The High Toll Of Addiction
When you become physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, you cant maintain your wellbeing, let alone someone elses. Family members of addicts are at risk for a host of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, as well as physical symptoms, like headaches and digestive problems.
If all your energy is being channeled into caring for someone who struggles with addiction, it may be time to look inward and make sure your own mental health isnt being overlooked. Its okeven necessary, sometimesfor those close to those struggling with drug and alcoholto seek counseling for themselves.
Counseling Requires Personal Commitment
While therapy for mental health conditions and addiction could be helpful for almost anyone, the techniques youll be introduced to in counseling tend to work best when youre committed to working hard and making changes.
Counseling is designed to help you change your thought processes and your behavior. If youre unwilling to make any changes at the present time, counseling might only give you the tools to make changes in the future, at best leaving you living the very same life youre living right now.
Manage Gamblers Finances To Remove Ability And Therefore Curb Temptation
Taking control of the finances helps ensure the gambler does not have easy access to funds to spend on their addiction.
This keeps things on track when they do have an incident of backsliding.
Knowing when the money is spent and how much means it is addressed faster and efforts are made to avoid letting it happen again.
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Dont: Enable Your Loved One
There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them. Sometimes when we think were protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually enabling them to continue with potentially destructive behavior.
For example, if youre trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, keeping them from drinking and driving is helpful, since that could put them and others in danger. However, consistently offering to drive them home whenever they get too intoxicated is enabling their actions, because its setting up a formula in which you are constantly available to rescue them.
Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue.
Its important to set up boundaries and rules, both for your well-being and the well-being of your loved one and its important to enforce those rules and boundaries. This is the only part of Recovery in which tough love is beneficial, since its done for both you and your loved ones protection.
Yoga Meditation And Mindfulness
Yoga is an exercise that emphasizes controlled breathing and body postures to promote physical strength, concentrationand serenity. Clinical trials involving yoga and mindfulness found the therapies were effective complements to preventingand treating addiction, according to a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine.
A meta-analysis of studies on meditation published in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly found that the technique can reducestress, anxiety, tobacco smoking, and alcohol anddrug abuse. Additionally, a clinical trial on mindfulness therapy published in the Journal of Consulting andClinical Psychology found yoga was a feasible and effective treatment for opioid abuse and chronic pain.
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Counseling Is Most Effective With Multiple Sessions
Therapy may be goal-oriented and designed to last for a brief period of time but that doesnt mean that one session will cure the issues and conditions youre facing.
Its likely that youll need to attend multiple sessions over several months in order to experience the true benefits of counseling.
One study published in the journal Addiction, for example, found that people with depression and alcohol problems were better able to reduce their drinking when they had at least 10 counseling sessions.2 People with fewer than 10 sessions no doubt received some benefit from the counseling but showed relatively less recovery progress.
So dont be discouraged if, after just one session, you dont see or feel any changes in your life. In general, one session wont do the trick.
For counseling to be most effective and make positive changes in your life, you will likely need to undergo multiple sessions.
How To Help A Drug Addict
Drug addiction afflicts family members of drug users as much as it does drug users. It is difficult to understand how you can help your loved one combat this severe problem if you havent been through that struggle yourself.
There is still a way to help addicts overcome their addiction. It is a three-step process that will require a great deal of patience, understanding and effort.
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Address The Issue Of The Debt Associated With The Problem
Gambling means money disappears fast.
Sadly, no one who gambles tends to get on a winning streak and stay on it.
Therefore, it is important to make the gambler very aware of what the addiction costs the family, any loved ones close to the gambler and the gambler themselves.
Money can be a huge incentive to quit gambling, because it is a finite resource.
It does not replenish itself, so the bank account doesnt magically grow when no one is looking.
Outpatient Vs Residential Treatment
Residential therapy separates you from the place and things that led you to use drugs. Youâll go away to a special facility for a period of weeks to months. While there, youâll learn new habits or skills for sober living.
While this approach works well in the short term, thereâs no proof it helps you stay away from drugs any longer than outpatient programs, which youâll attend for anywhere from a few hours to several hours a day while you live somewhere else.
In fact, relapse may be more likely if you go from a controlled, inpatient environment back to your home, where itâs easy to start using again. Also, residential drug abuse treatment programs are expensive. They can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and insurance plans donât always cover them.
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Do Not Enable An Addict Or Alcoholic
Sometimes family members and friends of someone with a substance abuse disorder make the mistake of enabling the addict or alcoholic through their own behaviors. In this sense, enabling means that family or friends actions allow the addict or alcoholic to continue their self-destructive behavior. This could mean paying their legal fines, bailing them out of jail, or even continuing to forgive them time and time again. In order to stop enabling someone, it may feel like youre too harsh or mean. But ultimately, when you stop enabling someone it is a sign of how much you care for them.
This can often be a sign of codependency. If you think that you might be in a codependent relationship, its important to seek help not just for your loved one, but yourself.
How To Help A Loved One Who Is Struggling With Addiction
Going through an addiction is a horrible thing. Of course, addiction is often worst for the person experiencing it, but it can also be a really hard time for those around them.
When someone you care about is suffering from an addiction, it can be difficult to deal with, especially because you may feel helpless. After all, how do you help someone who is struggling with addiction?
If thats the question you are asking yourself, youve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to help a struggling loved one with their addiction.
Rehab and therapy
As much as you may want to help them yourself, thats not always possible. Firstly, you likely dont have the expertise needed to help them addiction is tricky to deal with, and people often study it for years in order to truly understand it.
Secondly, it could affect your own mental health if you get too involved, especially if your efforts arent succeeding. Convince them to talk to a therapist. If that doesnt work, you may need to get them admitted to a rehab program. Both of these methods are proven to help people with addictions. Have a look at local IOP programs to see if they can help your loved one.
Researching addiction will help you notice the warning signs, and also help you understand what may trigger your loved ones addiction. Both of these things can help you when it comes to helping them.
Be there after their recovery
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Contrast With Other Counseling Methods
2.1 Counseling Approaches Likely to Be Similar
Washington argues that this approach does contain a great deal of originality. There is also a psychological component that incorporates motivational drug counseling techniques described by Miller and Rollnick , relapse prevention techniques told by Marlatt and Gordon , and psychodynamic approaches told by Brehm and Khantzian .
2.2. Various Counseling Methods
Clinical flexibility is valued by clinicians who work with clients collaboratively and consider the specific needs of each individual when offering drug counseling. In contrast, traditional treatment programs tend to be aggressive and confrontational. Drug counseling strongly encourages participation in an alcoholics assistance program or a similar organization. It is not mandatory.
Signs That Abuse Has Become Addiction
Substance abuse can lead to substance dependence or addiction when both the amount of substance used and the rate of use increase. People who experience drug or alcohol addiction feel unable to control the impulse to use, and they often experience withdrawal symptoms in the sudden absence of the substance. Alcoholism, for example, occurs when people become chemically dependent on alcohol, and those who are addicted may become ill if they suddenly stop drinking. People may also feel psychologically dependent on a substance and continue to use it, particularly under stressful circumstances or to alleviate other psychological problems. Some people deny or are unaware that they have a problem with addiction, and sometimes a persons substance dependency and abuse remains hidden from loved ones.
Signs of chemical dependence include:
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Finding A Substance Abuse Counselor Near Me
There are a few common ways to find an addiction counselor for in-person or teletherapy treatment. You can do a simple Google search to find local practices, call a toll-free hotline or seek a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member whos been in your shoes. Calling a national helpline can be a good place to start if youre unsure where to look. However, to ensure you find exactly the right treatment for you, or even if you just need a listening ear, call The Recovery Village its free, completely confidential, and you dont have to commit to a program.
Can Addiction Be Cured
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.7 There is no simple cure for addiction however, effective treatment can help you become and stay sober.7 You will have to manage your addiction throughout your life, the same way a diabetic has to manage their condition with ongoing efforts like a proper diet and exercise.8
While some recovering drug users will experience cravings for months or years, treatment gives you the tools youll need to live a happy and healthy life without substance abuse.
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Is There A Cure For Addiction
Currently, there is no cure for substance use disorders. Much like other chronic health issues, addiction is a persistent and sometimes-relapsing condition. However, also much like other chronic health conditions, there are various ways to treat and manage drug addiction. By treating substance use disorders, people can regain control over their lives by working against the disruptive effects that drugs or alcohol once had on their brain.9
What Makes A Good Addiction Counselor
An addiction counselor collaborates with their patients to identify their needs and goals to develop a customized treatment plan. Your counselor should be a good listener and possesses an overall demeanor of compassion. The initial counseling sessions are designed to lay the foundation for mutual trust, which is imperative for a successful outcome.
I contribute hard work, and my friends at AA for helping me stay sober. Im still in contact with my counselor at the Greenhouse, my rehab. I love talking to other recovering addicts.
– Janis J, recovering addict
Through a counselors empathy and patience, they create a safe environment for the user to openly communicate. This will help the counselor identify the underlying issues that may be driving the addictive behavior. This part of therapy is on of the keys, because without pinpointing the underlying issue, long-term recovery is less likely.
A good therapist will also be able to diagnose and treat any co-occurring mental health conditions. The most important quality in a good addiction counselor is a desire and commitment to help their patients move through the stages of change with the ultimate goal of achieving long-term sobriety.
Get Help During COVID-19
With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.
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How To Help A Loved One Struggling With Addiction
The best ways to help a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may seem counterintuitive, especially for people who struggle with codependent relationships. Some of these methods may seem harsh, but they come from a loving approach with the ultimate goal to help the person overcome their addiction and to help all parties heal. Basic steps are outlined below.
- Remember that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing it is a disease of the brain
- Addiction is ultimately a condition that the individual must learn to manage no one can take the fight on for the addict.
- Set boundaries and stand by them.
- Encourage the individual to seek help this may include finding treatment resources for them.
- Find a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support too.
- Set an example for healthy living by giving up recreational drug and alcohol use.
- Be supportive, but do not cover for problems created by substance abuse. The person struggling needs to deal with the consequences of their addiction.
- Be optimistic. A person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse will likely eventually seek help due to ongoing encouragement to do so. If they relapse, it is not a sign of failure relapse is often part of the overall recovery process.
Take Care Of Yourself First
It can be easy to feel devoted to helping someone get out of drug addiction, but you need to take care of yourself first. If you are not taking proper care of yourself, you wont be able to help someone else.
That means getting a full 8 hours of sleep, exercising, eating well, and even seeking mental health counseling or support groups.
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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.
More On Marijuana Addiction
There is so much confusion on the subject of marijuana addiction. Some people, especially lobbyists for the legalization of marijuana, state that marijuana is seldom if ever addictive. The truth is that many people do become addicted to marijuana. This means that they are unable to control their use of the drug. They use it whether or not there is harm resulting from its use. They may use it when doing so would be hazardous, for example, when they are driving or operating a boat.
And it is essentially universal that a person addicted to this drug will smoke weed instead of dealing with difficulties in his life. With marijuana abuse, problems just seem to fade into the background. But they dont really go away, they just dim out of sight. With the right help, it may not be that difficult to recover from marijuana addiction.
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Get Help For Yourself First
Being in a relationship with a person who has an addiction is often stressful. It’s important that you accept that what you are going through is difficult and seek support. You also need to develop stress management strategies, which is an important step in helping your loved one as well as yourself.
More Young People Become Addicted
One thing supporters of marijuana legalization do not mention is the higher rate of addiction among young initiates. Among all people who use marijuana, one in nine will become dependent on the drug. But when young people start abusing the drug in their teens, the rate is one in six. Just to reinforce that statistic, this means that out of six youth who begin smoking dope in their teenage years, one will become addicted. Parents should understand this clearly.
High levels of harm also occur among those youth who abuse the drug daily. In recent years, the number of youth using the drug daily has increased. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than six percent of high school seniors smoke the drug every day. Nearly one in four are current users . Studies funded by the National Academy of Sciences show that heavy marijuana use results in a significant drop in IQ and that some impairment from using the drug does not go away when the use of the drug stops.
At the time of their life when the ability to learn and think clearly is the most vitalwhen they are getting their educations and starting careersmillions of youth are damaging their ability to succeed. While there are no statistics on this point, anecdotal information indicates that loss of abilities in this area has led many people to abandon their educational and career goals.
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