Where To Get Help
The organisations listed can help anyone affected by alcohol with advice, counselling and support or you can find a local alcohol or drug service near you
- We Are With You : Provides free, confidential support with alcohol or drugs via a local service or online. Webchat is available online or you can chat to someone via Tel: 0800 915 4624
- Drinkline Telephone: Supports people who are worried about their own or someone elses drinking. Tel: 0800 731 4314 Webchat function also available.
- Alcoholics Anonymous provide free self-help groups across Scotland. Its 12-step programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups. National helpline number: 0800 9177650. Find online meetings
- Breaking Free Online Evidence based programme that is now free during Covid-19 crisis.
- Sure Recovery App The app includes an information page on Covid-19 and an option for people to record their experiences of substance use, treatment, and other aspects of their lives during Covid-19 and this period of social isolation.
- Smart Recovery Online meetings – SMART Recovery helps individuals recover from any addictive behaviour and lead meaningful & satisfying lives using a science-based therapeutic programme of training.
- Many people with problems with alcohol may find other networks useful, including Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous
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
Be Prepared For The Gambler To Rationalize And Excuse The Habit
Gamblers spend a lot of time telling themselves their behavior is acceptable.
When confronted about the consequences and seriousness of their behavior, they are likely to try to give you the same reasons they tell themselves it is fine.
It is common to hear that gambling is not a problem if the gambler can afford the losses.
This may or may not be true, but it is a clear example of the fact that many people are more than willing to give reasons that gambling is an acceptable way to spend ones time.
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Discuss The Option Of Medication
Medication can be helpful to those with a gambling addiction.
Their addiction may be tied to compulsive behaviors due to a mental illness.
This mental illness may not be controllable through behavior modification or effort on the part of the gambler.
This is where medication can come into play.
When the underlying conditions are controlled with medication, then the gambling problem can be the sole focus and gain better results.
The Effects Of Drug Abuse And Addiction On Family And Friends
Witnessing someone you care about battle a substance use disorder can be extremely distressing and take a heavy toll on your own mental and emotional well-being. Whether the drug abuser is a close friend, spouse, parent, child, or other family member, its easy for their addiction to take over your life. It can pile stress upon stress, test your patience, strain your bank balance, and leave you racked by feelings of guilt, shame, anger, fear, frustration, and sadness.
You may worry about where your loved one is at any given time, their risk of overdosing, or the damage theyre doing to their health, future, and home life. You may be in debt from paying their living expenses, the cost of legal troubles resulting from their drug abuse, or from failed attempts at rehab and recovery. You may also be worn down by covering for your loved one at home or work, having to shoulder the responsibilities they neglect, or being unable to devote more time to other family, friends, and interests in your life.
As despairing as you may feel, youre not alone in your struggle. A Pew Research Center survey in 2017 found that nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend whos been addicted to drugs. Across the Western world, the abuse of prescription pain relievers and tranquillizers has skyrocketed in recent years, creating a public health crisis.
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How Are Behavioral Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction
Behavioral therapies help patients:
- modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use
- increase healthy life skills
- persist with other forms of treatment, such as medication
Patients can receive treatment in many different settings with various approaches.
Outpatient behavioral treatment includes a wide variety of programs for patients who visit a behavioral health counselor on a regular schedule. Most of the programs involve individual or group drug counseling, or both. These programs typically offer forms of behavioral therapy such as:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
- multidimensional family therapydeveloped for adolescents with drug abuse problems as well as their familieswhich addresses a range of influences on their drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning
- motivational interviewing, which makes the most of people’s readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment
- motivational incentives , which uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs
Choosing The Right Recovery Center
Going into treatment is often the quickest, most effective way to get back on track from addiction. Choosing the right recovery center is an important step in this process. Because not all recovery centers are created equal, it is important to do some research before making a decision. Find out:
- The facilitys philosophy
- The skills being taught to support a sober life
- How they handle special client needs
- What therapies are used
- Services provided for family and other supports
- Levels of care available
- If they have realistic expectations for recovery
Location, Location, Location
Dont automatically assume that the best treatment is the closest locationor that it isnt. Some people do find that getting treatment close to home is more beneficial, while others need distance to clear their heads. There are definitely pros and cons to rehab away from home.
If financing is a concern, the treatment center you select can suggest strategies for making treatment more affordable. In some cases, insurance may cover addiction treatment, either partially or fully. If insurance is paying, it will be important to know what the insurance company requires from the treatment center and if the treatment center will accept the specific insurance available.
Getting a Proper Diagnosis
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Pornography Addiction: 5 Treatments That Are Proven To Work
Pornography addiction is marked by a compulsive need to consume pornography that interferes with daily life.
Pornography addicts might experience powerful cravings, neglect responsibilities and engage in self-defeating behaviors. The condition can be difficult because of what research calls pornographyâs âtriple Aâ impact: accessibility, affordability and anonymity.
While pornography addiction is not yet clearly defined or recognized as a formal mental illness, treatment is widely available.
âMost treatment programs incorporate psychosocial, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic and pharmacologic methodologies,â Dr. Rene Sorrentino, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and medical director at the Institute for Sexual Wellness in Weymouth, Massachusetts, says.
Here are some expert opinions on treating pornography addiction.
Encourage The Gambler To Attend A Support Group
For some, gambling is a way to have social interaction.
Regardless of whether that is a factor in a gambling habit, however, the decision to join a support group provides understanding, positive interactions and a way to spend time that keeps the gambler away from gambling venues.
Let the gambler know that joining a support group can be a beneficial way to take giant steps forward in the effort to overcome addiction.
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When To Stage An Intervention
Family and friends are affected as much by the addiction as the addicted person themselves is. When it gets to the point that they want to confront the addicted person, it can be helpful to stage an intervention. Most of the time, addicted persons will not want to accept that they have a disease, but an intervention can help them see how much it affects the people they know and care about most.
An intervention usually involves a group of family and friends, led by a professional such as an interventionist or therapist. The professional will guide the meeting, ensure that everyone gets to say what they want in a supportive setting, and their presence can help to calm the addicted person or enforce the importance of the problem. The person affected will usually remain in denial about their disease, but an intervention can be an important first step on the road to recovery.
Helping someone with an addiction takes education, patience and empathy. Addiction is a harrowing experience for everyone involved, and if left untreated, it can destroy relationships, families and the addicted person may end up alone. Recognising this and reaching out before this happens can be hard, but it is important to remain optimistic and get support when you need it.
If youre concerned for yourself or a loved one, please contact us for more information on how to help someone coping with addiction. You can be the one to help them find treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol and drug addiction.
What Is An Addiction
Addiction occurs when you are no longer able to function properly without pleasurable results derived from an activity or substance. Certain pleasurable activities, such as eating, trigger the reward center in your brain, releasing dopamine, making you want to engage in the activity again.
Substance abuse also excites the brains reward center however, over time tolerance to dopamine develops as the brain adapts to the continued presence of the substance. You end up needing more and more of the substance to achieve the same reward from a higher and higher level of dopamine.
Eventually, you dont experience the pleasurable effects of the substance anymore as your body has come to need the substance just to function and feel normal. What is occurring is that your body has become dependent on the substance, and it doesnt take long before the signs become evident that a habit has become an addiction.
Addiction is a biopsychosocial disorder: a combination of your genetics, your neurobiology, and how that interacts with psychological and social factors.
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What Is Considered To Be An Alcoholic
There are many factors to consider when making a diagnosis of alcoholism, formally known as alcohol use disorder, or AUD. Some signs that a persons drinking is problematic include continuing to drink despite negative effects on their relationships, physical health, job or other important obligations. Alcoholism should be diagnosed by an addiction specialist who can outline an appropriate detox and treatment plan.
Helping Someone Get Into Rehab
If you know or suspect that someone in your life suffers from alcohol or drug addiction, you will probably want to help the one that you love, but this can be met with hostility or denial. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease, and the path to recovery for someone who is addicted is often a long and difficult one.
This inevitably impacts those closest to them, and professional help may be needed to get them to treatment and into recovery.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction
People who are addicted to drugs tend to show signs of the disease in every aspect of their lives. The symptoms of addiction are varied, but common signs of a problem with substance abuse include:3,4
- Needing to use drugs to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
- Needing more drugs to get the effects .
- Continuing use of drugs even with the awareness of the harm it causes.
- Neglecting family obligations and financial issues.
- Continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite declining physical health.
- Losing interest in hobbies.
- Changes in eating habits .
Understanding The Severity Of Your Addiction
If your life and relationships are being negatively affected by your substance use, you probably have an addiction. Addiction is diagnosed on a spectrum. The criteria for addiction can help you determine if your addiction is mild, moderate or severe. There is a total of eleven criteria, including:
- Lack of control
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What To Do If Your Friends Dont Acknowledge Your Addiction
You think you have an addiction, but your friends are telling you, Youre fine! You dont have a problem. In this situation, you should ask yourself:
Do these friends also use drugs or alcohol?
If this is the case, they may be saying this to avoid losing a friend to party with. Oftentimes, these people have a problem themselves, only they dont realize or want to admit it. If theyre a true friend, theyll support your decision to get sober because its whats best for you.
Have you been hiding your substance use from them?
If youve concealed this part of your life from them, they may not even be aware of the issue. This is probably the first time theyre hearing about it and cant imagine how it could be true. They may say, Im your friend! How could I not know? Youre probably overreacting. Take this as an opportunity to be open and honest with them about your addiction. Youll need their friendship and support during your recovery.
Would you feel comfortable telling them they have a problem?
Maybe you dont have the kind of friendship that allows for that kind of honesty. They may even be worried about ruining your relationship if they acknowledge the issue, especially if the relationship has been rocky in the past.
Unless your friend is qualified to give you a diagnosis, its best to have a doctor or mental health professional analyze the situation objectively.
Top 10 Rehab Questions
Use Honesty To Encourage Honesty
Modeling is important for adults as well as children.
This is an important factor when considering a key factor in gambling situations, which is a lack of honesty.
It is important for people in a gamblers life to be honest, even when they have bad days or backslide.
This encourages the gambler to be honest and let people know when they are struggling with the desire to gamble.
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In The Event Of A Relapse
The current understanding of addiction as a disease means that symptoms will get worse at times. For people with diabetes or asthma, treatment will work for a period of time, and then symptoms may progress. This does not mean giving up instead, it means returning to the doctor and developing a new treatment regimen. Understanding addiction as a disease means treating relapse in exactly this way: Work to avoid it, but if it happens, return to treatment. Relapse is only a serious problem when the person who has fallen back into addiction refuses to admit the problem and refuses to get help.
When looking at treatment options, it is important to ask how the rehabilitation program handles relapse. Many programs pair new participants with sponsors who have graduated the program these people will understand the progression of recovery and serve as a source of support for the person if they are even tempted to relapse.
Friends and family should also be supportive if a loved one seems likely to relapse. Be there for the person without judgment and help them recommit to treatment.
Listen For Change Talk
So, how does a willingness to get help sound? It usually comes in the form of change talk. Change talk is any time your child voices a concern over the way things are, or expresses a desire to improve their life in some way. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Im really feeling depressed that I dont have a decent job.
- I think I really upset last night when he thought I had one too many.
- I wonder if I should go back to school.
- I want to move out and have my own place.
When a loved one expresses change talk, help them connect the dots. Gently explain how their substance use is related to their current worries and their hopes for a better future.
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Stop Enabling The Addiction
Its also important to understand the difference between helping and enabling. If youre financially supporting a loved one whos struggling with addiction or lying to help them hide the problem, then youre enabling.1
When you recognize this behavior and stop it, the benefits are twofold. First, your loved one will begin to see the consequences of their actions. Second, by refusing to continue your enabling behaviors youll make it harder for your loved one to keep feeding their addiction.