4 Mistakes To Avoid With An Addicted Loved One

mental illness
Lost Game. Gamer Guy Losing Online Computer Game Sitting Unhappy At Desktop PC Indoor At Night. Empty Space

Addiction is a mental illness. It involves an unchecked obsession of an individual with something like consumables, also known as chemical dependency or a habit. If not treated, it can cause permanent damage to an addict’s well-being or even death.

Mental treatment programs have been established by medical institutions, such as the Jackson House, to assist addicts in recovering steadily. In addition, with their guidance, they inform patients and family members of things they must avoid in controlling the patient’s condition.

close up hand of young women. Stressed female taking drug overdose.

If your loved one is suffering from addiction, consider the following mistakes to avoid exacerbating their condition:

  1. Do Not Tolerate The Addiction Of Your Loved One

According to studies, some people become addicted because they are looking for a way to relieve stress and try something new. At first glance, it seems acceptable that people who successfully develop a habit or consumable to accomplish these things start to enjoy themselves. Despite this, they fail to maintain a healthy balance with their supposed newfound passion and begin abusing the substance.

Let’s take playing video games as an example. Video games are a hit, especially for the youth. Some parents may take it as a distraction to their studies, but others recognize the happiness it could bring their children, so they decide to tolerate them instead. The idea of supporting your loved ones’ desires is not a bad thing. However, despite how entertaining video games are, a lack of moderation can lead to gaming addiction since it’s potentially addictive. 

Shawn Woolley’s case is an example of gaming addiction. Shawn enjoyed playing the popular MMORPG game EverQuest. His mother supported his passion but failed to control his interaction with the game. Shawn passed away in November 2001 after shooting himself at his computer desk. According to Shawn’s mother, his child committed suicide because he took the virtual game seriously to the point that he could no longer control his emotions.

Don’t tolerate your loved one’s addiction to prevent situations like this. Maintain a positive relationship with them while reminding them of their limitations. That way, you can help them establish discipline while keeping them on track with other things that matter. 

2. Do Not Establish A Barrier With Your Addicted Loved One

Others think it’s shameful to have a family member who has mental illness. They disavow their ties to them as family and make every effort to keep them at a distance. Even though it’s unfortunate, you don’t have to give up on a loved one who develops an addiction. Putting up walls between you and your loved one who is addicted can worsen their condition. If an addict is abandoned, they may experience increased stress and isolation, which can heighten the desire to return to their old ways of living.

An addict requires family support to fight off their urges. They gain courage from the thought that their loved ones are still waiting for them. So, you need to be there for them constantly. Addiction is not a contagious illness. Therefore, you can keep them company and constantly reassure them of your concern for their well-being.

Open communication lines with your loved one will also help you learn the root causes of their addiction. If, for instance, you understand that they became addicted due to peer pressure, you’ll know that removing them from that environment is a crucial first step in helping them overcome their addiction.

3. Do Not Disregard Medical Care

Addiction is difficult to confront because it’s ingrained in the patient’s way of life. Addicts crave what they consume or do, especially if they try to resist it. Depending on the type of addiction, they may also experience unrelenting withdrawal symptoms. For instance, a drug addict may experience fatigue and nausea after stopping their drug use. They began to develop a tolerance to the drugs they were taking, and stopping abruptly would make them feel weak for a while.

Medical treatment for addicts may be costly, but it is also effective. Their medication and mental health treatment plans can help your loved one recover. Many people mistakenly believe that addiction results from a person’s lack of discipline, so they prefer to reprimand an addict outright in the hope that it will cure them. 

As mentioned, the appropriate treatment varies depending on the type of addiction. Medical institutions conducted years of research and study to develop suitable therapy and medication for each case. Therefore, there’s a guarantee that your loved ones can start their life anew.

Aside from this, medical care can determine how severe your loved one’s addiction is. For example, healthcare providers may need to perform a drug detox if your loved one has a severe substance dependency case. In this process, they remove drug substances from the patient’s body to prevent complications. Afterward, the patient must be transferred under inpatient care to continue monitoring their condition. On the other hand, if your loved one’s addiction is a moderate case per diagnosis, they can attend a Partial Hospitalization Program instead.

4. Do Not Make Choices For Your Loved One

Suppose your addicted loved one doesn’t have the determination to change. In that case, all of your efforts to ensure their recovery will be pointless because, after some time, they’ll resume their unhealthy habits, especially if you’re not around.

Remember that initiating things on their behalf won’t fare any better. Settling your loved one’s matters as your own without seeking their approval will only give them the impression that you’re meddling in their affairs too much, creating distrust even if your intention is only to help. Instead of making decisions for your loved one, consider taking a supportive role. You’ll give them a reason to change for the better by giving the impression that you care about their well-being and respect their privacy. For instance, you might suggest that they see a psychiatrist rather than insisting on it.


Addiction is not a contagious mental illness yet causes distress in many people worldwide. Stress, peer pressure, and a desire for enjoyment can all lead to addiction. If your loved one is suffering from addiction, consider avoiding the mistakes mentioned in this article to ensure their long-term recovery.










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