Recovering from addiction is a transformative journey that requires strength, perseverance, and unwavering determination. It’s not just the individuals battling addiction who feel the impact; their loved ones often suffer emotionally and physically as they stand by their side. However, recovery without enabling is pertinent to avoid complications on your road to sobriety.
At MAT Care Clinics, we understand the concerns and questions that families and friends face when someone they care about struggles with substance abuse. We provide a supportive and compassionate environment that acknowledges the challenges of addiction recovery for the individual and their loved ones. Our mission is to empower families with the knowledge and tools to navigate this difficult journey alongside their loved ones, promoting a healthy recovery process that fosters growth and healing. Let’s explore five ways to facilitate recovery without enabling or codependency for a sustainable and healthy future.
Understanding Addiction Recovery: What It Means to Be an Addict
Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is characterized by a consumption pattern leading to significant impairment or distress. Recognizing the signs of a substance use disorder is crucial to understanding how to offer the proper support. Keep an eye out for three or more of the following behaviors occurring within 12 months:
- Increased tolerance – The need to consume more significant amounts of a substance to achieve the desired level of intoxication
- Withdrawal symptoms – Experiencing physical and emotional discomfort when not using the substance
- Loss of control – Taking the substance in larger quantities or over a more extended period than intended
- Neglecting responsibilities – Sacrificing social, occupational, or recreational activities due to substance use
- Excessive time and resources spent – Devoting significant time and effort to obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of the substance.
It’s essential to recognize that addiction is a disease, yet it still carries a stigma that affects individuals with SUD and their loved ones. Families, friends, and others close to the person struggling with addiction often feel lost, blaming themselves for what they perceive as a failure in providing support.
Understanding the Complexity of Addiction: Beyond the Blame Game
Addiction is a multifaceted issue with various contributing factors. While genetic makeup, parental influences, home environment, social pressures, and psychological conditions play a role, they do not solely determine a person’s behavior or likelihood of becoming an addict. Substance use often begins voluntarily and recreationally, but continued drug use impairs self-control and judgment, leading to harmful behaviors.
The brain of an individual suffering from a substance use disorder undergoes physical changes that affect judgment and behavior control, causing behavioral issues. However, it’s essential to understand that no single factor determines whether a person will become addicted. Protective factors can also play a significant role in reducing a person’s risk. These protective factors can be environmental or biological, and they act as buffers against the development of addiction.
Navigating the Challenges of Recovery Without Enabling and Codependency
Loved ones may unintentionally enable substance abuse by supporting the addict’s behaviors or providing misguided assistance, such as:
- Giving money for substances despite knowing it will lead to further abuse
- Ignoring unusual behaviors, hoping they will stop on their own
- Failing to report dangerous or harmful acts, fearing legal or social repercussions
Enabling behaviors shield individuals from experiencing the consequences of their actions, potentially preventing them from seeking treatment. Drug enabling is a symptom of a more significant issue: substance codependency.
Codependency is a term used to describe a relationship where both individuals are emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually reliant on each other. While codependency is often associated with romantic partners, it can also kick start in family members and friends. Signs of substance codependency include:
- Walking on eggshells to avoid conflict with the other person
- Taking the blame for the other person’s actions, even when not warranted
- Feeling sorry for the other person, even when they have caused harm
- Seeking permission from the other person to perform daily tasks
- Sacrificing one’s comfort and well-being to meet the other person’s needs
- Struggling to find time for oneself and losing one’s sense of identity within the relationship
- Placing the other person on a pedestal, regardless of their actions
Overcoming codependent tendencies starts with self-awareness. Helping a loved one struggling with addiction requires a deep understanding of what is best for oneself, which can be achieved independently or with professional assistance.
Five Ways to Support an Addict Through Recovery Without Enabling
If you’re looking for ways to support a loved one on their journey, consider the following steps to facilitate recovery without enabling:
- Educate Yourself – The first step in providing guidance and support is learning about addiction, its signs, and how to help your loved one. Read online or talk to experts who can provide important information regarding your loved one’s substance use disorder.
- Arrange a Drug Intervention – A drug intervention is a powerful tool for showing your loved one the impact of their destructive behavior and presenting immediate plans for treatment. Many services provide interventions and often revolve around specific substance use disorders.
- Engage in an Addiction Treatment Family Program – As your loved one seeks help for substance abuse, immersing yourself in the addiction and recovery world can provide valuable insights and a sense of community.
- Encourage Addiction Treatment – Supporting your loved one in seeking addiction treatment is crucial for their recovery. With a wide range of treatments available, finding the one that best suits their needs is essential. Research various treatments to help determine which services would benefit your loved one the most and which may not be ideal.
- Stay Connected Through Their Recovery – Being there for your loved one throughout the recovery process, especially during challenging moments or potential withdrawal and relapse triggers, can be incredibly motivational and beneficial for all involved.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the backbone of our addiction recovery services at MAT Care Clinics. MAT is a pharmacotherapy approach that uses medication to help individuals overcome substance abuse and achieve a healthy and sustainable recovery. The medication used in MAT is usually a prescription drug approved by the FDA, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone.
The true potential of MAT lies in its ability to offer recovery while allowing individuals to continue their daily endeavors. Some individuals struggling with SUDs are full-time students or have full-time jobs they can’t put on hold. They must carry out specific priorities without losing their livelihoods, such as caring for children and families requiring attention.
MAT can treat opioid addiction, alcoholism, and addiction to other drugs, such as nicotine, benzodiazepine, and cocaine. Quitting suddenly and without medication can cause dysregulation in the body and distress in your emotions, usually requiring an excessive amount of willpower. Instead, MAT reduces cravings and severe withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for individuals to focus on their recovery and important priorities or obligations.
Embracing Recovery Without Enabling at MAT Care Clinics
MAT Care Clinics understands that addiction recovery is challenging for individuals with SUD and their loved ones. With the right tools, therapy, and determination, we firmly believe that successful recovery is attainable for everyone. Our medication-assisted treatment services can help individuals achieve recovery without enabling or codependency. The first step is reaching out for assistance.
If you have any questions or concerns about addiction recovery or how to support your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact MAT Care Clinics. We are here to help you navigate this journey and offer the assistance and guidance needed for lasting recovery. Call (833) 622-0628 or visit our website for a consultation.