How Can We Best Help Someone Who Is Addicted
If you recognize signs of addiction in someone, strongly consider taking steps to help guide them to recovery. It may be as simple as giving them a ride to the doctor, or providing a local recovery group phone number. You could help save a life.
A comprehensive evaluation, including medical, psychological and social risks, can help identify the various causes of the individual’s drug abuse and addiction. Other medical issues, such as hepatitis C, HIV or mental health issues can also be identified and addressed. The need for social services, such as housing or food needs, can be addressed.
- The first goal of addiction is a safe and successful detoxification in a medically supervised facility.
- During detoxification in a hospital or clinic, the dose of the drug is gradually reduced to lessen the negative effects of withdrawal. This is safely performed under medical supervision.
- Maintenance treatment can then help to prevent further abuse of potent and possibly fatal narcotics. Maintenance medications may include: Sublocade, Vivitrol, Suboxone, or Zubsolv.
- Behavioral treatment, counseling or group therapy can bolster a successful medical treatment.
If you are a caregiver or housemate of someone you know with an opioid addiction or who uses high doses of opioids, get the opiate reversal agent naloxone from your pharmacy to have on hand in case of an overdose emergency. Many U.S pharmacists can now provide this without a prescription.
Establish And Honor Boundaries
Creating boundaries is crucial when dealing with an addict. It can be easy to feel responsible for keeping them clean and safe, but thats not your job. If you want to help someone, your job is to provide appropriate loving support. It is not your duty to overextend yourself for their sake.
Establish boundaries to protect yourself and your energy. Limits can be things like the times youre available to talk on the phone or ways that you are willing to contribute, like healthy meals and rides to doctors appointments. Once you establish them with your loved one, honor them. They will respect you for keeping your word and appreciate your involvement.
Establish Boundaries And Stick To Them
Once you have decided that you are no longer going to take part in your loved ones drug addiction that you are no longer going to enable them because you love them, yourself, and your family too much then you have to set boundaries.
Coming to that point is probably one of the hardest things to do. Enforcing those boundaries is just as hard. First, make sure your boundaries are realistic. Are you serious about them? Are you really willing to follow through on any boundaries you set?
Next, knowing why you are settings boundaries is also important. If the boundary is set in place to protect you and your family, that is a healthier motive than using the boundary to try and control or change the behavior of the addicted family member.
Whatever boundary you set, know that your loved one may react to these boundaries in different ways, and it can be very emotional to stick to your guns.
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How To Choose The Best Rehab Clinic To Get Treatment For An Addiction
If you are suffering from addiction and you want to get help, here is what you need to know about your treatment.
Thousands of people in the UK every year succumb to alcoholism. Alcohol is readily available and everywhere we look. Its not just alcohol thats the problem. We have a prescription drug addiction issue. There are also thousands of drug deaths every year from various substances. We have a problem with gambling, hence why there are warnings on the betting apps. Addiction is everywhere you look.
The best way that you can recover from your addiction is by getting help from a private rehab clinic. Here in the UK, we have the option of using the NHS. TheNational Health Service is free but takes a long time to work. It has lengthy waiting lists, and it is chronically understaffed. With so much addiction and so little resources, private rehab becomes the next best way to treat your addiction.
Lets talk about how you choose the best rehab clinic to help you break free from addiction the first time around.
Is There Treatment For Prescription Drug Addiction
Treatment for opioid addiction includes medications that can help people get control without a high chance of addiction.
Buprenorphine treats opiate withdrawal and dependence. Doctors often use it along with the drug naloxone to prevent relapse.
If youâve been taking buprenorphine in pill form and your body has gotten rid of all of the drug you were abusing, you might have another form of buprenorphine implanted under your skin. This is called Probuphine. It provides a constant dose of buprenorphine for 6 months. Buprenorphine also comes as a monthly shot called Sublocade.
Other drug treatments for opiate withdrawal include methadone and the blood pressure medicine clonidine. Naltrexone blocks the effects of opiates and can prevent a relapse. It can be taken orally or as a monthly injection .
Doctors recommend that people who misuse opioids keep naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose. It comes in a shot and a nasal spray .
Experts believe that âmedication-assisted treatmentâ with methadone, naltrexone, or suboxone and cognitive behavioral therapy is the best treatment for most patients who have an opioid addiction.
Counseling is the most common treatment for addiction to CNS depressants or stimulants. You might also need to detoxify your body under a doctorâs care.
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Dont: Expect Immediate Change
How do you help an alcoholic? One of the best ways is to be realistic in your expectations. Long-term Recovery is not a quick fix. Its an ongoing process for your loved one that takes time, effort and continued support from professionals and family alike. Some treatments may work for some time and then need to be changed.
If one treatment doesnt work, it doesnt mean all treatments will fail. It just means youll have to find the specific one that will work for your loved one.
What Is Prescription Drug Abuse
Prescription drug abuse is when you take a medication for a reason other than why the doctor prescribed it. Experts estimate that more than 18 million people ages 12 and older have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in the previous year. Thatâs more than 6% of the U.S. population.
Abusing drugs — even prescription drugs — can change how your brain works. Most people start by choosing to take these medications. But over time, the changes in your brain affect your self-control and your ability to make good decisions. At the same time, you have intense urges to take more drugs.
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Encourage Overcoming Their Fear
Most people addicted to prescription medications are often too prideful to admit their addiction. They may fear shame and judgment and believe that they will be seen differently by their friends, family, and coworkers. The truth is that these important people likely think there is a problem already and that the majority of them will be supportive cheerleaders during a prescription addiction recovery.
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.
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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.
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.
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Get Support For Yourself
When youre worried about a loved one, your own needs may take a backseat. However, self-care is not selfish. If you arent giving yourself a chance to process your emotions and deal with the effects of your loved ones behavior, you wont be able to effectively encourage them to seek treatment.
Writing in a journal, talking to an objective friend, or seeking professional counseling can help you gain the perspective you need to decide how to best move forward. Additionally, if your loved one decides to seek treatment at Pennsylvanias Mountain Laurel Recovery Center, our family program can be part of your personal healing process.
The Dos And Donts Of Helping A Loved One With An Addiction
Once youve noticed the signs of addiction in your loved one like an Alcohol Addiction or an Opioid Addiction, for example youll need to know how to talk to and treat them in a way that is positive and helpful. There are several ways to do this, some easy to practice and others that require a little more effort and understanding on your part. Here are a few dos and donts for helping a loved one deal with addiction:
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What Is Substance Abuse Disorder
Substance abuse disorder, or drug addiction, can be defined as a progressive disease that causes people to lose control of the use of some substance despite worsening consequences of that use. Substance use disorder can be life-threatening.
Addictions are not problems of willpower or morality. Addiction is a powerful and complex disease. People who have an addiction to drugs cannot simply quit, even if they want to. The drugs change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.
Prescription Drug Addiction Statistics
In 2010, about 7.0 million people self-reported non-medical usage of prescription medications. The breakdown of types of prescription medication usage is staggering. 5.1 million individuals reported using prescription painkillers. 2.2 million self-reported using tranquilizers , while 0.4 million reported using sedatives. Stimulants were self-reported as being abused by 1.1 million people. Nearly 1 in every 12 high school seniors self-reported using prescription painkillers for nonmedical purposes.
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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.
What To Expect In Rehab
If your loved one has decided to enter a treatment program for their addiction, they can expect to first check-in and complete an intake interview. This will allow the program to create a plan tailored to their needs.
The next step involves detoxing to remove any substances from their body. This process can take anywhere from three to 14 days and can be aided by medications to ease withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, the next step involves therapy to help them adjust and develop new thought and behavior patterns that will support their long-term recovery.
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How To Help Someone With A Prescription Drug Addiction
It can be devastating to watch someone spiral out of control when they acquire a prescription drug addiction, and the problem is far more significant than many people realize. When you mention drugs, many people will think about heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, and other dangerous drugs, but some of the most used drugs are prescription medicines. These types of drugs can be beneficial to people with specific problems however, they can also be highly addictive and can ruin a life just as easy as heroin can.
If you have someone that you love who you think is suffering from addiction to prescription medication, here is how you can help them.
Recognising The Problem
There are some warning signs that you can look out for that will help you to recognise when someone that you love may have a problem with prescription medications. The symptoms are similar for most drug addictions.
The most significant change you may notice in a person is their mood, with them experiencing extreme moods swings. You will also want to look out for possessions gone missing, which they may swap or sell to feed their prescription drug addiction. A lack of sleep and changes in socializing can also be warning signs, as well as neglecting their responsibilities and forgoing personal hygiene. If you notice these signs in someone that you love, they may require inpatient prescription drug abuse treatment, to enable them to make a change in their lives and start on the road to recovery.
Stimulant Addiction: Ritalin And Adderall
Stimulants used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — drugs like methylphenidate and mixed amphetamine salts – may be abused by students and others to give an edge to boost mental performance.
Ritalin and Adderall have legitimate and legal medical uses for ADHD. Unfortunately, these drugs may be easily accessed from the home medicine cabinet, and shared or sold among friends, students, or coworkers. Parents, in conjunction with teachers and their healthcare provider should assess the risk of abuse in their family members and consider secure storage areas, if needed.
In the NIH’s 2020 Monitoring the Future Survey, their most recent report, 5.3% of 8th graders had abused ampehtamine-type drugs in the previous year, up from 4.1% in 2019.
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Recognizing An Addiction To Pills
Addiction is something that can happen to anyone, at any age. If you notice that your child, spouse, or loved one is being careless with hygiene, has seen a decline in their professional life, has lost interest in activities, has changed eating or sleeping habits, or more, they may be abusing or misusing prescription medication.
While learning that your loved one may be addicted to some type of drug may be a scary thing, it is important to know that addiction can be successfully treated. Successful treatment may incorporate many components including detoxification, counseling, and medications. It should be mentioned that multiple courses of treatment are sometimes needed for a patient to make a full recovery as many patients experience a relapse.
However, to begin treatment, you first need your loved one to agree to go to treatment. The best way to go about this is to talk to your loved one about their abuse or misuse. This talk can be done in a group intervention setting or a more intimate way. Regardless of the way you go about it, be sure to approach the talk in a caring and warm way. Help your loved one understand that you arent doing this because you are critical of their lifestyle, but instead because you care about their safety and health.
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.
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Get Educated About Addiction
Take the time to learn more about the nature and behavior of drug addiction.
Addiction is much more than substance abuse of things like cocaine, alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs. it can be a behavior that is usually due to some underlying emotional issue, chemical imbalance, or other disorder that causes a person to act a certain way or to self-medicate.
People with such behaviors can be addicted to just about anything in an unhealthy way whether it is sex, exercise, work, eating, or a substance. And when someone is addicted to something, there are often co-occurring disorders at play such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, obsessive-compulsiveness, or eating disorders.
Once a person becomes addicted to a substance or behavior, the continuing use and abuse are more about homeostasis rather than getting high. As time goes on, the perceived benefits of that behavior or substance that originally lured them in usually fade away, but the need and impulse remain.
Treatment programs like drug rehab work to treat the underlying causes of addictive behaviors. That is why drug rehabilitation can be so instrumental in causing life-altering behaviors and constructive, positive changes.