4 Useful Tips for Helping Someone with an Addiction
May 24, 2016
Dealing with someone who is suffering from an addiction is not easy. Addicts are often masters of deception and manipulation. There is a craft to hiding and protecting an addiction, and most addicts have mastered it. However, there are some things you can do to protect yourself and benefit your loved one.
Tip #1: Learn about addiction and treatment options
There is so much information concerning addiction out there. In regards to problem gambling, take a moment and really understand what a gambling addiction entails and how it affects the individual and their families. You may think a gambling addiction is no big deal- and you’d be wrong. Many people are shocked to learn that of all the addictions, gambling has the highest rate of suicide. Bottom line is, educate yourself in what exactly going on. Its not just bad behavior, it’s a disease that can be diagnosed and treated.
Tip #2: Don’t Walk the Road Alone
Addiction doesn’t just affect the individual. It affects entire family systems. Luckily there is support for the family members of addiction. Gam-anon is a 12 step support group designed to help the family members of addicts. In addition, the FCCG has a wonderful program called Peer Connect, where callers to our helpline can connect with a peer (someone who has lived with an addict). Learning how to navigate this difficult time period is crucial. Call 888-ADMIT-IT if you are interested in connecting with a peer.
Tip #3: Don’t Enable
Entire books have been written on this subject. And we will surely dive deeper into enabling in later blog posts. Humans have natural inkling to rescue and save people from hurt and anguish. When it comes to addiction, often time’s family members have been enabling the addict without even realizing. Don’t rescue the addict. Don’t give the gambler money. Don’t got to great lengths to protect them from their addiction. Addicts need to experience the consequences of their addiction. Don’t shield them from the negative repercussions that may come of their gambling problem. Family members and/or friends often buy groceries, give financial assistance to pay court fines or attorneys, or pay rent to help someone out, but usually it only prolongs the disease as addicts are able to avoid consequences.
Tip #4: Counseling is your friend
Counselors are well equipped to help people deal with others in a healthier and more productive way. You may find it helpful to get some individual counseling to assist yourself. Counseling isn’t just for the addict. The more you are able to manage the better you will be able to help your loved one. The FCCG offers free counseling through their Recovery Path program.
If you or someone you love is suffering from a gambling addiction, please give us a call. We operate a 24/7 multi-lingual helpline designed to furnish support to those negatively affected by gambling. 24/7 LiveChat and Text Service. Visit our site at www.gamblinghelp.org.