Wednesday, July 10, 2024

How To Deal With Someone Who Is Addicted To Drugs

What To Expect In Rehab

How to Deal with an Alcoholic or Drug Addicted Son or Daughter?

If your loved one has decided to enter a treatment program for their addiction, they can expect to first check-in and complete an intake interview. This will allow the program to create a plan tailored to their needs.

The next step involves detoxing to remove any substances from their body. This process can take anywhere from three to 14 days and can be aided by medications to ease withdrawal symptoms.

After detox, the next step involves therapy to help them adjust and develop new thought and behavior patterns that will support their long-term recovery.

How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder

When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do, and not do, which can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8

  • Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
  • Be patient.
  • Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works, and how it can help.
  • Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.


  • Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
  • Donât yell or act angry.
  • Enable the person.

What If My Friend Isnt Responding To My Help

Sometimes, even the best efforts to help a friend arent enough to make them stop.

Find out about treatment resources that are available

Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery are two self-help recovery programs that offer support from other people recovering from drug addictions, address the factors behind drug abuse and help people regain control of their lives. These websites have tons of information about addiction and getting help. If your friend isnt willing to go to a support group, try suggesting a confidential telephone service such as DirectLine.

Dont forget about yourself

When someone you care about is trapped in addiction, it affects you, too. Family Drug Help provides support and information to family members and friends of someone with an addiction.

Read Also: How To Beat Crack Addiction

Support Them To Use Services

You can:

  • help them find out what services are available locally
  • go with them if they would like you to
  • support them to make the most of the services they are using

If the support offered is not helpful, or they are reluctant to attend, you may be asked to attend meetings with their support workers and doctors to help both you and them provide the most suitable care.

NICE guidelines suggest that if you are involved in your friend or relative’s care in this way, they should be shown a copy of the record of the meetings and what you have said.

Tip #: Take Care Of Yourself

Five Facts About Addiction People Just Don

Focusing on your own life is the most important thing you can do to assist the addict. If you are stressed out due to their issues, in addition to your own, it creates resentment and strain. It makes it difficult to want to help someone who has created so much difficulty in your life. By taking care of yourself through exercising, getting plenty of sleep, socializing and getting support, you may be better able to help your loved one when they are ready to accept the help.

The most important thing to remember is that you arent alone. Many people battle with these issues every day and it is vital to get the resources and support you need.

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What Should I Do

Worrying about a friends drug use is stressful, and how you choose to deal with it is up to you. You might try to help your friend, you might decide to put up with it and not say much, or you might decide to step back and not offer much support.

There are pros and cons to each of these choices, and its essential you think of your own wellbeing when you decide on which approach to take. It may be that you need support and/or professional help yourself too.

An Injury Results In Escalated Addiction

When Ryan was nineteen, he suffered a leg fracture, and the doctors prescribed opioid pain relievers. After that, his substance use disorder escalated quickly. When the doctors wouldnt give him any more pain medicine, he bought it on the streets, says Karen. Ryan worked in our family business at the time. We heard from employees that he was showing up looking wasted. When we found out he was buying on the street, Ryan finally admitted to us that he was addicted to pain pills. We took him to our family doctor, and he gave him different pain pills to wean him off the opioids. It was a disaster. Then he put him on suboxone. For six months we thought Ryan was clean, but he wasnt. And when we found out that he wasnt, my husband finally said to Ryan, You need to go to rehab or youre fired. For several months, Ryan had residential treatment at Stepping Stone, the sister center of Lakeview Health. Karen and Jimmy were hopeful, but Ryan was not yet ready or willing to go into recovery. He went back to his condo and his drug buddies. They got him right back on it as soon as he got home, remembers Karen.

Read Also: How Rehabilitation Helps Drug Addicts

Understanding Your Loved Ones Substance Abuse

People start using drugs for a lot of different reasons. Many turn to substances to cope with the emotional pain of a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Known as self-medicating, some people may be aware they have a mental health issue but are unable to find healthier ways of coping, while others remain undiagnosed and use drugs to manage specific symptoms.

Other people turn to drugs to change how they feel, to fit in, or to alleviate boredom or dissatisfaction with their lives. Then there are those whose substance abuse develops from a doctors well-intentioned efforts to treat a medical condition. Of all the people prescribed opioids to relieve pain, for example, estimates suggest that more than a quarter will end up misusing the drug.

Whatever your loved ones reason for starting, though, not everyone who uses drugs develops a problem. While the exact causes of addiction arent clear, genetics likely plays a role, along with environmental factors. While one person is able to use substances without detrimental effects, another finds even casual use quickly escalates into compulsion and addictiona very dark hole from which they can feel powerless to emerge.

Need to talk to someone?

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Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Or Alcohol Addiction

How to Help Someone With Drug or Alcohol Addiction

There are signs and symptoms to look for that could indicate your loved one has a substance use disorder. Mental health professionals outline the criteria used to diagnose someone with a substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition . If your loved one meets at least 2 of the following criteria over the last 12 months, they may meet the criteria to be diagnosed with a substance use disorder:2

  • The person takes more of the substance than originally intended.
  • The person uses substances in high-risk situations, such as driving.
  • The person has increased interpersonal conflict over the use of substances.
  • The person neglects their responsibilities at home or work due to using substances.
  • The person gives up hobbies or other interests to use substances.
  • The person tries unsuccessfully to stop using or cut back on substances.
  • The person spends a lot of time and resources seeking the substance out and using it.
  • The person keeps taking the substance, even while knowing it causes harm to their physical or mental health.
  • The person has cravings to use the substance.
  • The person develops a tolerance to the substance, meaning that he or she needs more and more of the substance to keep feeling the desired effects.
  • The person experiences withdrawal symptoms when stopping or significantly reducing their use of the substance.

Read Also: How To Help Someone Addicted To Meth

Learn As Much As Possible About Addiction

Education can help families escape the blame game. Rather than believing that the persons addiction stems from weakness, willfulness or stubbornness, it might be helpful to understand how it actually stems from changes within the brain. Understanding that addiction is not a choice might help you let go of anger and resentment you may be feeling about your loved ones addiction.

There are many online resources that can help families learn about addiction. Most bookstores also offer a wide selection of books about the chemistry of addiction and the science behind addiction treatment.

Additionally, every day, research teams are conducting in-depth studies about drugs. Theyre learning more about how substances interact with the cells inside the brain, and theyre using that knowledge to develop new treatments that might one day either treat or prevent addictions.

Thats the sort of knowledge that can help boost a familys sense of hope. With each advancement, you can feel more confident that the addiction can be treated and conquered.

Understanding Why Your Loved One Doesnt Want To Go To Rehab

Even though Canada suffers from a strong prevalence of drug abuse, only 1 in 10 people suffering from addiction seek out some form of treatment. The stats are unfortunate since there are many resources for individuals to take advantage of. This includes online information, inpatient rehabilitation, and help phone lines.

Many individuals choose not to admit themselves to rehabilitation for a number of personal reasons. Whether these reasons are acceptable or not, they are often the things that stop people from getting the help they so desperately need.

If someone you know requires rehabilitation but refuses to attend, it may be hard to understand. However, the following are 5 reasons people dont go to rehab, to help you get a better grasp on the potential underlying issues.

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Option 1 Talk To Your Coworker

The first step may involve talking to your coworker. Some addiction professionals note that showing someone with an addiction that you care for them and their well-being can be the first step toward getting them the help they need.

If you feel safe to do so, you may want to speak to your coworker directly about the situation in a non-judgmental way. Let them know that you dont want to see them lose a job or face disciplinary action or harm someone. But that can be risky. Your addicted coworker may become defensive or angry, denying the problem and lashing out at you for bringing it up. Someone whose addiction causes them to feel paranoid and threatened might even try to harm you. Assess the situation thoroughly before proceeding.

What Should You Do In An Emergency

Substance Abuse Articles

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 a seizure.
  • 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.

Contact the helpline

Also Check: How To Curb Sugar Addiction

Don’t Tell Them What To Do

You want to help your loved one with their addiction in any way you can, but you can’t control exactly how they do it. They may have unconventional ways of looking at their addiction, or maybe they’re experimenting with alternative therapies or treatments.

As long as they aren’t causing more harm to themselves or others in the process, you can show them that you respect their way of making positive changes. Rather than dictating what they must do, ask them how you can help.

For instance, saying “Why haven’t you gotten help already?,” or telling them what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do comes across as condescending. You want to avoid putting added pressure on them and instead, be a trusted friend that they feel safe with.

  • You should just quit cold turkey. It worked for someone else I know.

  • I want you to feel your best. I can help you research treatment centers or therapists if you’d like.

Addiction Affects Everyone Not Just The Person Struggling With Substance Misuse Here Are 10 Tips That Can Help Family Members Cope With A Loved Ones Addiction

Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a… read more

In 2018, about 5.8% percent of American adults were dependent on alcohol or had difficulties relating to alcohol use, and more than 11.7% of Americans aged 12 or older reported using an illicit drug in the prior month.

These statistics represent millions of people struggling with substance misuse and addiction and nearly all of these people have family members and friends rooting for their eventual recovery. Families play a large role in the recovery process, so it is important for spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends and others to understand how to help.

If youre the loved one of someone struggling with addiction, you may have many questions and concerns, such as:

  • How to deal with addiction
  • How to support your loved one

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Food Addiction Once And For All

How To Help Someone Dealing With Addiction

Knowing someone who has an addiction is not uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. You will inevitably be concerned about your loved one, and it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do, but its important to remember that Recovery is a solution.

Look Into Professional Treatment And Drug Rehab Services For Them

Drugs & Addiction : How to Deal With a Drug Addict

Your loved one likely does not even know where to begin or what options are out there for them to get help.

In fact, it is likely they may not even want to hear about them. If they are not ready for a change, any option you present is likely to be shot down. If they are ready, it may seem simply too exhausting for them to have to research their options.

This is where you can be of service by seeing what is out there for treatment first, so you can make educated suggestions when the time is right. There are many methods of treatment, and it is important to keep this in mind before choosing a drug rehab facility to explore.

One of the more popular methods is the 12-step program. At Cirque Lodge, we believe every addiction and person is unique, and we tailor treatment accordingly. So while we are founded on the 12-steps, we also integrate effective forms of clinical therapies into a mind, body and spirit approach to help a person become healthy from the inside out. Understanding treatment approaches is the key to your loved one is success in that program.

Also, there is an alternative to helping someone who is in a downward spiral whom you believe must seek help very soon, whether they want to or not. This is what is called intervention. Interventions can require planning, because there are many layers to successfully staging it.

Also Check: How To Become An Addictions Counselor In Maryland

Supporting A Loved Ones Addiction Recovery

Theres no one-size-fits-all solution to overcoming an addiction to drugs, and its rarely a process thats quick or straightforward. While you can support your loved one and encourage treatment, you cant force them to change or control their decision-making. Letting your loved one assume responsibility for their behavior and choices is an important step on their road to sobriety.

Adjust your expectations. Everyone is different. Recovery for one person may mean total abstinence from drugs. For another, it could mean cutting back or staying mostly drug-free. Being too rigid in your expectations can lead to disappointment and a sense of failure, even if your loved one finds stability in their life again.

Encourage your loved one to seek help. While some people are able to quit drugs on their own, the more help and support a person has, the better their chances of success. Offer to sit with your loved one while they call a helpline or accompany them to a doctors appointment, counseling session, or peer support group meeting.

Help plan for triggers and cravings. Your loved one will need to find ways to cope with drug cravings and triggers. You can help distract them with other activities or encourage them to learn how to ride out the urge, but ultimately, they have to be responsible for their own sobriety.

Treatment options

Mum Of Two Sold Cocaine To Pay Off Her Addict Driven Drug Debt

Hayley Thomas owed £3,500 – £4,000 before she started dealing

A mum-of-two sold cocaine and cannabis to pay off her own £4,000 drug debt.

Hayley Thomas, 40, of Dulas Road, Kirkby, would bag up in her kitchen and go out with a mobile phone and sell drugs.

Thomas attended Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, January 10 after police stopped the Vauxhall van she was travelling in after officers smelt cannabis.

READ MORE:Liverpool lecturer and doctor wife killed after crashing into tree on M6

Paul Blasbery, prosecuting told the court : “The officers stopped the van and immediately smelt cannabis. A man in the van was found to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis and cash.

A subsequent search at her home found £310 cash, a large amount of bagged cannabis, a large quantity of cocaine, scales and snap bags.

When her mobile phone was analysed it contained drug related messages asking for drugs.”

The cocaine was found to be worth on the streets up to £2,287 and the cannabis up to £4,550. When interviewed she said she lived at the address with her two daughters and was unemployed and made no further comment.

But the court heard how Thomas had been addicted to cocaine and cannabis and worked up a huge debt to her supplier.

Thomas’lawyer, Paul Woods, said: “Her debt was ever fluctuating but it never appeared to go down.

He pointed out that 40-year-old Thomas has two daughters and has never been in trouble before.

Read More

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