How Racism And Addiction Play Into Language
Arthur*, a former heroin user, also shared his thoughts on the language surrounding addiction. I have more respect for dope fiends, he says, explaining that its a hard road to travel and understand if you havent gone through it yourself.
He also alludes to racism in addiction language, too that people of color are painted as addicted to dirty street drugs, versus white people dependent on clean prescription medications. People say, Im not addicted, Im dependent cause a doctor prescribed it, Arthur adds.
Perhaps its no coincidence that theres growing awareness and empathy now, as more and more white populations are developing dependency and addictions.
Empathy needs to be given to everyone no matter race, sexuality, income, or creed.
We should also aim to remove the terms clean and dirty altogether. These terms hold belittling moralistic notions that people with addictions were once not good enough but now that theyre in recovery and clean, theyre acceptable. People with addictions arent dirty if theyre still using or if a drug test comes back positive for use. People shouldnt have to describe themselves as clean to be considered human.
Dont say this: Are you clean?
Say this instead: How are you doing?
Just like with the use of the term junkie, some people with use disorders may use the term clean to describe their sobriety and recovery. Again, its not up to us to label them and their experience.
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.
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.
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What Are Substance Abuse And Addiction
The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.
You can abuse a drug without having an addiction. For example, just because Sara smoked pot a few times doesn’t mean that she has an addiction, but it does mean that she’s abusing a drug and that could lead to an addiction.
People can get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become addicted to medicines, cigarettes, even glue.
Some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.
Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Someone who’s addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that he or she has to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
Look Into Professional Treatment And Drug Rehab Services For Them
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.
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Come To Reality With Your Addiction And Decide To Take Action
In many cases, drug addiction happens as a result of trauma in your life. However, there are many other cases when it happens almost by accident. An example of this is athletes who get addicted to painkillers. Either way, the first step to coming out of an addiction is facing the truth.
It can be easy to tell yourself that you dont have a real problem or that its not causing any damage, but these lies actually deepen your addiction. Admitting that there is a problem and being willing to reach out for help is the first step to recovery. It takes courage and strength to admit this to yourself and to anyone else, so dont diminish the importance of this first step.
Here are a few more tips to help you come to terms with your addiction.
Reflect on How Drugs Impacted Your Life
Think about the first time you tried drugs and what you were feeling. Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I seen my family recently?
- Have I seen my friends recently?
- Does my drug use make me feel shame or guilt?
- Have I broken the law because of these habits?
- Have I tried to stop and failed?
- Are these habits taking my life in a direction that I want?
You cant outsmart your addiction. But these questions can help you think about the difference between the life that you want to have and the life that you will have because of drugs.
Think About the Positive Changes When You Quit
The Dos And Donts Of Helping A Loved One With An Addiction
Once youve noticed the signs of addiction in your loved one like an Alcohol Addiction or an Opioid Addiction, for example youll need to know how to talk to and treat them in a way that is positive and helpful. There are several ways to do this, some easy to practice and others that require a little more effort and understanding on your part. Here are a few dos and donts for helping a loved one deal with addiction:
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My Friend Told Me Something In Private What Should I Do
It might be that your friend takes drugs to deal with a difficult situation, or block out something thats happened in the past.
Your friend might have told you something very personal, which they dont want you to repeat, but which is related to their drug use.
If this is the case, then youll probably need to get professional help for your friend and you can do this without breaking your friends confidence by:
calling Frank anytime on for confidential advice
contacting one of the young peoples and adult drug treatment organisations in your area
Remember, you dont have to say whats happened to your friend, just that your friend needs some help with managing their drugs use.
What If The Person Doesnt Want Help For Drugs Or Alcohol
Ultimately, its the persons decision whether to seek professional help. Many people who misuse drugs or alcohol find it hard to ask for help at first, but may want to reach out later on. Be careful not to nag the person, since this might discourage them from opening up in the future.
Clearly state any behaviours you expect, or wont tolerate, from the person. You might not accept drug use in your home, for example.
Encourage the person to use safely to minimise the risk of harming themselves for example, through needle and syringe programs or opioid replacement programs.
Its important to know that you cant force the person to stop using drugs or alcohol. Only they can choose to change.
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Can I Section Someone For Drug Or Alcohol Use
Doctors cannot section someone just because they are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
But if someone who takes drugs or alcohol also has mental health problems, doctors may be able to section them. This is usually only for a mental health emergency, for example if their safety is at risk.
If you are someone’s nearest relative, you may be able to ask for them to have a mental health assessment.
Our pages on sectioning have more information.
Sometimes itâs the people looking after others who need care and understanding themselves.
Tips To Overcome Drug Addiction:
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How Are Medications And Devices Used In Drug Addiction Treatment
Medications and devices can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions.
Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself “treatment,” but only the first step in the process. Patients who do not receive any further treatment after detoxification usually resume their drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications . In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device, NSS-2 Bridge, for use in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and sends electrical pulses to stimulate certain brain nerves. Also, in May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Relapse prevention. Patients can use medications to help re-establish normal brain function and decrease cravings. Medications are available for treatment of opioid , tobacco , and alcohol addiction. Scientists are developing other medications to treat stimulant and cannabis addiction. People who use more than one drug, which is very common, need treatment for all of the substances they use.
Discuss Concerns When They Are Under The Influence Or Their Emotions Are Running High
Nothing meaningful or helpful can be discussed when someone is under the influence or the people involved are upset. No one thinks clearly when theyre overwhelmed by their emotions. It can feel uncomfortable to hold onto what you want to say for a later time, but waiting for the right moment to discuss serious issues is important. Otherwise, you risk using harsh language that increases hurt and shame and lessens the chances theyll respond positively.
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How Can I Stop My Friend Taking Lots Of Drugs
You cant force your friend to do anything they dont want to do, but you still might be able to help.
Start by encouraging your friend to stay away from the places where theyd normally take drugs , and suggest other activities.
You can also remind your friend of the potential dangers involved in taking lots of drugs and tell them where they can get accurate information about what theyre using. Whatever happens, make sure your friend knows youre around and happy to talk that youre there to help and not judge.
How To Talk To Someone About Their Drug Abuse
Starting a conversation with someone about their drug addiction is never easy, but its important you come from a place of compassion and understanding. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict. Drug abuse is often a misguided attempt to cope with painful issues or mental health problems. Stress tends to fuel addictive behavior, so criticizing, demeaning, or shaming them will only push your loved one away and may even encourage them to seek further comfort in substance abuse.
Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if its your child or teen whos using. These strong emotions can make communicating with a drug user even more challenging. So, its important to choose a time when youre both calm, sober, and free of distractions to talk. Offer your help and support without being judgmental.
Dont delay. You dont have to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottomto get arrested, lose their job, suffer a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselvesto speak out. The earlier an addiction is treated, the better.
Express your concerns honestly. Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being. Offer specific examples of your loved ones drug-related behavior that have made you concernedand be honest about your own feelings.
Staging an intervention
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Persevering And Setting Boundaries