What To Avoid When Talking To A Loved One About Addiction
When talking to a loved one about getting treatment for their addiction, here are some things to avoid:
- Preaching, lecturing, threatening or moralizing your loved one
- Emotional appeals that may increase the feelings of guilt and the compulsion to use drugs
- Lying or making excuses for their behavior
- Taking over their responsibilities doing this protects them from the consequences of their behavior
- Enabling their behavior by covering up the abuse or giving them money for drugs
- Arguing with your loved one when theyre using drugs during this time, your loved one wont be able to hold a rational conversation and likely wont be open to what you have to say
- Feeling guilty or responsible for their behavior its not your fault
If you feel that your loved one is abusing drugs, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek treatment for their addiction. Be loving and supportive, but also know that theyre likely going to make excuses for their behavior. Be firm in what you want, and keep encouraging them to get help. Although this isnt easy to do, its a critical first step in helping them achieve a healthy and happy life in recovery.
Tips For Finding The Best Drug Addiction Treatment For You
Remember that no treatment works for everyone. Everyones needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. Its important that you find a program that feels right.
Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case youll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.
Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment youll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.
Second Step: Offer Realistic Solutions For Drug Addiction Recovery
It might be easy to sit your family member down and begin addressing their addiction by listing all of the problems they have as a result of their use. However, drug addiction affects thinking and decision-making even when the addict is not currently using or if its been a while since theyve used.
- Offer reasonable solutions that will allow them to heal slowly.
- Be an active part of those solutions.
- Offer to replace what theyve lost help them get their old job back or another job when they are clean, help them regain confidence, and help them repair damaged relationships.
- Be a part of their recovery. Allowing a drug addict to overcome their use alone is a sure way for them to return to their old habits.
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Heroin Detox Making A Decision
Before a person decides to get clean, he has to be sure about that. Also, that is one of the most important decisions in his life at least at that point.
Heroin has many negative effects on the body. It takes control over all his life. Nothing is important anymore, only finding a new dose. Heroin influences on the whole organism.
At first, it takes control of his brain and cognitive functions. Heroin usage causes brain damage, poor memory, and seizures. Also, not only that addict is suffering, but his family too.
Collapsed veinsand viral diseases are a common problem with heroin addicts. Lung diseases, liver, kidneys, and brain damage are a normal thing to see when it comes to this type of addicts. Heroin addicts, also, have an issue with concentration and memory and they only think about heroin.
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.
When A Person Has Never Been To Treatment
Even if there have never been any earlier episodes of treatment that failed, an addict may be reluctant to go to rehab. A major reason for this is the harm that drugs do to a persons mind and personality. They rob a person of self-worth, making the individual feel helpless or hopeless.
The guilt over neglect of his responsibilities and the knowledge that he has harmed others are additional burdens. In every case, a lot of money has been spent on drugs that could have been used for education, children, business, or other positive purposes.
A friend or family member trying to get someone to rehab may have to convince the person that the valuable, loving person he once was can come back. The relief he needs lies in an effective rehab program, and the sobriety that he wants in his heart is on the other side of this relief. No matter what any addict says, he does not want to be an addict.
About Crest View Recovery Center
Crest View Recovery Center is an addiction rehab facility in Asheville, NC. Our treatment center specializes in an innovative form of reality therapy, with access to a variety of quality rehab programs. All programs allow each individual to focus their attention on getting better.
Dont let addiction take over your life. You can learn the skills necessary to overcome addiction issues. Contact us today to discover how the treatment professionals at Crest View Recovery Center can help you.
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How Do Behavioral Therapies Treat Drug Addiction
Behavioral therapies help people in drug addiction treatment modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use. As a result, patients are able to handle stressful situations and various triggers that might cause another relapse. Behavioral therapies can also enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people remain in treatment longer.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy seeks to help patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they’re most likely to use drugs.
- Contingency management uses positive reinforcement such as providing rewards or privileges for remaining drugfree, for attending and participating in counseling sessions, or for taking treatment medications as prescribed.
- Motivational enhancement therapy uses strategies to make the most of people’s readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment.
- Family therapy helps people with drug use problems, as well as their families, address influences on drug use patterns and improve overall family functioning.
- Twelve-step facilitation is an individual therapy typically delivered in 12 weekly session to prepare people to become engaged in 12-step mutual support programs. 12-step programs, like Alcoholic Anonymous, are not medical treatments, but provide social and complementary support to those treatments. TSF follows the 12-step themes of acceptance, surrender, and active involvement in recovery.
How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction: 10 Ways To Support Them
June 02, 2020Addiction
When someone that you love is struggling with addiction, it can also feel like a struggle to find ways to help. The truth of the matter is that recovery from drug addiction is usually a long and complicated journey. With the support of a loved one, it can become that much easier to begin the journey and see it through to the end.
If you dont have much experience with drug or alcohol addiction, the whole situation can quickly feel overwhelming. Instead of ignoring the situation or backing away because of the overwhelm, take the time to encourage them to identify their problem and seek a solution.
Are you trying to navigate the complexities of addiction by being a support system for a loved one? There are certain things you can do to provide the most help. Some things should be avoided for the best chance of recovery.
Below, were sharing how to help a loved one with a substance use addiction and a few things to avoid while supporting someone through it.
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How You Can Help
Meth addicts almost always need rehab in order to get clean. The way meth affects the brain makes it almost impossible for them to quit on their own, especially with the severity of the withdrawal they will experience.
You need to encourage them to get help. Try staging an intervention with friends, family, and an intervention specialist.
Look for rehabilitation centers in your area that specialize in meth addiction treatment. Learn everything possible about meth addiction, and be prepared to support your loved one through whats probably the hardest thing to ever happen to them.
Chances are, the best thing you can do for them is let them know theyre not alone and that you want to help them. They may not be receptive at first, but be consistent in your unwavering support.
How You Can Help Someone Who Is In Recovery
Family involvement is just one of the ways in which you can help your loved one when theyre in treatment. It allows counselors and doctors to get a better understanding of the patient as well as their behavioral patterns and habits. Other ways in which you can help your loved one include:
- Getting involved: Attend family therapy and express your feelings. This will allow them to get a better idea of how their addiction affects everyone around them. Its also a great way to show that you support your loved ones Recovery because you are willing to invest the time and effort to help them heal.
- Communicating with them: Once the blackout period is lifted, you will likely be allowed some contact with your loved ones. Communication can be very difficult, and a seemingly safe conversation can spiral into a heated argument. Find a mode of communication that works for both of you, be it phone calls, emails or in-person visits. Use it as an opportunity to verbalize your support.
- Offering support: Saying youre there for your loved one is one thing, but support goes beyond that. Talk positively about the future and of your loved ones progress. Let them know theyre not alone.
- Trusting but being mindful: Its important to maintain trust throughout the Recovery process, but its also important to remember not to fall into old habits. Show your loved one that you trust them, but be aware of old behaviors that may be problematic or harmful.
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Recognizing Drug Abuse In A Loved One
Its not always easy to recognize if a loved one is abusing drugs. In teens, for example, drug abuse can often resemble normal adolescent moodiness. Furthermore, theres no specific amount or frequency of use that indicates someones drug use has become a cause for concern. Whether your loved one is using every day or every month, its the adverse impact their drug abuse has on their life that indicates a problem.
Signs your loved one may have a substance use disorder include:
Experiencing problems at work, school, or home. They appear high more often, for example, and take more days away from work or school to compensate. Their work performance or school grades suffer, they neglect their responsibilities at home, and encounter more and more relationship difficulties. They may even lose their job, drop out of school, or separate from a long-term partner.
New health issues, such as changes in sleep schedule, often appearing fatigued or run-down, pronounced weight loss or weight gain, glassy or bloodshot eyes, and forgetfulness or other cognition problems. Depending on the type of drug theyre abusing, they may also exhibit frequent sniffing, nosebleeds, or shaking.
Recurring financial problems. Your loved one may run up credit card debt to support their drug use, seek loans, or ask to borrow money without any solid reason. They may even steal money or valuables to sell for drugs.
Drug paraphernalia to look out for
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Help For Families Of Drug Addicts Or Alcoholics
Seeking support for yourself is just as important as getting your loved one help with drug addiction. Your needs are just as important as anyone elses.
Families often take part in family therapy as a way of obtaining support, and it is often a component of addiction treatment programs.3 Family therapy can address underlying communication issues or other concerns to help support behavior change.3
Additional forms of support can include mutual support groups for families and loved ones of people with addiction, such as Al-anon, Nar-anon, SMART Recovery for Family and Friends, or Codependents Anonymous .2, 17, 18
Find Support For Your Addiction Recovery
Dont try to go it alonereach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If youre reluctant to turn to your loved ones because youve let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. Its important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while youre recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you dont have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous , and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what youre going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
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Getting Help For Addictions
Addiction is a treatable condition. Whatever the addiction, there are lots of ways you can seek help. You could see your GP for advice or contact an organisation that specialises in helping people with addictions.
You can use the following online directories to find addiction treatment services in your area:
Get Good Quality Sleep
Sleep 7 to 8 hours a nightmore, if you need it. Good sleep will help your brain and body heal, and improve your mood, energy, and ability to cope with challenges. Avoid nicotine and caffeine late in the day and avoid bright screens close to bedtime. If you have insomnia, try a low dose of melatonin or magnesium. If you have sleep disturbances like night sweats, panic attacks, or bad dreams, get up and walk around to clear your head. Drink a glass of water, listen to music, write in a journal, or read. If youre very upset, call your sponsor, a good friend, or a family member.
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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.
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.
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