Tuesday, April 9, 2024

How To Get An Addict To Stop Using

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When addictions get out of hand, they not only put you in harms way but also put the people you care about in danger.

If your addictions are getting out of control, then the best course of action is to seek professional help. Counselors and Therapists are trained to handle addictions and can become a great support mechanism on your road to recovery.

Find A Way To Fill Your Days

While getting high, its easy to leave hobbies in the dust for drug use. Things like running, video games, reading, writing and athletic teams get neglected in favor of buying drugs and partying. Unfortunately, after these kinds of lifestyle changes, its easy to feel as though theres no reason to live without drug use.

Instead of finding yourself with idle time and letting temptation take over, use your newfound sobriety to reexplore your former passions. Join a running club, buy a new game, buy some new books or take up an instrument. With something new to think about and take up time in your day, its easier to leave drugs in the rearview mirror.

Ways To Reduce Or Quit Drugs

There is no treatment that works for everyone. Just as drugs affect each person differently, treatment needs to be individual. Its important to find a program that works for you.

Treatment options range from counselling through to hospital care it depends on which drugs are involved and how serious your dependence or addiction is. They include:

  • going cold turkey you stop taking drugs suddenly, with no outside help or support
  • counselling and lifestyle changes individual or group therapy can help you learn to cope without drugs. This can be successful if your drug use has been mild. Peer support groups are often run by recovered addicts their personal experience can be helpful to others
  • detoxification you stop taking drugs and have medical treatment while your body clears the drug from your system
  • rehabilitation this is a longer term treatment where you stay in a hospital or clinic, or at home. It also involves psychological treatment to help you deal with issues that may have contributed to your drug use

If you have mental health issues your treatment will need to address that at the same time for your overall treatment to be effective.

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Is Drug Addiction In Canada Getting Out Of Control

Drug addiction is a massive problem in Canada with a growing number of young people and adults succumbing to substance abuse and its negative consequences. There are various types of illicit and even prescription drugs that are commonly abused and used for non-medical purposes. It helps to know these drugs, how they work and how they are used, along with the corresponding Canadian statistics that show their impact on a personal and social level.

Am I Overreacting To A Substance Use Problem

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If you are noticing problems in friend or family members work, health, family, finances, relationships, social functioning, legal issues, self-esteem or self-respect, you are not overreacting.

Continuing to use substances in spite of the fact that such behavior is causing problems, is a problem in and of itself. It shows that substance use has become more important than the problems it causes. Someone who is unwilling to discuss the issue or consider whether there might be a problem is a strong indicator that a problem exists.

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What Happens To The Brain When A Person Takes Drugs

Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit,” causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.

As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drugan effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.

Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:

  • learning
  • memory
  • behavior

Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.

Remove Your Enabling Habits

One of the things you can do, as a loved one, is to stop your enabling behavior. As previously noted, many people provide for their loved ones needs. You do it because you love them. You want to save your son or daughters life. You want your spouse to just get better. Just one more chance, you think, and it will get betterbut then it doesnt. Heres what you can do to stop enabling your loved one:

  • Stop providing an excuse for their use.
  • Dont give them money for groceries or other needs. Dont pay any bills for them.
  • Stop providing the alcohol or the money for drugs.
  • Stop covering up their addictive behaviors.
  • Dont do their work for them.

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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.

Begin Your Rehabilitation Journey

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Once youve conquered the dangers of drug withdrawal, youre ready to begin the rehabilitation process. Understand that although you dont necessarily have to enroll in a program, you must still do all of the work that you would have done had you undergone treatment.

It is critical that you begin by identifying the root cause of your addiction. You may be using substances to escape reality, get away from depression or anxiety, or to cope with something in your past.

It will be very difficult to stop using if you dont understand why you started in the first place.

If you believe the problem is related to a separate, underlying mental health issue, then it is imperative that you seek out professional help to guide you through rehab. Co-occurring disorders are extremely difficult for fully trained professionals to treat, let alone an individual performing self-guided rehab at home.

Addressing your mental health via therapy or the right prescription medication, however, may enable you to eventually tackle the rehabilitation process on your own.

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What Should You Do In An Emergency

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

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The Internet: Past And Present

In the years 2005 to 2009, there was no widespread definition of Internet addiction.

Why choose those years? A couple of reasons:

  • Those were the years of my middle adolescent period
  • Those were the last couple of years before Web 2.0 and widespread social media
  • More people worldwide were logging in online
  • I can personally remember a distinct period of before and after especially with regards to how people in my age group communicated and their expectations from life.

    I can remember a time when Myspace and AOL were social media, blogs were considered a new thing, and everyone had flip phones. There was no real type of clickbait and YouTube was still in its early stages. Many people alive today cannot relate to this experience.

    With widespread Internet use, you also get a larger user base. With a larger user base, you are able to easily draw conclusions about how specific things affect a specific population over time. In this case, the population is humanity and the thing is unrestricted Internet access.

    As of this writing 4.5 billion people use the Internet on a consistent basis. Thats a large amount of people and obviously any type of large-scale deployment of something as alluring as the Internet will have a tangible effect on many people.

    Even though this technology I grew up with as a teen is considered relatively primitive compared to the times we live in now, I still came out on the other side with a mild to moderate Internet addiction.

    Some Actions You Can Take:

    Can You Stop Drug Addiction?
    • 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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    How To Find The Right Addiction Treatment Program

    There are many ways to begin your search for the right addiction treatment program.2

    • Consult your family physician or other treatment professional for an evaluation or referral.
    • Ask trusted friends/relatives.
    • Search trusted online sources.
    • Read online reviews of treatment centers.

    When researching addiction treatment programs, you may want to consider factors such as the availability of medical detox services, treatment of co-occurring disorders, and medication-assisted treatment. You may also want to ask about the programs levels of care and staffing, licenses and accreditation, and types of treatment plans.3

    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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    Keep A Journal Of Your Thoughts And Experiences

    Sometimes the one thing missing that would help us overcome our addictions is self-awareness which of course leads to self-understanding.

    One of the best ways to gain that self-understanding is through the practice of journaling.

    Getting into the habit of journaling your thoughts at the end of each day or first thing in the morning can help you to assess what youve done and how you feel about it.

    You can use journaling as a tool to help you evaluate your beliefs, fears, decisions, emotions and behavior throughout the day. The insights you gain from this practice can help you become more aware of why you do what you do. You will better understand your emotional triggers and how they have created your reality.

    You can then, of course, use these insights to consciously change your behavior and potentially avoid succumbing to your addictions the very next day.

    Journaling is naturally a process. Its something that takes time. The more often you journal your thoughts, the greater insights you will gather, and the more you will know and understand about yourself. You can then use that self-understanding to work through your addictions far more effectively.

    Why Do Some People Become Addicted To Drugs While Others Don’t

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    No one factor can predict if a person will become addicted to drugs. A combination of factors influences risk for addiction. The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction. For example:

    • Biology. The genes that people are born with account for about half of a person’s risk for addiction. Gender, ethnicity, and the presence of other mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction.
    • Environment. A persons environment includes many different influences, from family and friends to economic status and general quality of life. Factors such as peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a persons likelihood of drug use and addiction.
    • Development. Genetic and environmental factors interact with critical developmental stages in a persons life to affect addiction risk. Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. This is particularly problematic for teens. Because areas in their brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing, teens may be especially prone to risky behaviors, including trying drugs.

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    Support The Process Of Change

    If you have a friend or loved one with an addiction, let them know you are willing to support them, for example, by coming with them to family or couples counseling. You can even help them take the first stepwhether it’s bringing them to a doctor’s appointment or a support group meeting.

    They’ll likely feel encouraged by the fact that you are making changes in your own life to help them with their addiction.

    What Fentanyl Does To The Body

    Fentanyl is a drug with a strong physical addiction profile, meaning that once dependence sets in, the brains neurotransmitters no longer function as normal they depend on the drug. Like other opiates, it produces a euphoric high.

    Side effects of fentanyl include drowsiness, sedation, and difficulty breathing.

    Once you stop using fentanyl, like any other opioid, withdrawal symptoms occur.

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    When All Else Fails Dont Use Guilt

    Its very easy to mix up the thought of an ultimatum, and lecturing or guilting an addicted individual into ceasing their vice usage. Under no circumstances should you attempt to guilt them into quitting their addiction. Phrases like How could you do this to me, or anything that will garner guilt and/or shame from the addict is a surefire no-go.

    Dont Forget That Help Is Available

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    Quitting drugs and alcohol outside of rehab is possible, but there it is little to suggest that those who attempt self-guided recovery are actually improving their chances. Why go it alone when you can enlist the support of experienced and empathetic recovery professionals?

    Dont feel like you need to figure out all the answers on your own. At Maryland Recovery Center, our first priority is helping those struggling with addiction to get on the road to sobriety. We encourage those battling substance abuse problems to reach out to us to learn how we help those in need of professional treatment and care.

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