It is believed that a person cannot be helped unless they are ready, willing and determined to be helped. If you are the close friend or relative of someone with a drug or alcohol problem, you have probably already experienced rejection when you've reached out to help them. Although you have the best of intentions when offering that help, the addicted person may not be receptive to any such offerings until they are ready and willing to surrender their powerlessness over their addiction and start anew.

As a friend or relative, having patience and compassion will be the key to your well-being, as you may find yourself waiting, worrying and wondering if your loved one is going to consent to getting help for their problem. If they are willing to keep an open mind to treatment for their addiction, they have an excellent chance at successfully completing a program and sustaining sobriety. As a loved one, you must keep in mind that sobriety, first and foremost, is for one's own health, happiness and longevity. While in treatment, a person is encouraged to be mindful of their loved ones who may have been involved in their lives during the course of their addiction, but they are first encouraged to be mindful of themselves, their addiction, need for physical, emotional, and spiritual stability, and much more that comes from within.

While in treatment, your loved one is learning how to meet their own basic needs again. Some may be discovering for the first time what it is they truly desire - what they want their lives to really be about - what their plans for the future are, what dreams they have always had but have never taken the time to nurture, or simply couldn't because they were lost in their addiction. It is important to give your loved one enough space from which to grow and cultivate their newfound sobriety.

Recovery from any form of addiction requires a daily practice of self-determination, self-direction, and a lot of courage! Notice how your loved one, when given the space and power to choose, builds up pride in knowing that they are worth more than what they once believed, and that they are beginning to realize just how ready they are for the powerful transformation that comes with seeking help for their addiction.

-Erica Bedier