We hear heartbreaking stories everyday at Vertava Health. Stories of addiction, overdoses, and legal consequences. Stories from mothers, fathers, friends and family members – desperately explaining how their loved one is no longer the person they once knew, because of heroin, prescription drugs, and alcohol. Many people find that they’ve lost hope; that their son or granddaughter, brother or friend is too far gone; that they cannot help the person struggling with the addiction.
Is It Ever Too Late To Help A Loved One With Addiction?
Your loved one may be serving time behind bars, isolating herself from family or friends, or in complete denial over his or her addiction, but it doesn’t mean that they are too far gone, or that it’s too late to help. Encouraging or seeking out help for a loved one suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism is important, regardless of how long your friend or family member has been using, how many substances they use, or any other circumstance.
1. It’s Not Too Late for the Individual
The person standing in front of you, the one with dark circles under his eyes and clothes now too big for his frail body is still your child, your brother, your friend. It doesn’t matter what lies he’s said, what wrongs he’s done, or the people he’s hurt along the way because of his addiction. Getting help and recovery is worth his sake. No matter what, he deserves a chance at sobriety and a chance at life.
If your loved one does become sober, and then relapses – it’s still worth it. In these types of situations, you must remember that addiction is a powerful disease that can trap people in it’s cycle without the proper help. It may not be easy to see right now, but there is another path for your loved one. Help them to see that active addiction isn’t their only way of life – let them know that there is always hope, regardless of whether it takes one, or multiple times in rehab. They are worth it.
2. It’s Not Too Late for Family and Friends
You’ve likely spent the better part of the past few years, living and breathing to get your loved one into rehab. You’ve begged and pleaded, argued and cried, bargained and ignored – only to beg, plead, argue and cry all over again. You’ve spent money, given money, and had money stolen. You never knew you could worry as much as you have. You’ve sacrificed sleep, friendships, relationships, perhaps even separated from your spouse over the stress of trying to save your loved one from addiction.
Addiction is a family disease, and getting help for your loved one – and your whole family, for that matter – is worth it. Because of the financial, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problems that have shaken out from this disease and spread amongst your family, there is a lot of suffering. But the right help can bring healing for everyone. Your family is worth it.
3. It’s Not Too Late for Others
If you can, imagine your loved one healthy – living a life free of drugs and alcohol. Imagine you and your family’s lives at peace, knowing that your loved one is working hard in their recovery. Now, think about your loved one helping others find hope and healing in sobriety. Once your addicted loved one establishes his own journey in recovery, he or she will eventually be able to help others who are in active addiction.
While this may seem impossible or far fetched right now, once he or she gets treatment and is sober, they will positively change for the better – and like many before them, will want to help other people make that change as well. Your loved one could be the reason someone else gets into rehab, and begins their own path to recovery. Helping others is worth it.
While all of these things point to the direction that it is never too late to help an addicted loved one – we do want to stress that addiction is a progressive disease. Without help, it can and will be a terminal illness. The only time it will be too late, is if you let addiction take the final blow.
But right now, as you read this – there is still time. It doesn’t matter how old they are, how long they’ve been using, or how much time has already gone by. Our final answer is to maintain hope and to continue encouraging your loved one to seek help. There’s time to help your loved one, because they’re worth it – you and your family are worth it – and others are worth it, too.
Don’t let others tell you it’s too late; research has shown that it is never too late to get help with addiction.