Place Set Boundaries And Consequences
In an overwhelming amount of cases, friends and family try to enforce strong consequences on the addict if they break their trust. However, these can be seen as idle threats that wont receive the proper follow-through. Figuring out what kind of boundaries you want to put into place and the consequences for crossing them can help reinforce negative repercussions for specific actions. They can be as severe as you want them to you must follow through.
Stop Enabling The Addiction
Its also important to understand the difference between helping and enabling. If youre financially supporting a loved one whos struggling with addiction or lying to help them hide the problem, then youre enabling.1
When you recognize this behavior and stop it, the benefits are twofold. First, your loved one will begin to see the consequences of their actions. Second, by refusing to continue your enabling behaviors youll make it harder for your loved one to keep feeding their addiction.
Allow Them To Go Voluntarily
If all else fails and the addict is still refusing help, they can enter drug rehab on their own accord. Make sure they understand that if they go out of their own free will, youll continue being supportive throughout their entire stay in treatment. Some addicts are so strung out or addicted that even though they know theres a great chance for change during rehab, its hard for them to get past their addiction & reach that point of realization on their own, at least not right away. If you want to be supportive, then youve got to let the addict come around on their own time.
Take Care Of Yourself
Ultimately, you can only control your own actions. If your loved one is unwilling to start treatment even after an intervention, you have to take care of your own needs. Perhaps you can join a support group to find hope. Support groups are beneficial because they provide the opportunity to meet with people who understand first-hand how difficult your situation can be. Additionally, take time to exercise, eat healthily, and get sleep to reduce stress. By seeking help for yourself, you might ultimately motivate your loved one to reach out for help too. As you get healthier, your loved one might follow your lead. You can be an inspiration to someone struggling with addiction.
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Enlist People They Trust
The nature of addiction is that many people tell themselves they dont have a problem, that they can handle it. They often dismiss the concerns of those closest to them. Sometimes it takes the words of a professional or someone on the outside for the right words to get through. For example, a physician or someone else they trust can have an impact.
If your addicted loved one refuses to believe their substance use is an issue, try to get them in for a regular checkup. Tell them if they dont think they have a problem, whats the harm in talking to someone? A physician can relay information in a factual way, removed from the emotions that a friend or family member may bring to these conversations. Theyll assess their physical health and talk to them about the long-term effects of their drug and alcohol abuse. They can speak in clear terms about whats considered normal and problem drinking and risk factors that come with it. A medical professional can tell them whether their drug or alcohol use qualifies as a substance use disorder diagnosis. They can also refer them to a mental health professional to diagnose potential co-occurring mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or personality disorders that can fuel drug and alcohol abuse.
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How To Help An Addict: Things You Cant Do
When youre trying to help someone who is addicted to drugs and alcohol, there are a few things that you cant do. This does not mean that you arent capable of handling these situations, there are just a few things that are not possible for anyone to do.
Offer Your Support And Encouragement During Treatment
If the person struggling with addiction agrees to go into treatment, you have to be there for them every step of the way. Please dont talk about how hopeless their situation is or what a bad decision they made. Be supportive and give them some encouragement instead.
When someone refuses help, its often because they feel as if nobody cares about them or wants to help. You can change this by offering your support and showing the addict that you care enough about them to want to see a change in their life. If you stay strong, dont give up on helping them, and keep a positive attitude throughout the whole process, the person will soon realize that going into treatment will be beneficial for everyone involved & theyll finally agree.
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Don’t Take It Personally
When a person promises they’ll never drink again but goes back on their word after a while, it’s easy for their loved ones to take the broken promises personally.
It’s tempting to think that if they really love you, they would be true to their words. But remember, an addicted person’s brain chemistry may have changed from substance abuse. It’s the alcohol or the drugs that are making their choices and decisions for them.
Quit Enabling The Addiction
Enabling is supporting an addiction, even if not directly. Are you financially supporting the addict? This can come in the form of cheap housing, which allows them to spend excess money on drugs or alcohol. It can be giving them a loan or providing groceries. Are you covering up the addiction? Perhaps you lie about why your loved one cant make it to events. Maybe you do their school, house, or professional work for them. Most clearly, stop providing drugs or alcohol. When you stop enabling, an addict has the opportunity to not only see the consequences of drug or alcohol abuse but forces them to have to work harder to sustain their habit. Without your help, they can realize how much sway their addiction has on their actions and their life.
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Let Go Of Expectations
Addiction is a powerful disease that affects various parts of the brain. Therefore, you should let go of the expectation that your loved one is going to enter treatment because there are many defense mechanisms that the individual unconsciously uses to protect the addiction. This makes it difficult to determine if your loved one is willing, or even ready, to begin recovery. When you sit down and share your concerns with your loved one about their addiction to alcohol or drugs, be prepared for defensiveness and anger, but never give up hope. Common defense mechanisms people with addictions use include:
Your loved one may deny or minimize any problem exists and refuse to accept reality.
Your loved one may shift focus away from themselves and make others responsible for their addiction.
Your loved one might attribute their own negative feelings or behaviors to others, possibly by blaming their own feelings, decisions, and behaviors on others.
Your loved one might excuse irrational or unacceptable behaviors, motives, and feelings in an attempt to justify them to themselves and others.
Distorted thinking is a significant issue when dealing with anyone with an active addiction. Although you may see the situation clearly, thought distortions can make communicating with such a person exceptionally difficult.
Follow Through On Consequences
Many friends or family members threaten to enforce serious consequences for addicted loved ones who refuse treatment. However, these are often seen as idle threats. If youre going to make a real impact, you must actually follow through.
Whether its as simple as grounding or taking away the car, or something more drastic like forcing a loved one to move out of the house, if you say it, you must be willing to do it.
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What Medications And Devices Help Treat Drug Addiction
Different types of medications may be useful at different stages of treatment to help a patient stop abusing drugs, stay in treatment, and avoid relapse.
- Treating withdrawal. When patients first stop using drugs, they can experience various physical and emotional symptoms, including restlessness or sleeplessness, as well as depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Certain treatment medications and devices reduce these symptoms, which makes it easier to stop the drug use.
- Staying in treatment. Some treatment medications and mobile applications are used to help the brain adapt gradually to the absence of the drug. These treatments act slowly to help prevent drug cravings and have a calming effect on body systems. They can help patients focus on counseling and other psychotherapies related to their drug treatment.
- Preventing relapse. Science has taught us that stress cues linked to the drug use , and contact with drugs are the most common triggers for relapse. Scientists have been developing therapies to interfere with these triggers to help patients stay in recovery.
How Do The Best Treatment Programs Help Patients Recover From Addiction
Stopping drug use is just one part of a long and complex recovery process. When people enter treatment, addiction has often caused serious consequences in their lives, possibly disrupting their health and how they function in their family lives, at work, and in the community.
Because addiction can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment should address the needs of the whole person to be successful. Counselors may select from a menu of services that meet the specific medical, mental, social, occupational, family, and legal needs of their patients to help in their recovery.
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How Do Behavioral Therapies Treat Drug Addiction
Behavioral therapies help people in drug addiction treatment modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use. As a result, patients are able to handle stressful situations and various triggers that might cause another relapse. Behavioral therapies can also enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people remain in treatment longer.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy seeks to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they’re most likely to use drugs.
- Contingency management uses positive reinforcement such as providing rewards or privileges for remaining drugfree, for attending and participating in counseling sessions, or for taking treatment medications as prescribed.
- Motivational enhancement therapy uses strategies to make the most of people’s readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment.
- Family therapy helps people with drug use problems, as well as their families, address influences on drug use patterns and improve overall family functioning.
- Twelve-step facilitation is an individual therapy typically delivered in 12 weekly session to prepare people to become engaged in 12-step mutual support programs. 12-step programs, like Alcoholic Anonymous, are not medical treatments, but provide social and complementary support to those treatments. TSF follows the 12-step themes of acceptance, surrender, and active involvement in recovery.
Consequences Of Waiting Until An Addict Hits Rock Bottom
Waiting for a person struggling with addiction to hit rock bottom before seeking treatment is incredibly dangerous. Sometimes, it can be deadly.
For some people, showing up to work drunk and getting fired may be enough to prompt them to seek help. Taking enough drugs to go into a coma may be the turning point for others. However, for certain people, rock bottom may mean death.
Reaching rock bottom often has devastating and lasting consequences, including issues with finances, relationships, and health.
Additionally, assuming that someone needs to hit a dangerously low point in life before seeking addiction treatment suggests no other factors that may lead to their recovery process.
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What Should You Do In An Emergency
Does your loved one have any of the following symptoms? If so, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.
- Lost consciousness after taking drugs.
- Became unconscious after drinking alcohol, especially if five or more drinks were consumed in a short period of time.
- Had been drinking and is seriously considering suicide.
- Has a history of heavy drinking and has severe withdrawal symptoms, such as confusion and severe trembling. Severe withdrawal symptoms, such as delirium tremens , can cause death.
Am I Overreacting To A Substance Use Problem
If you are noticing problems in friend or family members work, health, family, finances, relationships, social functioning, legal issues, self-esteem or self-respect, you are not overreacting.
Continuing to use substances in spite of the fact that such behavior is causing problems, is a problem in and of itself. It shows that substance use has become more important than the problems it causes. Someone who is unwilling to discuss the issue or consider whether there might be a problem is a strong indicator that a problem exists.
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How To Support Your Loved One After Rehab
Supporting your loved one after drug rehab in Pasadena is critical to their well-being and full-time recovery. Keep your expectations low because rehab is not a cure for addiction but a step in the recovery process. Therefore, dont put too much pressure on your loved one because this could result in sabotage. Dont ask too many questions and try to remain focused on the present. In addition, dont let them feel too conspicuous and support them by giving them the opportunity to decide how they would like their daily program to be instead of simply making schedules for them.
Consider Staging An Intervention
Your loved one might not listen to you alone when you encourage them to seek help, but they might be more willing to listen to a group of people.
You might want to consider staging an intervention instead of addressing them one-on-one.
An intervention is a type of meeting in which a group of people who all have your loved ones best interests in mind work together to encourage them to get help.
An intervention forces your loved one to confront their behavior and see the impact it has on those around them. It can be more powerful than having just one person speak to them at a time.
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Get Help For Your Loved One Today
As you can see, there are some specific steps to take if you want to succeed at getting an addict into drug treatment. If you approach the issue with sensitivity and take the time to research and prepare beforehand, youll have a greater chance of convincing them to take their health and well-being seriously and give drug and alcohol rehab a try.
If youre ready to get substance abuse treatment for your loved one, follow the steps outlined above. Feel free to reach out to us, too, to learn more about the admission process or for more guidance before you start moving forward with addressing your loved ones substance abuse.
What Is An Intervention
An intervention may be your last resort . However, it may also be your most effective way of helping someone in denial. An intervention usually involves you, the person addicted to the substance, and a mediator. In an intervention, you confront the person head-on and tell them that they need to go to rehab.
An intervention needs to be staged. You need to know what, where, when, and how it is going to happen. You also need to know what you will say, prepare for the responses, and prepare any reactions. Your best option is to enlist the help of a treatment specialist or other addiction professional if possible. They can guide you through the process of intervention.
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Addiction Is A Disease
In the day to day of a relationship with someone who is addicted, it is tempting to forget that addiction is an illnessa medical condition that is chronic, progressive and debilitating. It is also tempting to think more simplistically about the illness than is realistic. For example, to those of us on the outside of an addiction, it appears that the person should simply stop using. We see substance use as the problem and dont understand why an addict doesnt get that using is a problem.
How You Can Help Someone Who Is In Recovery
Family involvement is just one of the ways in which you can help your loved one when theyre in treatment. It allows counselors and doctors to get a better understanding of the patient as well as their behavioral patterns and habits. Other ways in which you can help your loved one include:
- Getting involved: Attend family therapy and express your feelings. This will allow them to get a better idea of how their addiction affects everyone around them. Its also a great way to show that you support your loved ones Recovery because you are willing to invest the time and effort to help them heal.
- Communicating with them: Once the blackout period is lifted, you will likely be allowed some contact with your loved ones. Communication can be very difficult, and a seemingly safe conversation can spiral into a heated argument. Find a mode of communication that works for both of you, be it phone calls, emails or in-person visits. Use it as an opportunity to verbalize your support.
- Offering support: Saying youre there for your loved one is one thing, but support goes beyond that. Talk positively about the future and of your loved ones progress. Let them know theyre not alone.
- Trusting but being mindful: Its important to maintain trust throughout the Recovery process, but its also important to remember not to fall into old habits. Show your loved one that you trust them, but be aware of old behaviors that may be problematic or harmful.
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