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How to Support Individuals Struggling With Addiction by Maram Barak, M.A.

How to Support Individuals Struggling With Addiction by Maram Barak, M.A., Bergen County Moms

September is National Recovery Month, celebrating the courage and resilience of those on the path to recovery from addiction.

Here are 5 tips that can be helpful when approaching a loved one struggling with addiction. If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction and want to be helped, do not hesitate to reach out and make use of the resources available to get the help you need.

Let’s create a supportive and caring community where everyone feels valued and heard.

  1. Educate Yourself; Understand what addiction is, the causes the effects, and the changes it causes to a person's cognitions, feelings and behaviors. Knowledge about the topic allows you to approach the individual with compassion, empathy, and without judgment.

  2. Set Boundaries; While offering support, it’s important to establish clear boundaries to protect yourself from the negative consequences of addiction. Make it clear what behavior you will not tolerate and stick to your boundaries.

  3. Avoid Enabling; As much as this can be hard, try to avoid enabling someone’s addiction. Enabling can include giving them money, covering up their mistakes or making excuses for their behavior. Instead, encourage them to take responsibility for their actions. Accountability in addiction is key!

  4. Be Patient; Recovery is a complex and difficult process. Relapse and setbacks are part of recovery. Be patient and understanding during these times, and encourage the individual to continue seeking help and treatment.

  5. Seek Support for Yourself; Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) for families and friends can provide valuable peer support and guidance.

Maram Barakat, M.A., is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She has a master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University, with a special focus on global mental health and research methods. She is primarily interested in providing access to quality mental health services in low-to-middle income countries and vulnerable populations. She is especially passionate about working with survivors of abuse and violence. In fact, she has integrated her passion with her academic interests by focusing her master's thesis on culturally adapting and implementing cognitive processing therapy to Syrian refugee women who have experienced sexual violence during and post-displacement. Maram has worked as a mental health professional and advocate in Lebanon, Uganda, and New York for the past six years. At the Lukin Center, Maram will be taking on the role of social media manager. Her main responsibilities entail managing and monitoring the center's social media platforms, creating content, increasing engagement, and more. Apart from her professional interests, she enjoys acting, karaoke, and extreme sports.

Lukin Center for Psychotherapy, Bergen County Moms

Lukin Center for Psychotherapy

*Lukin Center Psychotherapy Offers In Person Sessions + Tele-Therapy

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