Kindness and Addiction Treatment
One of the best ways to help combat addiction is to remember the person you are trying to help is a human being, just like you. Although many treatment specialist’s in the past have recommended using “tough love,” this has been proven to not work out very well. There is a therapeutic value to kindness and the goal of this practice is to uplift and affirm the worth of an addict, because these individuals typically suffer from low self-esteem and don’t value themselves.
It’s important to remember that even though someone may be engaging in self-harming behavior, it’s often out of desperation trying to rid themselves of feelings of unworthiness of pain they use drugs or alcohol. Nobody sets out to become an addict, usually when substance abuse begins a person has experienced some sort of trauma or is mentally ill and not medicated, because using drugs or alcohol will help numb the mind and provides relief.
Kindness is a quality of being gentle and considerate, and many times clinicians treating addicts forget there is a human being in need and being extra tough on them can have a negative impact. People with addiction have feelings, relationships, a heart and soul, clinicians need to remember this when dealing with individuals in the delicate fight for sobriety.
Navigating through the perils of drug and alcohol addiction is never easy, and treating the addict as if they don’t matter or being unnecessarily cruel in the name of tough love is a recipe for disaster. Addiction brings about feelings of shame and guilt, to help someone come through the nightmare of addiction is goes further to treat them with understanding, compassion and kindness.
Kindness goes hand-in-hand with careful thought and empathy, which are both important to show to someone who is going through a horrible battle with substance abuse. With a persistent attitude and compassion, it becomes possible to rebuild the self-worth of an addict and help the person experience addiction recovery and to build a happy, healthy future.