How To Help An Addict When They Think They Dont Need Help
Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN
Experts differ on how to help an addict overcome their substance abuse disorder and how to get them into recovery. Treatment does not have to be voluntary to be successful. Someone being enticed, forced or pressured into rehab by family members, employers, and legal authorities does not mean that they will drop out. But one of the key predictors of a successful rehabilitation stay is a patients belief in their ability to achieve success. Friends and family can reinforce this belief with a measured and compassionate approach to helping someone acknowledge their addiction and getting help.
How Do I Keep Supporting A Friend Or Family Member
There are many services available to help people who are struggling with drugs or alcohol. If the person is interested in professional help, you can help them find a local drug and alcohol treatment service.
If they pursue treatment, you can help the person by providing practical support, such as delivering meals and checking in regularly. Celebrate small successes and try to keep supporting them if they relapse. Drug and alcohol treatment and recovery takes time, and many people dont succeed the first time they try to quit.
Its also important to set boundaries with the person. Try not to overpromise: be realistic about any emotional, practical or financial support you can provide.
How To Raise The Subject
People often worry that initiating a discussion with the person with the problem will lead him or her to take drastic steps. They might make a scene in front of other family members, move out of the house, drop out of school, use more excessively, try to hide their problem, or retaliate against them or other family members. However, you might find the conversation to be a wonderfully productive experience. Perhaps the person simply hasnt noticed behavioral changes or doesnt realize that his or her substance use was or is causing a problem. And without change, the problems may become so severe that the same drastic outcomes could result.
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Common Reasons People Opt Not To Go To Rehab
There are several reasons why someone may decide not to attempt to recover from drug addiction without going to rehab.
- Financial reasons the cost of attending rehab may be prohibitive to some, especially those who dont have insurance. This includes the direct cost of the treatment itself as well as other additional costs including transport to the rehab facility.
- Previous negative experience Unfortunately, not all rehabs are ethically run and some people may have bad experiences at some of these facilities. This may put them off attending rehab in the future.
- Denial Some struggle with addiction but are in denial about it. To them, attending rehab would be admitting that they have a problem and arent really in control of the situation.
- Time constraints Attending rehab, whether on an inpatient or outpatient basis requires you to invest time. Some peoples schedules are simply too busy to allow this.
- Ignorance about rehab Alternatively, some choose not to attend rehab out of ignorance. They may have false ideas about what goes on in rehab and this keeps them from going.
What Is Drug Use
Drug use, or misuse, includes:
- Using illegal substances, such as
- Misusing prescription medicines, including opioids. This means taking the medicines in a different way than the health care provider prescribed. This includes
- Taking a medicine that was prescribed for someone else
- Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to
- Using the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to. For example, instead of swallowing your tablets, you might crush and then snort or inject them.
- Using the medicine for another purpose, such as getting high
- Misusing over-the-counter medicines, including using them for another purpose and using them in a different way than you are supposed to
Drug use is dangerous. It can harm your brain and body, sometimes permanently. It can hurt the people around you, including friends, families, kids, and unborn babies. Drug use can also lead to addiction.
What Are Treatments For Drug Addiction
There are many options that have been successful in treating drug addiction, including:
- behavioral counseling
- medical devices and applications used to treat withdrawal symptoms or deliver skills training
- evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- long-term follow-up to prevent relapse
A range of care with a tailored treatment program and follow-up options can be crucial to success. Treatment should include both medical and mental health services as needed. Follow-up care may include community- or family-based recovery support systems.
How Do You Stop Doing Things You Are Addicted To
Its not easy rebuilding your life after rehab. You need to challenge your old ways of thinking and make way for new thoughts. You need to retrain your brain to embrace a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. That means learning how to deal with stress without giving in to your cravings.
Now that you have a second chance at living a healthy life, try to give yourself a new purpose that will keep you inspired. Build a meaningful life outside of rehab. Form new connections, explore new hobbies, travel the world, or find a new career.
Distracting yourself so you forget about your cravings is one thing, but committing to a greater purpose that will make you feel fulfilled is even better. When you fill your life with rewarding activities that you enjoy, substance abuse will eventually lose its appealespecially now that you know how much suffering comes with addiction.
Adopt a pet. This may be a big responsibility, but caring for an animal will make you feel loved and needed.
Get in touch with nature by taking a scenic hike. Try something new like fishing or camping. Go to the park and just find some time to relax.
Try out new recipes and discover the wonder of cuisine. Indulge your tastes by trying something new every weekor attend classes to speed up your learning process.
Get enough sleep, watch what you eat, and be mindful of your thoughts. Take care of yourself from the inside out and you will soon get over your need for harmful substances.
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A Guide To Help You Overcome Drug Addiction
Some addicted individuals who think addiction treatment isnt right for them need to look inward and reflect on how addiction is affecting their life. If you are struggling with substance use disorder, keep track of your drug use, including when and how much you use. It will give you a sense of the role addiction is playing in your life.
If you have to, start listing the pros and cons of quitting drugs. Staying addicted and continuing to abuse drugs is far more expensive and dangerous in the long term. It will affect your health, your relationships, your kids, your career, and most other aspects of your life.
Its not easy, but acceptance is an important part of the process. Once the addicted individual accepts that they need help, they can start looking for a rehab facility that offers the treatment program they need. From there, they can start exploring their addiction treatment options.
There are a lot of treatment programs out there, and the choices are numerous. Some facilities specialize in certain types of addiction, while others treat a wide range of conditions involving substance abuse.
Although the treatment programs may vary, patients will most likely go through some combination of detoxification, behavioral counseling, and aftercare.
Medications may be used to help manage withdrawal symptoms and keep cravings under control. They may also be used to treat any co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression.
What Medications Can Be Flushed Down The Toilet
Some people wonder if its okay to flush certain medicines if the take back option isnt available. So far there has been no sign of serious environmental effects caused by flushing the recommended drugs. Drug residues normally enter water systems when people take medicine and naturally pass them through their bodies. Sometimes the drugs are not fully absorbed and so they pass through wastewater treatment plants.
The medications listed below can be flushed or poured down the sink according to the US Food and Drug Administration :
Diazepam rectal gel
Fentanyl transdermal system
Hydromorphone tablets or oral liquid
Meperidine tablets or oral solution
Methadone HCl oral solution or tablets
Morphine sulfate extended release capsules
Sodium oxybate oral solution
This method of disposal is generally considered safe. It is also recommended over keeping the expired medications for other people to discover and potentially use.
Overcoming drug addiction is not an easy task. The journey towards recovery may be difficult, but it is worth it in the long run because you can regain your sobriety and start living a healthy life once again. Look for an addiction treatment center near you today if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, and find out about the programs they offer. Your road to recovery begins today.
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How Can I Tell If My Friend Is Addicted To Drugs
Their behaviour, their physical appearance, and certain stuff in their environment can provide clues as to whether your friend might be addicted to drugs.
- sudden changes in behaviour or mood swings
- withdrawal from family members and old friendship groups
- carelessness about personal grooming
- loss of interest in hobbies, sports or other favourite activities
- neglect of responsibilities.
- red, glassy or bloodshot eyes, or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- sniffing or a runny nose
- frequent nosebleeds
- shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination
- sudden weight loss or weight gain.
The following items could also be a sign of addiction:
- spoons and syringes
- small, resealable baggies that could be used to store drugs
- pipes, plastic bottles, or cans that have been pierced or tampered with
- burnt foil
- stuff missing, such as money, valuables or prescription drugs.
What If My Friend Isnt Responding To My Help
Sometimes, even the best efforts to help a friend arent enough to make them stop.
Find out about treatment resources that are available
Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery are two self-help recovery programs that offer support from other people recovering from drug addictions, address the factors behind drug abuse and help people regain control of their lives. These websites have tons of information about addiction and getting help. If your friend isnt willing to go to a support group, try suggesting a confidential telephone service such as DirectLine.
Dont forget about yourself
When someone you care about is trapped in addiction, it affects you, too. Family Drug Help provides support and information to family members and friends of someone with an addiction.
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Rehab Is Your Best Chance
Treatment is an addicted individuals best option if they want to recover. Beating an addiction not only requires eliminating the physical dependence, but also addressing the behavioral factors that prevent them from wanting to get better. Simply quitting may not change the psychological aspect of addiction. Some people quit for a while, and then take drugs again, only to overdose because they did not detox properly. Recovery involves changing the way the patient feels, thinks, and behaves.
Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service
The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.
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How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder
When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do, and not do, which can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8
- Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
- Be patient.
- Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works, and how it can help.
- Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.
- Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
- Donât yell or act angry.
- Enable the person.
Tips To Overcome Drug Addiction:
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What Are Symptoms Of Substance Use Disorder
Symptoms of drug addiction include:
- Bloodshot eyes and looking tired.
- Changes in appetite, usually eating less.
- Changes in physical appearance, such as having a poor complexion or looking ungroomed.
- Craving drugs.
- Difficulty completing tasks at work, school or home.
- Engaging in risky behaviors, despite knowing negative consequences .
- Inability to reduce or control drug use.
- Issues with money.
How To Find The Best Drug Addiction Rehab Center Near Me
If youre in search for the best drug rehabilitation center near you, youll want to be thorough while searching for the substance abuse treatment program that is right for you. Not all treatment facilities are equal, so its important that you know what youre looking for. Not everyone will benefit from the same type of rehab so some priorities may depend on the individuals preferences, but some standard things to look for include:
- Treatment program accreditations and certifications.
- Appropriate education, experience, and certifications for staff members.
- Individualized treatment plans.
- Experience in treating your specific addiction.
- Experience in treating addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, if necessary.
- Empathetic, nonjudgmental, compassionate staff members.
- Staff trained in cultural sensitivity.
You may also want to consider a facility that shares your philosophy. For instance, some people prefer faith-based rehabs if their religion is important to them. Others may choose to enroll in a holistic treatment center that utilizes alternative and complementary practices, such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga. Regardless of the treatment program you choose, its important to confirm that it possesses the above-mentioned qualities.
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Signs Someone Else Is Addicted:
- Changes in personality and behavior like a lack of motivation, irritability, and agitation
- Bloodshot eyes and frequent bloody noses
- Shakes, tremors, or slurred speech
- Change in their daily routines
- Lack of concern for personal hygiene
- Unusual need for money financial problems
- Changes in friends and activities
Consequences Of Waiting Until An Addict Hits Rock Bottom
Waiting for a person struggling with addiction to hit rock bottom before seeking treatment is incredibly dangerous. Sometimes, it can be deadly.
For some people, showing up to work drunk and getting fired may be enough to prompt them to seek help. Taking enough drugs to go into a coma may be the turning point for others. However, for certain people, rock bottom may mean death.
Reaching rock bottom often has devastating and lasting consequences, including issues with finances, relationships, and health.
Additionally, assuming that someone needs to hit a dangerously low point in life before seeking addiction treatment suggests no other factors that may lead to their recovery 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.