Ways To Approach And Support Someone With A Cocaine Addiction
Here are a few tips for approaching and supporting an individual struggling with cocaine addiction. It can aid you in approaching the person in a way that encourages a safer and more fruitful conversation.
1. Understand Their Frame of Mind
The first and most important thing is to try and put yourself in their shoes. Their mindset determines their behavior and actions. Although an addicts behavior may go beyond your understanding and appear irrational from the outside, it is still possible to understand them.
Cocaine is commonly portrayed as a party drug in the media, one that is very cool and glamorous. However, in reality, cocaine addiction is relatively quiet, private, and secretive. Most cocaine addicts prefer to consume the drug in isolation. This enables them to fall further down the spiral of addiction secretively. It also prevents people from finding out about their addiction.
Cocaine addiction is a mental health disease that slowly increases in force and power over time. It gradually isolates individuals from their family, friends, and loved ones so they can continue consuming the drug without feeling shamed.
Most adults who abuse cocaine or other drugs, primarily do it to mitigate the symptoms of depression and social anxiety. The origin varies from person to person, however, it can often originate from some form of childhood trauma.
2. Be Prepared for Heightened Emotions
3. Find a Balance
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When you suspect that someone you love has a heroin addiction, it can be a difficult thing to process. You may find yourself afraid for their wellbeing and wish to confront them about their addiction all be it, with good reason.
Heroin, according to the DEA, is highly addictive and has a severe and potentially fatal effect on the body. Please seek help for your loved one by calling and learn what can be done for them, including steps for how to approach someone about his or her heroin addiction.
How To Spot A Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine is undoubtedly addictive, especially if smoked in crack form. Even frequent cocaine users, who think they know their limits, are at risk of overdose.
One of the biggest side effects is developing a cocaine dependency. Most individuals go to great lengths to get their hands on cocaine. Some will even risk putting themselves in dangerous or life-threatening situations. This is why it is crucial to be aware of the signs of cocaine addiction and know how to get someone the help they need.
The first step towards helping your loved ones is to identify the physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of cocaine abuse.
Here are some of the most noticeable symptoms to look out for:
- Being unable to stop using cocaine, despite it negatively affecting their lives.
- Paranoia and lying about drug use, spending, and whereabouts.
- Appearing agitated or irritable for no discernable reason.
- Borrowing or stealing money from friends and family members.
- Avoiding activities or events that they previously enjoyed.
- Frequent nosebleeds, reduced appetite, insomnia, and rapid heart rate.
- Socializing only with other users.
- Acting impulsively, being overly energetic or confident when under the influence.
If you notice these signs, it may suggest that the individual is struggling with cocaine addiction and needs professional support. Harm Reduction Center is a private healthcare service provider that offers highly personalized services for those struggling with substance abuse.
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Can Addiction Be Successfully Treated
Addiction is a chronic disease that causes significant changes in the way the brain functions and the way a person behaves. It is characterized by the compulsive misuse of a substance, even though it brings about significant negative consequences. Addiction can be treated and managed successfully through evidence-based behavioral therapies and, in some cases, medication.4
Addiction develops after a person uses or misuses substances and then loses their ability to control their use, negatively affecting their home, work, school, and/or family life.4 This loss of control is often fueled by the way the body adapts to regular exposure to a substance: tolerance and physical dependence.
Tolerance is characterized by the need to take more of a substance to keep feeling the desired effects.5 As an individual exposes their body to regular use of certain substances, the body adapts to its constant presence. When the substance is taken away withdrawal symptoms emerge as the body re-adjusts to not having the substance anymore. This can lead to strong cravings for the substance to relieve uncomfortable or distressing withdrawal symptoms and may result in an individual returning to substance use.
Treatment for a substance use disorder focuses on management of the disorder, much like the process of managing other chronic diseases, including asthma or heart disease.6
How To Approach The Addicted Person
When you have decided to speak to someone about their addictive behaviour, plan how will you approach them beforehand. If you have a script, you will be less likely to say things in the wrong way, or things that you will regret. Do not not take a heavy-handed, authoritarian, or confrontational approach. Instead, try to be gentle, caring and persuasive.
Your word choice is important try not to accuse them. For example, instead of telling them you think they are a drug addict, you could say, I believe you have a problem with drug addiction.
These interactions are rarely easy expect the person to defensive and angry. Regardless of how they respond, it is important that you stay calm. Even if you are angry or scared, do not express these emotions to the addicted person. It should be what you are saying that is the focus, rather than how you are saying it.
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Explain That Addiction Is An Illness
Emphasise to the addicted person that addiction is an illness, rather than a character flaw, or moral failing. Assure them that they are a good person who happens to be suffering from a destructive disease one which causes progressive mental and physical decline, and could ultimately be fatal. Persuade them that abstinence is the only way for them to get better, and promise them that you will be there to support them recovery.
How To Talk To Someone Who Is On Drugs
As you may know, talking to someone on drugs may be an overwhelming prospect. Youre unsure how theyll react when you bring up the topic, or you fear they could lie to your face and break all trust. However, keep in mind, this is the addiction talking, not them. Finding a way to communicate with someone who has an addiction takes patience, so how do you speak to someone in your life whos addicted to drugs? How can you offer your support, love, understanding and avoid miscommunicating while protecting your own boundaries?
We understand how overwhelmed you might feel, but there are ways of talking to someone on drugs that produce an outcome you may not have expected. You must keep in mind that each person battling addiction is tasked with a unique set of circumstances. Keeping that in mind and interacting with them will help you show your support while being compassionate but stern.
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How To Diagnose Compulsive Gambling
Experts dont know specifically what leads to compulsive gambling. Many factors could contribute to the problem, such as hereditary or environmental factors. Diagnosing a gambling problem involves looking for signs someone is out of control. Possible signs of a gambling problem include:
- Spending more money on gambling than one can afford
- Difficulties in personal relationships caused by gambling
- Gambling getting in the way of work
- An inability to cut back or stop gambling
- Spending more time gambling than before
- Attempting to hide gambling from friends or medical professionals
- Stealing or committing fraud to support gambling
- Asking for loans to cover gambling debts
Be Involved In The Drug Rehab Treatment And Recovery Process
Healing from alcoholism and drug addiction is everyones responsibility.
If a drug-addicted family member is on the road to recovery, but you or the family has not taken steps to be a part of the healing process, this can actually hinder your loved ones progress. Support through this process is essential. Utilizing a family program and therapy can be a means to facilitate the healing process.
Oftentimes, addiction is deep-seated in family issues and learned behaviors that stem from within the home. If an addicted person is trying to break the cycle and change their behavior, it is very hard if the family has not also begun working through their own issues surrounding the problems in the home.
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Do: Seek Counseling Or Therapy
Addiction affects everyone, from the person in treatment to their loved ones. Its important to ensure youre well enough to manage the potential stress of helping someone dealing with addiction. Acknowledging that you may be in over your head and in need of professional help is normal and healthy. Its also necessary for you to help your loved one to the best of your abilities.
How Substance Abusers Might Avoid Treatment Talk
The games some people with addiction might play to avoid talking about getting help, to avoid family meetings that are directed toward their substance abuse, or any get-togethersingly or in a groupthat could be uncomfortable for them might seem familiar.
Bluffing is a common tactic used. Loved ones who try to bluff by saying or showing you that you are the one who is not trusted for whatever reason. You are the one with the problem. Not them.
Hiding the implements of their addiction is also common. If its drugs, the drug and its paraphernalia will be hidden, and the same ploy works for alcohol addiction and other types.
Its OK to respect the privacy of someone with a SUD. At the same time, if you find the implements of drug or alcohol abuse, its time to approach the subject.
Sometimes, the one with a substance abuse disorder will throw the word taboo at you. It is taboo to tell anyone that there is an addiction problem in the family.
Exposing it will bring shame to you and the family.
The way to deal with that is to ask others if they have noticed that the loved one has a problem with substances before approaching the loved one.
- They are usually very loyal to people who do very little to deserve such loyalty.
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Addiction Recovery How To Help A Drug Addict In Denial
The amount of substance abusers that realize their need for treatment is far lower than all of the people that need treatment. According to NIDAs collection of data from surveys conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2009, 2.6 million people or 11.2 percent of the 23.5 million that are substance abusers went to rehab for treatment. Denial is a major cause of the low number of admission for addiction. By discovering how to help a drug addict in denial, you can be the catalyst to breaking through to someone you care for by getting them professional help for their mental disease.
Classic Signs Of A Drug Addiction To Look Out For
There are many signs and symptoms of drug addiction that you should be aware of before approaching your loved one about getting help. When you suspect a loved one may be abusing drugs or alcohol, it is important to be aware of the signs of addiction. Once you are nearly certain that your loved one is exemplifying addict behavior, it is important to come up with a plan before confronting them about their issues.
Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for are physical signs of addiction, and other signs and symptoms are behavioral signs. Some of the physical signs of addiction include weight fluctuation, changes in appetite, lack of hygiene, sweating, shaking, twitching, enlarged pupils, bloodshot eyes, rotting teeth, emitting an odor, uncontrollable itching, and more.
Some common behavioral signs of addiction include drastic mood swings, inability to focus on anything, inability to make eye contact, lack of interest in activities that they once enjoyed, isolation, hanging around a new group of people, slacking off in school or work, missing school or work, the lack of interest or care for anything, change in sleeping habits, failing to meet deadlines, requesting money for unknown reasons, and an overall lack of energy and motivation.
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A Treatment Strategy Unlike Any Other
Making the hospital a place where people with addictions feel welcome was the first step, the other big change has been the treatment itself.
Brian Tomagatick lies on a hospital bed and holds a freezer pack against his belly. Tomagatick, a long-time opioid user, is getting his âshotâ his eighth.
The Timmins approach is to give a monthly injection of a drug called Sublocade, which delivers an extended release of buprenorphine. Once injected, the drug forms a small lump under the skin near the abdomen and lasts for a period of 30 days.
Each injection costs between $550 and $650. The goal of the treatment is to control the intense cravings that opioid users experience, and allow them to stop chasing their next high.
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Dr. Julie Samson preps the syringe and asks if heâs been experiencing any cravings. Tomagatick shakes his head.
âAll right. Is it nice and frozen?â asks Dr. Samson.
It took courage, but Dr. Samson and the Timmins team decided to start a treatment method that nobody else in the country was doing.
âWhenIâm giving the injection Iâm so happy for them, because theyâre doing so well and they havenât died,â Dr. Samson said.
Offer Help But Dont Force Them
After expressing your thoughts, you may then ask them if they are willing to get professional help. It is possible at this point that theyre in denial and feel that they dont need help or treatment. They may even be defensive about it. If this is the situation, dont insist or force them. Let it go for now. Remember that its no use getting angry, blaming them, or shaming them. Its good enough that youve said what you needed to say and that they listened.
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Getting The Help Of An Interventionist
When it comes to planning an intervention, there are two options: planning it solely with the other participants, or seeking the external help of a professional interventionist.
A professional interventionist will have expertise in staging successful interventions for people with addiction, utilizing research-proven strategies for what tends to work and what doesnt.
Seeking the help of a professional may be particularly beneficial in cases where youre confronting someone with a chronic addiction, severe addiction, or someone with other complex needs.
Handling A Relapse Is Never Easy
Experts say that the families of people who struggle with addiction are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. The shoe drop refers to the belief that relapse is inevitable, even after years of being drug-free.
Often the best source of support available comes from friends and family. It is important to be there for your loved one when they most need your help.
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Know That It Will Take Time
Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease, meaning it gets worse and worse over time if untreated. This means, of course, that since the addiction likely took years to get to this point, it could possibly take just as much time to help them into recovery. Even though you can see the negative effects substance abuse is having on your loved one, you must understand that the drug addict does not see it the same way. It may take a long while for them to realise just how bad things are, since your addicted loved one is not only lying to you, but to themselves as well.
What To Expect From The Conversation
Expect the conversation to be a difficult one. People with addictions react in different ways depending on many factors such as their job, legal situation, the substance of abuse, financial situation, level of acceptance or denial, etc. However, there are things you can do if someone resists the idea of going into a treatment program.
- Keeping working on building trust. Keep the line of objective communication open.
- Be there for a loved one. There may be a moment when their defenses are down and want to talk. Listen with an open mind and heart.
- Remind them of the consequences if they dont seek help. Be supportive and not accusatory, but do set the line not to cross and stay firm on it.
- Always communicate with love and concern. Nobody likes to feel threatened. Your point is to let your loved one know that you and others have noticed a problem with using or abusing drugs or alcohol, and you want them to get help.
- Offer suggestions for treatment. Many well-established programs are evidence-based in convenient areas.
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When Relapse Occurs It Does Not Have To Last For Very Long
This relapse could be a small blip in the middle of many successful years. Chronic relapsing is a part of the condition of substance use disorder.
Also, the experts are now recommending that we stop referring to people who do not use drugs as being clean. To say that someone is now clean implies that they were previously dirty. How would you feel if your family called you dirty when you were sick?