all you yearn for is his full recovery. This will enable him to gather enough courage to continue attending these support groups for his own betterment.
Help your loved one tackle difficult situations without resorting to the familiar drug or alcohol support. You may start off with facing easier situations like going to the bar with him without drinking alcohol and only taking soda or any non-alcoholic beverages. A wide range of emotions are usually expected from somebody who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol for many years. Often, the reason for taking drugs or alcohol is the person’s inability to face painful feelings like sadness and anger. Once an addict is back to sobriety, he may feel these old feelings coming back and may find it difficult to face these old enemies without drugs. Be a good listener. He may also be remorseful of his actions in the past as a consequence of his addiction. Allow him to talk to you and let him feel comfortable doing it. Do not argue with him. Let his words and sentiments flow. Never judge him or his actions. Show your concern and let him know that you will always be there to listen to him and you can be a shoulder he can cry on.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Addictions
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