Tuesday, April 16, 2024

How To Help An Addict

Keep Their Addiction In Perspective

Drugs & Addiction : How to Help Drug Addicts

Keeping things in perspective in the grand scheme of things will help you from feeling enveloped in their addiction. While their drug abuse may feel like the worst thing that could ever happen, you need to remind yourself that things will get better. Seeing this from you, the addict you love may be able to find hope that things will get better for them, too.

Learning More About Treatment Options

The more you know about addiction and the treatment options that exist for the disease, the more help you can be to your friend or loved one that is struggling. It is fine to contact treatment professionals or centers in your area or to reach out to the Health and Human Services national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP to learn more. The more you know, the better equipped you are to support your friend or loved one.

As a friend or loved one, you can play an important role in helping someone get the support they need to overcome their substance use disorder. You should never think that you can solve the problem alone, and you should always seek out the support and guidance of a professional. Recovery from addiction is a process, not a destination. today to speak to a representative about our treatment programs.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Stimulus Control Of Behavior

The term “behavioral addiction” refers to a compulsion to engage in a natural reward â which is a behavior that is inherently rewarding â despite adverse consequences. Preclinical evidence has demonstrated that marked increases in the expression of ÎFosB through repetitive and excessive exposure to a natural reward induces the same behavioral effects and neuroplasticity as occurs in a drug addiction.

Reviews of both clinical research in humans and preclinical studies involving ÎFosB have identified compulsive sexual activity â specifically, any form of sexual intercourse â as an addiction . Moreover, reward cross-sensitization between amphetamine and sexual activity, meaning that exposure to one increases the desire for both, has been shown to occur preclinically and clinically as a dopamine dysregulation syndrome ÎFosB expression is required for this cross-sensitization effect, which intensifies with the level of ÎFosB expression.

Reviews of preclinical studies indicate that long-term frequent and excessive consumption of high fat or sugar foods can produce an addiction . This can include chocolate. Chocolates’ sweet flavour and pharmacological ingredients is known to create a strong craving or feel ‘addictive’ by the consumer. A person who has a strong liking for chocolate may refer to themselves as a chocoholic. Chocolate is not yet formally recognised by the DSM-5 as a diagnosable addiction.

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Tip #: Get Counseling

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It may be helpful to get some individual counseling to assist yourself. Counseling isnt just for the addict. The more you are able to manage the better you will be able to help your loved one. There are a variety of resources to find counselors. Your company may have an Employee Assistance Program or your health insurance may have mental health benefits that you can access. Talk to someone you trust about finding the resources you need and do a search for resources in your area.

Approaching And Helping An Addict

How to help an addict


Trying to help someone with an addiction can be a long, challenging, and painful process. Unlike someone with a physical health condition, such as cancer, a person with an addiction might not recognize the true danger of their illness or understand the risks of not treating it.

Its important to remember that they are ultimately responsible for their own recovery. Typically, they must first recognize that they have an addictive disorder. Then, they must be ready and willing to address their addiction before their recovery can even begin. Setting realistic expectations and boundaries can help you provide support, while protecting your own well-being.

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Tips For Helping Someone With An Addiction

The challenge with addiction is that the addict is not the only one impacted by this disease. Family and friends can have difficulty with the addicts behavior, financial problems, legal problems and the daily struggle of supporting a loved one. Here are seven tips that family and friends can reference to support an addicted family member or friend.

How To Recognize Addiction

Only qualified health professionals can diagnose SUDs.2 However, knowing the criteria for SUDs can be helpful if you suspect that a loved one is struggling with addiction.

The American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5, lists the following criteria for SUDs:4

  • Using the substance in larger amounts or for a longer time than originally intended.
  • Being unable to cut down or stop using the substance, even if the person wants to.
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of the substance.
  • Experiencing intense urges or desires to use the substance .
  • Failing to fulfill obligations at home, work, or school due to substance use.
  • Continuing substance use even though it causes or worsens social or interpersonal problems.
  • Giving up social, recreational, or occupational activities due to substance use and withdrawing from family or friends to use the substance.
  • Using the substance in dangerous situations .
  • Continuing substance use even though the person knows they have a physical or psychological problem that is probably caused or worsened by substance use.
  • Needing to use more of the substance to experience previous effects .
  • Experiencing unpleasant or uncomfortable symptoms if they try to stop using .

Proper diagnosis is important for the person and their family and friends because it can help identify the problem and provide a starting point for getting the right help with addiction treatment.2

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Quitting And Handling Withdrawal

  • 1Stop the addictive behavior as planned. When the big day arrives, keep your promise to yourself and quit. Those first few days are going to be hard. Keep yourself busy and stay positive. You’re on your way to an addiction-free life.
  • 2Fill your time. If you need distractions, try exercising, taking up a new hobby, cooking, or hanging out with friends. Joining a new club, sports team, or another kind of community group will help you make new friends and start a new chapter of your life in which addiction is not a part of. Positive social interactions can stimulate the release of neurochemicals which elicit feelings of happiness and satisfaction without the need for drugs.
  • Exercise releases endorphin chemicals like the ones released in addiction, which is why sometimes you’ll hear the term “runner’s high”.XResearch source Exercise could open a lot more windows for new and improved health and could lessen the blow of withdrawal by giving you something else to feel good about.
  • 3Keep clear of your triggers. Stay away from the people, places, and things that make you want to go back to your old habits. You might need to construct a completely new routine for a while until the edge wears off a bit.
  • Common rationalizations include the idea that “it’s a free country” or “we all have to die sometime.” Resist taking on this defeatist attitude.
  • Visit support groups and your therapist each time you feel in danger of relapsing.
  • How Addictions Can Affect You

    How To Help An Addict Or Alcoholic – (5 Things You Must Know!)

    The strain of managing an addiction can seriously damage your work life and relationships. In the case of substance misuse , an addiction can have serious psychological and physical effects.

    Some studies suggest a person’s risk of becoming addicted is partly genetic, but environmental factors, such as being around other people with addictions, are also thought to increase the risk.

    Behaviours such as substance misuse can be a way of blocking out difficult issues. Unemployment and poverty can trigger addiction, along with stress and emotional or professional pressure.

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    Admit There Is A Problem

    The hardest part to recovery is admitting you have an addiction. Substance use disorders affect the brain causing it to look for excuses and justifications to keep using.

    Admitting a problem shows you have the courage to face your addiction and its underlying causes.

    There are several places to turn to for help however, having a solid support system is essential in any treatment approach you choose. If you are not ready to turn to friends or family, consider talking to a therapist, doctor, or rehab facility.

    How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction

    It is not easy for a person to recover from addiction, and theres no quick, easy fix or cure. A person may keep using substances even though it hurts their friendships and family relationships. Its not just because they dont care about loved ones, but because their brain has changed due to the addiction.5

    You may feel desperate and want to make a loved one go into treatment or get help, but you cant force a person with a SUD to stop using substances or go to rehab. However, you can support them in several ways, including:2, 6, 7, 8

    • Educating yourself on addiction.
    • Expressing hope that change is possible.
    • Maintaining your commitment to loving and encouraging them.
    • Be honest yet compassionate when expressing your feelings and concerns.
    • Maintaining healthy boundaries.
    • Avoiding blame or accusing the person of doing something wrong.
    • Realizing that the person cant stop using without help.
    • Researching treatment facilities and calling rehabs to discuss treatment options.
    • Offering to accompany your loved one to the doctor. A physician can evaluate the addiction and discuss appropriate treatment options.

    Its normal to feel stressed, angry, or anxious about the situation. Make time to care for yourself and ensure that your needs are met. Join a support group for loved ones of people with addiction or seek individual counseling to help you cope.8

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    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.

    Show Up Listen And Be Compassionate

    Recovery from Addiction Is Possible With Your Help

    Part of being supportive to an addict in active addiction is about simply being present, listening and showing compassion. Dont dismiss or minimize the thoughts and feelings of the addict. Instead, acknowledge and validate. You dont need to condone their behavior or enable it, but you can support them as they go through these struggles.

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    Couples And Family Therapy

    Addiction doesn’t only affect your life your whole family is transformed. Successful treatment is more likely when you have strong relationships with family and friends. Various counseling methods include your spouse and other family members.

    Why try family or couples therapy?

    • Family members can be a powerful force for change in your life.
    • Including them can make you more likely to stay in therapy.
    • They can begin to heal the damage your addiction has caused in their life.

    Studies show family therapy results in lower relapse rates, increased happiness in the family, and helps children of addicted parents manage their situation.

    Ways To Help Someone With Drug Addiction

    Substance use disorders exist on a continuum, with the least severe being a substance misuse problem and the most severe most commonly known as a substance use disorder. Substance use impacts more than 23 million people in the United States directly, and if you include the indirect impact that number can skyrocket to over 60 million. What this means is that you more than likely know someone who is currently struggling with an addiction, and at some point will need help to get the medical care that they needknowing what you can do then is an important part of the process.

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    Tip #: Take Care Of Yourself

    Focusing on your own life is the most important thing you can do to assist the addict. If you are stressed out due to their issues, in addition to your own, it creates resentment and strain. It makes it difficult to want to help someone who has created so much difficulty in your life. By taking care of yourself through exercising, getting plenty of sleep, socializing and getting support, you may be better able to help your loved one when they are ready to accept the help.

    The most important thing to remember is that you arent alone. Many people battle with these issues every day and it is vital to get the resources and support you need.

    How To Help An Addict Get Help

    How to help an addict who doesnt want help

    Convincing an addict that they need treatment is not always easy. The disease makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a person in active addiction to see and understand the damage their behavior inflicts on themselves and others. Unless an addict seeks professional help, their chances of recovery are slim.

    So, the million dollar question is this: Until the addict is ready for addiction treatment, how do you help an addict?

    In the following paragraphs, youll find 10 ways you can help an addict. From learning about the disease to providing support and resources, these suggestions can help you steer your loved one toward recovery and help you feel a little more in control in the process.

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    Seek Help For Yourself

    The recovery process can be just as hard on you as it is on your loved one. Whether you convince them to seek treatment or not, its important for you to take care of your own mental health.

    Consider seeking one-on-one counseling or attending a support group like Narc-Anon or Al-Anon. This will help you face your feelings and give you the tools you need to navigate through this difficult time.

    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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    Learn How To Help An Addict Today

    Always remember that, while your loved one needs help, you need to focus on yourself too. If you dont, their situation will add up to the personal stress you already have. This can make your relationship with them strained.

    Its hard for you to help them if you develop resentment towards them. Take care of yourself by getting some good sleep, exercising, and getting support. This will make you more ready to take care of your loved one get the assistance they need.

    Lastly, its important to remember that you arent alone. A lot of people struggle to learn how to help an addict recover. Know that support isnt that far off.

    Do you need to help a loved one detoxify? Contact us today and well help them get started.

    What To Avoid When Helping A Loved One With A Drug Addiction

    The Most readily useful Methods To Get Help With Addiction ...

    Arguments or blame are not helpful and can increase feelings of stress, anger, and defensiveness.2 If you feel overwhelmed or your loved one is resistant, avoid pressing the issue if they dont want to talk. Come back to the discussion later when they are more receptive, or you are both feeling less emotional.

    Its important to maintain trust when helping someone with an addiction. They need to feel that youre on their side. Some of the things to avoid include:2, 12

    • Criticizing.
    • Talking to them when they are under the influence.
    • Stigmatizing language like referring to the person as an addict or alcoholic.

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