How To Talk To Your Friend About Their Drug Use
Drugs can be a hard subject to discuss, especially if you think your friend has a problem. Theres no right or wrong way to talk about drugs, but there are some general guidelines you can follow to make things easier.
Do speak to your friend:
- when youre both sober and not on drugs
- somewhere private and familiar
- when you have plenty of time its not a conversation you can rush
- more than once you may need to have several conversations
Dont speak to your friend in a way that:
- is judgmental or critical it wont help
- doesnt give them time to talk try to speak less and listen more
- assumes superiority dont act like you know better
Remember that you or your friend can call FRANK anytime on for confidential advice.
Helping A Friend With Addiction
If you’re worried about a friend who has an addiction, you can use these tips to help him or her. For example, let your friend know that you are available to talk or offer your support. If you notice a friend backsliding, talk about it openly and ask what you can do to help.
If your friend is going back to drugs or drinking and won’t accept your help, don’t be afraid to talk to a nonthreatening, understanding adult, like your parent or school counselor. It may seem like you’re ratting your friend out, but it’s the best support you can offer.
Above all, offer a friend who’s battling an addiction lots of encouragement and praise. It may seem corny, but hearing that you care is just the kind of motivation your friend needs.
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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Avoid Supporting The Addiction Financially
This is also a form of enabling and rears its head in different ways.
When a drug-addicted family member asks you for money, has you pay their bills, or even lives in your home rent-free, this may be enabling their addiction.
Your loved one may give many reasons why they are asking you for money, but unfortunately, all paths likely lead to supporting the drug abuse financially.
How To Get Help For Illegal Drug Addictions
Transcend Recovery Community
Illegal drugs are some of the most dangerous substances in the country, not only because they can wreak havoc on your body, but because being in possession of these drugs can land you in jail.Drugs are not inherently evil or twisted. There are many completely legal lifestyle choices that can cause just as much or more harm than an addiction to illegal drugs. But unlike many of these choices, illegal drugs will put you and everyone you love in harmâs way. That being said, addiction is not something you can fight against with guns and morals.But you can treat it. With medicine, and a better understanding of the disease. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, then getting help immediately is your biggest priority. The sooner you tackle an addiction, the better your chances of coming out the other end completely clean and ready to stay sober for good. But the path to that point is not easy or straightforward.
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Understanding Drug Use And Addiction Drugfacts
Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. Fortunately, researchers know more than ever about how drugs affect the brain and have found treatments that can help people recover from drug addiction and lead productive lives.
Take Your Child To Therapist
If the problem is far-reaching, it becomes necessary for you to convince your son to go for a suitable treatment for drug addiction. If you know a reputed therapist, you can take your son to him for the treatment. You can also approach an excellent rehab centres like Charter Harley Street for seeking right treatment for your son. Depending on the severity of your childâs illness, you need to choose between inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation treatment program.
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Why Do People Do Drugs
For people who have never used drugs, it can be a little hard to understand why people take drugs and allow themselves to develop abusive relationships with various substances. When used in a dangerous fashion, they can bring severe problems.
This simple guide will help answer the question why do people do drugs? while additionally enabling you to empathize with addicts and get help for loved ones who have shown signs of addiction.
Focus On The Inherent Challenges Of Recovery Not The Financial Burden
The fear of loss is a significant barrier to seeking addiction treatment. People may be afraid they will lose their job, friends, or valued relationships if they admit to a substance use disorder, which can make overcoming stigma and getting help seem like an insurmountable task. Thats why its crucial to acknowledge the many inherent challenges of recovery without highlighting the financial burden. In other words, focus on the gift in recovery rather than the sacrifice. to understand the treatment options for people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.
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Can Addiction Come Back
Substance use disorder is a relapsing disease. People who are in recovery from this disease have a higher chance of using drugs again. Recurrence can happen even years after you last took drugs.
Because of the possibility of relapse, you need ongoing treatment. Your healthcare provider should review your treatment plan with you and change it based on your changing needs. If you have a problem with prescription drugs, including opioids, inform your healthcare providers. They can help you find other options to manage pain.
Specialised Drug And Alcohol Services
There are some specialised drug and alcohol services that provide help to certain groups of people. If your situation requires specialist assistance with older or younger people, language or translation services, different cultural backgrounds or homelessness, some of the following services might be useful for you.
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Is Treatment For Drug Addiction Inpatient Or Outpatient
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment plans are available, depending on your needs. Treatment typically involves group therapy sessions that occur weekly for three months to a year.
Inpatient therapy can include:
- Therapeutic communities or sober houses, which are tightly controlled, drug-free environments.
Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can help you on the path to recovery. Self-help groups are also available for family members, including Al-Anon and Nar-Anon Family Groups. Participation in 12-step based recovery work has been proven to improve outcomes.
What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you or a loved one is experiencing substance use disorder, ask your healthcare provider:
- How can I stop taking drugs?
- What is the best treatment plan for me?
- How long will the withdrawal symptoms last?
- How long does therapy take?
- What can I do to prevent a relapse?
- What community resources can help me during my recovery?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Substance abuse, or substance use disorder, is a brain disease. Drugs affect your brain, including your decision-making ability. These changes make it hard to stop taking drugs, even if you want to. If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, talk to a healthcare provider. A trained provider can help guide you to the treatment you need. Usually, a combination of medication and ongoing therapy helps people recover from addiction and get back to their lives.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/03/2020.
Can I Prevent Substance Use Disorder
Yes. Preventing drug addiction starts with education. Education in schools, communities and families helps prevent misusing a substance for the first time. Other ways to prevent substance use disorder:
- Dont try illegal drugs, even one time.
- Follow instructions for prescription medications. Don’t ever take more than instructed. Opioid addiction, for instance, can start after just five days.
- Dispose of unused prescriptions promptly to reduce risks of misuse by others.
How To Help Someone Understand They Need Help
Friends and family members may feel that they constantly express concerns about a loved ones substance use but never see any changes. You may have reached this point after weeks or months of giving lectures, making threats, ignoring behaviors, accepting promises of change, giving second chances, or imposing consequences.
Experts recommend developing and repeating a consistent, positive message: We care about you and we want you to get help. Define substance use as a problem for you and others who care about the person. Avoid blaming, arguing, and reproaching, and expect denial, distortion, avoidance, rationalization, and intellectualization of the problem.
Perhaps a friend, another family member, doctor, clergy, boss, co-worker, or other significant person in their life might be able to have an effective discussion. Or maybe the person with the substance use disorder would respond to activities you can do together, such as reviewing brochures or videos, meeting with a professional, or going to a self-help SMART Recovery or Twelve Step meeting.
Dont: Enable Your Loved One
There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them. Sometimes when we think were protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually enabling them to continue with potentially destructive behavior.
For example, if youre trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, keeping them from drinking and driving is helpful, since that could put them and others in danger. However, consistently offering to drive them home whenever they get too intoxicated is enabling their actions, because its setting up a formula in which you are constantly available to rescue them.
Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue.
Its important to set up boundaries and rules, both for your well-being and the well-being of your loved one and its important to enforce those rules and boundaries. This is the only part of Recovery in which tough love is beneficial, since its done for both you and your loved ones protection.
Family Help For Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander People
The Department of Health and Human Services funds Aboriginal alcohol and drug workers in some Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations, Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and some mainstream alcohol and drug services across Victoria. The role of these specific Aboriginal alcohol and drug workers is to work in a culturally informed way with Aboriginal people and families to address problematic alcohol and drug use.
For information about accessing Aboriginal-specific services, call DirectLine on or speak with your local Aboriginal community-controlled organisation.
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Can Drug Addiction Be Cured Or Prevented
As with most other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, treatment for drug addiction generally isnt a cure. However, addiction is treatable and can be successfully managed. People who are recovering from an addiction will be at risk for relapse for years and possibly for their whole lives. Research shows that combining addiction treatment medicines with behavioral therapy ensures the best chance of success for most patients. Treatment approaches tailored to each patients drug use patterns and any co-occurring medical, mental, and social problems can lead to continued recovery.
More good news is that drug use and addiction are preventable. Results from NIDA-funded research have shown that prevention programs involving families, schools, communities, and the media are effective for preventing or reducing drug use and addiction. Although personal events and cultural factors affect drug use trends, when young people view drug use as harmful, they tend to decrease their drug taking. Therefore, education and outreach are key in helping people understand the possible risks of drug use. Teachers, parents, and health care providers have crucial roles in educating young people and preventing drug use and addiction.
How Do I Know If Someone Needs Help For Their Drug Or Alcohol Use
It can be difficult to tell if a person is consuming harmful levels of drugs or alcohol, especially if theyre trying to hide their drug or alcohol use.
Some drugs can result in noticeable physical symptoms, including:
- pupils that are larger or smaller than normal
A person may be misusing drugs or alcohol if their use leads to:
- difficulty keeping up at school or work
- relationship or family problems
- legal or financial difficulties
- injuries for example, due to accidents or violence after using drugs or alcohol
If you know that someone is using drugs or alcohol, they might be at risk of developing a problem if they:
- find it difficult to cut down or stop using
- spend a lot of their time trying to find or use drugs or alcohol
- use increasingly larger amounts of substances over time
- use substances more often over time
- have unpleasant symptoms when stopping or cutting down on drugs or alcohol
However, not everyone who misuses drugs or alcohol wants help.
Its also important to know that people may experience symptoms similar to those listed above but for reasons that arent related to drug use. This is especially true of young people coping with the challenges of adolescence.
If you arent sure whether a person is misusing drugs or alcohol or needs help, start a conversation to see if theyre OK.
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Family Help For Young People
If you are worried about a young family member call the Youth Drug and Alcohol Advice helpline on . YoDAA provides advice specifically for young people and people concerned about a young person with a substance use problem.
YoDAA’s specialist alcohol and drug counsellors can offer advice over the phone or help you find more information.
The Victorian Government funds a range of youth-specific treatment services to help young people up to the age of 25 to address their alcohol and drug use issues. These services use a family-based approach where appropriate.
How To Help Someone Dealing With Addiction
Knowing someone who has an addiction is not uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. You will inevitably be concerned about your loved one, and it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do, but its important to remember that Recovery is a solution.
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How Are Medications And Devices Used In Drug Addiction Treatment
Medications and devices can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and treat co-occurring conditions.
Withdrawal. Medications and devices can help suppress withdrawal symptoms during detoxification. Detoxification is not in itself “treatment,” but only the first step in the process. Patients who do not receive any further treatment after detoxification usually resume their drug use. One study of treatment facilities found that medications were used in almost 80 percent of detoxifications . In November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration granted a new indication to an electronic stimulation device, NSS-2 Bridge, for use in helping reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms. This device is placed behind the ear and sends electrical pulses to stimulate certain brain nerves. Also, in May 2018, the FDA approved lofexidine, a non-opioid medicine designed to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Relapse prevention. Patients can use medications to help re-establish normal brain function and decrease cravings. Medications are available for treatment of opioid , tobacco , and alcohol addiction. Scientists are developing other medications to treat stimulant and cannabis addiction. People who use more than one drug, which is very common, need treatment for all of the substances they use.