Helping A Friend With Addiction
If you’re worried about a friend who has an addiction, you can use these tips to help him or her. For example, let your friend know that you are available to talk or offer your support. If you notice a friend backsliding, talk about it openly and ask what you can do to help.
If your friend is going back to drugs or drinking and won’t accept your help, don’t be afraid to talk to a nonthreatening, understanding adult, like your parent or school counselor. It may seem like you’re ratting your friend out, but it’s the best support you can offer.
Above all, offer a friend who’s battling an addiction lots of encouragement and praise. It may seem corny, but hearing that you care is just the kind of motivation your friend needs.
How To Get Your Child To Stop Playing Video Games
One of the biggest obstacles that parents run into when trying to get their child to stop playing video games is when they say, âNo gaming for a week. Read this book insteadâ or something along those lines.
Nobody in that relationship understands that the child cannot enjoy and engage with that book â they just donât have the capacity to do that, not in the way that we do.
As a parent, you have to understand that when you give your child a small alternative to gaming, they will not be able to enjoy it. You have to pull them away from video games in a significant manner to get them to have a healthy dopamine-functioning brain.
The good news is that you donât need to shut down their gaming habit completely. It is enough to engage your child in a way that they find enjoyable.
For example, some people go whitewater rafting for a vacation. Whitewater rafting is a high adrenaline activity and that is why gamers tend to love it. It gives their brain a similar dopamine response as gaming. It is engaging, healthy, and something you can do as a family.
To break a childâs video game addiction, you need to give them a hard but engaging task. That is due to how video games affect the triumph circuit in our minds. Triumph requires adversity, so your child will be the most responsive to activities that are challenging, yet fun.
Dr. Kanojia talks about the problems parents face when trying to regulate their childâs gaming habit:
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Dont Let Your Fear Of Not Being Able To Deal With Addiction Deter You From Having The Conversation
If someone you care about is struggling with addiction, you might avoid having the conversation because you dont think that you can handle the repercussions of their addiction. In actual fact, you dont really need to do very much to support someone who has an addiction. You mostly just need to be there with them and show you care, while professional addiction counselors trained in addiction take the lead in guiding their recovery.
While there is obviously an emotionally demanding component to supporting a recovering addict, your physical presence is really all thats needed to show them you care. Counseling, support groups, and information available online can support you through the process.
The e realization that your support can truly be life-changing can be life-changing for you and for your family. And, of course, your support can help struggling individuals transform their entire life.
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Adhere To A Formal Sleep/wake Schedule
Some of the more dangerous addictive behaviors often occur in the middle of the night. People with addictions can meet dealers, overdose, stumble home from parties or get into other situations that family members have to deal with. Its no surprise, then, that some families in the recovery process struggle with sleep. Parts of their brains are ready and waiting for the next nighttime crisis to arise.
Regular sleep loss can make the recovery process more difficult. For example, studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to a range of social and emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and lack of motivation. Setting a consistent, adequate sleep schedule can help you get the rest you need to function your best and cope with the challenges of having a loved one with an addiction.
Do You Know Someone Addicted To Crack
Crack cocaine is a stimulant drug, meaning that it speeds up the nervous system and leads to increased activity. People who become addicted to crack may seem very energetic, happy, focused or attentive.
When a person smokes crack cocaine, the effects are seen almost immediately because the drug is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The scientific properties of crack cocaine mean that people are likely to develop tolerance and dependence to the drug, which can quickly lead to addiction. Its nearly impossible for someone to use crack occasionally or recreationally because of how powerful and addictive the drug is.
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Find Support For Yourself
Being in a relationship with a person who has a substance use disorder is often stressful. It’s important that you accept that what you are going through is difficult and seek support. There are many resources that exist for this purpose.
Consider joining a support group, for instance, such as Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Children and teens can get support from Alateen. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a variety of resources designed to provide insight and support for families of addicts.
It’s also essential to develop stress management strategies. This is an important step in helping you help your loved one. These strategies will help you cope with the stressors you will likely encounter when helping a friend or family member seek and receive help with an addiction.
Some Actions You Can Take:
- Read about the signs and symptoms of substance use.
- Observe the persons behavior closely over a period of days or weeks to understand what leads you to think there is a problem. This information will be good to have if you decide to talk with other family members about the situation, seek advice from a professional, or speak directly with the person. However, dont feel you need an exhaustive picture of the problem before.
- Contact a substance use professional, mental health professional, physician, employee assistance professional, guidance counselor, clergy or other helping professional to help you. Describe your family members substance use pattern to see whether the professional would deem it a problem. Provide details such as: type of alcohol or other drugs, how much the person is using, how often they are using, how long the pattern has continued, negative consequences, and the persons response to discussions or confrontations about substance use.
- Ensure that you and other family members are safe from potential physical or emotional harm. If there is a threat or possibility of physical violence, you should develop a safety plan.
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Prepare Meals And Eat Them As A Family
In todays modern, chaotic world, its all too easy to eat separately. One partner grabs a burger on the way home, the other snacks on salad at work and the kids heat up ready-made foods they can find in the freezer.
A family meal allows everyone to reconnect at the end of a day that may have been stressful, lonely or upsetting. Each meal helps build upon the work done in family therapy, and the ritual of eating together can promote a sense of common ground and togetherness.
The activity doesnt have to stop at the table, either. Spending time making the meal together or cleaning up afterwards can increase the benefits. Even one meal together per week can have a significant impact.
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Signs Of Addiction In A Marriage
Some couples know before they say I do that a partner has issues with drugs or alcohol. Those in recovery can be the healthiest, most well-adjusted people youll meet, but they can also relapse.
Other couples may be shocked to find out the extent of a partners problems with drugs or alcohol. Addicts can be especially skillful at concealing their problems from others, and that includes their spouse or potential spouse. It may be only after youre married that you realize your partner has a substance abuse problem, and then all your attention goes to helping your addicted spouse.
For yet a third group, addiction creeps into the marriage. One partner undergoes surgery and takes necessary prescription painkillers during recovery, only to find they cant stop taking them. Someone begins to dabble with marijuana, cocaine or synthetic drugs. After-work stops at the bar become nightly events instead of weekly events.
It doesnt matter how your partner got where they are today. What matters instead is recognizing the problem, and understanding and implementing the dos and donts of helping your addicted spouse.
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The Benefits Of Taking Action Early
Movies, books, and magazines often portray people who hit bottom before they can be helped. However, this representation is a myth. People do not need to bottom out to be helped. Research shows that early identification of the problem is a much more effective solution for substance use problems.
Early identification occurs at the first signs of a problem before anyone has suffered a traumatic event, dropped out of school, or lost important relationships, jobs, health, or self-respect.
Identification can be done through a health care professional screening, employee assistance professional, or family member. What happens after the screening depends on the results of the test. Some people can learn to cut back, while some need further assessment and possible treatment.
In general, all people are better equipped to work on recovery if their substance use problem is discovered and confronted early on. Treatment in the early stages of a substance use disorder is likely to be less intense, less disruptive, and cause less anxiety.
Waiting for people to ask for help is a risky strategy. Without help, family members can expect crises like arrests, medical emergencies, loss of job, public embarrassment, and even death.
Some people find that when they seek help for themselves, the person struggling with addiction gets angry. This may be perhaps because the efforts represent a loss of control. Also, getting help signals that you are serious about changing the situation.
Schedule Private Therapy Sessions
While lifestyle alterations can be a big help for families in crisis, addictions can cause deep wounds that often benefit from seeking professional help. Research has found that families of addicted people experience increased levels of depression and anxiety. Caregivers can feel worn out from everything theyre asked to do for their family member, and they may not have access to healthy coping skills. Siblings or children can feel forgotten or feel like they have to do better to make up for the addiction, leading to self-esteem issues.
Theres no judgment or blame here a private therapy session is a safe place for stressed family members to talk openly and work through issues.
Private sessions typically follow a skills-based format, in which caregivers learn more about how to deal with destructive thoughts and habits developed during years of addictive behavior. They might learn to meditate to handle stress, or they might work on assertiveness skills. They might do group work involving anger management, or they might learn how to let go of codependent behaviors so they wont feel responsible for the poor choices of others.
It takes time to go to personal therapy sessions, and theres often homework to complete between sessions. However, this time comes with a number of very real benefits. Family members who spend their time in these sessions may get the help they need in order to help others, and they may find the strength and resolve thats been missing until now.
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Track Evidence Of A Problem
Part of addiction is denial. When confronted, the addict will usually claim that they do not have a problem, that everything is OK, that they like to party sometimes but that they can stop whenever they want to.
Make a list of all of the times you can recall that drugs affected your family members life. Write down the missed birthdays, DUIs lost jobs, fights, and hospital stays.
An addict may have excuses for all of their actions. However, by giving precise and convincing evidence of the ways drugs are impacting your family, you begin to build a case that they need help.
Taking Care Of Yourself
Your loved ones recovery from drug addiction can be a long process and the negative impact on your own health, outlook, and well-being can multiply over time. Its important you maintain a balance in your life to avoid burnout from all the stress and frustration that comes from helping someone get clean.
Find support. Expressing what youre going through can be very cathartic, so look for support from trusted friends and family, or a peer support group for family members of drug addicts. Talking to others who are facing similar challenges can help you find comfort, reassurance, and new ways of coping.
Manage stress. The stress of witnessing someone you love battle addiction can take a heavy toll. You can reduce your stress levels by eating right, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and practicing a relaxation technique such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. Since stress levels can escalate when quitting drugs, you can even encourage your loved one to do the same.
Practice acceptance. At some point, youve probably asked yourself Why me? or even blamed yourself for your loved ones struggle with addiction. But dwelling on circumstances outside your control will only sap your energy and damage your mood. Instead of searching for someone to blame or asking questions with no easy answers, learning to accept the things you cant change can help you focus on the things that you do have control over.
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How To Help Someone With A Crack Addiction
There are things you can do to take care of yourself when living with someone who is addicted to crack. However, if you want the person to continue to be in your life, they will usually need to seek some sort of treatment.
Even when treatment is warranted, the irrational thinking and erratic behaviors that come with crack addiction can make it hard to convince your loved one that they need to get help. If you want to help someone recover from a crack addiction, consider:
Gaming Addiction In Children And How To Deal With It
Gaming addiction, especially among children, has become a global malady, turned more ominous after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Children are increasingly exposed to gadgets during the pandemic not only for online classes but they cling on to them most of the time through the day. Children feel themselves as a part of the game, which is quite appealing to them.
They become deeply engrossed in the characters in the video game and imagine themselves as one of the characters. This type of over-indulgence can compound the risk for video game addiction, making them reclusive with sedentary habits.
Due to a gaming addiction kids tend to neglect their homework, activities at school and household chores. It can also hinder their social skill development, personality development and make them recluses.
Addiction is basically any compulsive behavior. Video game addiction in children can achieve a threshold meeting the clinical criteria for addiction.
Playing video game provides a sense of euphoria and relieves them from any distress or unpleasant feeling. Kids often experience withdrawal when they are prohibited to play video games. However, gaming interferes with everyday life, including social relationships and academics.
Children and teen with certain characteristics traits are at greater risk of gaming addiction such as:
- Poor social skill
Negative Effects of Online Gaming
How to recognize signs of addiction in your children?
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Recognizing Signs Of Substance Abuse In A Marriage
Each couple is unique, and the signs of drug and alcohol abuse may be difficult to spot or very obvious. If you suspect your partner has a problem, look for the following signs and symptoms:
- Money disappearing without explanation.
- Drugs, alcohol or drug paraphernalia hidden around the house.
- Extensive time spent with friends partying, especially without you.
- Broken promises, such as a promise not to drink at a party that turns into a binge.
- Inability to stop drinking or using substances even after repeated promises not to use them.
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence.
- Putting children or others lives at risk with their intoxication or behavior while intoxicated.
- Spending more time away from home without explanation.
- Difficulty keeping a job, especially due to chronic lateness or absenteeism.
- Health issues, such as liver problems, sores that wont heal, chronic coughs or digestive issues.
Many spouses say they feel like a single parent when their partner turns to drugs or alcohol. One of the hardest things to bear while your loved one is using is the undue burden it puts on you to run the household while your partner struggles with their disease.
Drugs and alcohol can cause peoples personalities to change drastically. While under the influence or while experiencing cravings, they may say or do things they wouldnt normally do. Personality changes are hard on a spouse. Its as if the person you married has disappeared, replaced by a monster named Addiction.
Take Care Of Yourself Too
Having problems with substance use is a chronic illness. It not only affects the person who is suffering, but everyone close to them. Family and friends often place the needs of their loved one above their own. That can result in a lack of self-care, increased illness and sometimes struggles with depression and anxiety.
Taking care of your own physical, emotional and mental needs first will make you better equipped to help your loved one through the difficult journey of recovery. As the old phrase goes, You cant pour from an empty cup. There are also many support groups for families that can provide care and community as you navigate this challenging role.
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