Updated: Feb 16
Even the most well-meaning addict cannot face addiction alone. All too often family members become enablers rather than being able to provide actual help for a substance abuse problem. Addiction is hard to break. It requires that the person who is suffering from the addiction enter into a program for substance abuse treatment, in order for that person to regain control of his or her life.
First Step: Recognize Regardless of the program, no treatment will work until the addict truly and genuinely wants to change. This usually means hitting rock bottom and, for each addict, the definition of what that is changes. A court order and family threats may prompt the addict to say that he or she will get help, but the lessons won't stick until the addict comes to the help on his or her own accord. The person must come to the realization that life would be better without the substance he or she chose to abuse.
Second Step: Get Help. Once a person who suffers from addiction seeks help because he or she recognizes that help is needed, substance abuse treatment may work. For the treatment to have a positive and lasting effect in that person's life, the changes the person will have to make will be great. New friends, new hobbies, new places to go and be are all things that will have to be considered. Once the physical addiction is kicked, the situations that trigger the mental addiction have to be eliminated.
Each person has different triggers, but often experiences and people associated with the substance abuse have to be removed from the person's life. The person must realize that he or she is no longer addicted to a substance, and must avoid everyone and everything that they associate with triggers that enabled their addiction. They must also understand that any use of the substance they abused, can lead to further abuse and addiction in the future. The only solution is abstinence from all substances and enablers to ensure their stay recovered.