Saturday, June 15, 2024

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction

Take Care Of Yourself

How to help someone with a drug addiction

Although you may see this as selfish, its incredibly important that youre able to be there for others and make the best decisions possible. Make sure your own needs are met by getting enough sleep, exercising and eating well. Dont be afraid to go to therapy to get help if you find yourself struggling due to your loved ones drug addiction.

Symptoms Of Drug Abuse

There are many signs both physical and behavioral that indicate drug use. Each drug has its own unique manifestations, and symptoms of abuse vary from drug to drug. However, some general signs that your loved one may be addicted to drugs include:

  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Problems at school or work
  • Lack of energy or motivation
  • Becoming careless about personal grooming
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, sports and other favorite activities
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Sudden requests for money or a spike in spending habits

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use or addiction, The Recovery Village can help. Contact us today to learn more about addiction treatment programs that can work well for your needs.

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.

Analyze Where You Are

Its coming down to the wire. If all previous attempts have failed, our number one solution will be the last ditch effort to getting your loved one off of drugs, and giving them the health and attention they need to recover. By taking a step back and looking at the last few weeks or months of events, youll be able to better determine if your efforts are proving useful or if you need to take one more stab at this.

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Don Not Let Their Addiction Struggles Take Over Your Life

Sometimes a loved ones addiction can consume your life to the point of it swallowing you and your family whole.

You can still love the addict/alcoholic in your family while at the same time caring for yourself and other family members who might be caught up in the situation as well. You do this by carrying on with your regular life, work and interests taking time to care for yourself.

Try first getting involved in free support groups like the organizations we mentioned previously . You can look into therapy. It does help to talk to someone. These things can help you get a better understanding of how to cope and protect your family. Remember, you are not responsible for their addiction. Do your best, and that is all you can do.

What Is An Intervention

Recovery from Addiction Is Possible With Your Help

An intervention is a process of safely and respectfully approaching a person about their addiction and behavior to encourage them to seek help. It is a structured event that is best supported with the help of a professional to avoid a confrontational environment that could feel threatening.23

An intervention usually takes place at a specific time and includes the support of family, friends, coworkers, and other people involved in the persons life, along with guidance from a trained interventionist.13

There is no concrete research that supports the effectiveness of confrontational interventions, and they could backfire or escalate, especially if they are not properly conducted or managed.23

If you are interested in having an intervention, seek professional guidance or encourage your loved one to talk to their doctor first. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that people may be more likely to listen to professionals than to conversations with family or friends, as these can be more emotionally charged.6, 23

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Resistance To Drug Abuse Treatment How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction

If youve tried to ask someone to get help but they refused to listen, what can be done? While there is no magic bullet to make someone want to get sober, that doesnt mean you shouldnt give it a try. A classic adage in addiction medicine is that addicts have three choices: dead, in jail, or sober. Intervening and offering help could save their life, or someone elses. Before you ask again, read on to learn more about steps that can be taken to help make the process of talking about getting help more constructive for both people involved.

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 Can I Help Someone Struggling With Addiction

Helping a person who is struggling with an addiction can be a difficult thing to do. Remember that you cannot control a personâs substance use, nor can you make them do anything. However, you can voice your concerns and offer your support, including offering to go to a treatment assessment with them, or encourage them to attend a self-help meeting, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.7 If your friend or family member expresses hesitation, fearing that treatment wonât work, assure them that treatment does indeed work and substance use disorders can be successfully managed. It is important to emphasize that treatment is necessary to repair damage to brain function that was caused by and promotes compulsive, repetitive substance use.8

If you want to help, and your loved one agrees to go to treatment, your next question may be where to find the help your loved one needs. You can talk to a doctor or treatment specialist or research online resources including treatment directories.

Don’t Tell Them What To Do

How to Help Someone With Drug or Alcohol Addiction

You want to help your loved one with their addiction in any way you can, but you can’t control exactly how they do it. They may have unconventional ways of looking at their addiction, or maybe they’re experimenting with alternative therapies or treatments.

As long as they aren’t causing more harm to themselves or others in the process, you can show them that you respect their way of making positive changes. Rather than dictating what they must do, ask them how you can help.

For instance, saying “Why haven’t you gotten help already?,” or telling them what they “should” and “shouldn’t” do comes across as condescending. You want to avoid putting added pressure on them and instead, be a trusted friend that they feel safe with.

  • You should just quit cold turkey. It worked for someone else I know.

  • I want you to feel your best. I can help you research treatment centers or therapists if you’d like.

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What Not To Do

  • Denying, covering up, justifying, blaming, ignoring, and all the combat interventions you can possibly think of will not do any good. To the contrary, it will contribute to the maintenance of the problem.

However, if you know someone who you think might be using drugs or behaving addictively and you are reading this, you are probably putting things into action. In recovery, ACTION is a magic word. You are on the right track.

Dont Look Down On Them

Being upset at your addicted loved one is normal, but understand that addiction is a disease. They did not wake up one morning and decide to become addicted. Avoid blaming them for their addiction or looking down on them for using drugs or alcohol. There is enough stigma surrounding addiction, and what your loved one needs from you is support not judgement.

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Dos And Donts When Your Loved One Is Struggling With Addiction

Finding out that your loved one is struggling with drugs or alcohol can be heartbreaking. It can leave you feeling angry, hurt, and confused. While it is normal to feel overwhelmed right now, it is important to realize that all hope is not lost. Recovery is possible, and you can help your loved one get there.

Youre most likely wondering what you can do to help? What to say? Where to start? And while there is no set guideline as to how to handle a loved ones addiction, there are certain dos and donts that you should know.

Concerned About A Friend

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction And Depression ...

Drugs can be a hard subject to discuss, especially if you think your friend or relative has a problem.

Try to stay open-minded and remember that, with the right help and support, most people overcome their use before any serious harm is caused. Also, even if you do offer support, they might not change their behaviour.

You or your friend can call FRANK anytime on for confidential advice.

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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.

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.

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Educate Yourself About Addiction

You see what you know. Until you have knowledge about addiction and the symptoms of drug abuse, its easy to miss the signs that are right in front of you.

Addiction is complex, and its okay if you dont know everything right away. However, taking the time to understand your loved ones disease and how it affects them is incredibly beneficial to both you and your loved one. It also helps you be more aware of the signs that your loved one needs help.

Taking Care Of Yourself

How to Help Someone With a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Your loved ones recovery from drug addiction can be a long process and the negative impact on your own health, outlook, and well-being can multiply over time. Its important you maintain a balance in your life to avoid burnout from all the stress and frustration that comes from helping someone get clean.

Find support. Expressing what youre going through can be very cathartic, so look for support from trusted friends and family, or a peer support group for family members of drug addicts. Talking to others who are facing similar challenges can help you find comfort, reassurance, and new ways of coping.

Manage stress. The stress of witnessing someone you love battle addiction can take a heavy toll. You can reduce your stress levels by eating right, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and practicing a relaxation technique such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. Since stress levels can escalate when quitting drugs, you can even encourage your loved one to do the same.

Overcoming Addiction: Find an effective path toward recovery Special health report from Harvard Medical School.

Helplines and support

Support for sufferers of substance use disorders

In the U.S.: Call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

UK: Find NHS drug addictions support services or call the Frank helpline at 0800 776600.

Canada: Download the PDF Finding Quality Addiction Care from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

Support for families and loved ones

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Dont: Violate Their Privacy

In taking care of yourself and attending therapy, you may be tempted to vent about your loved one with an addiction. While you should be as honest about your feelings as possible when getting therapy, its important to respect their privacy. This is especially relevant when discussing someone with addiction with friends or family.

Make sure the person is okay being talked about and having their struggles discussed. If you attend counseling with your loved one, make sure you dont reveal what was said in session to others. If your loved one attends therapy or counseling on their own and dont want to discuss what they talked about in session, respect that and dont push them for details.

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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How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction Or Alcoholism

So, you know someone with drug addiction or alcoholism, and you want to help them, but you have no idea where to start? We understand that approaching such conversations constructively can be very difficult.

This article explains how to help someone with drug addiction or alcoholism. It describes effective ways of communicating to help your loved one make progress towards recovery.

The Five Stages of Change is a useful psychological model which represents the stages that people go through from unacknowledged addiction to stable recovery.

Understanding the Five Stages of Change will help you recognize the stage your loved one is currently in, allowing you to help them in the ways that are most effective for that particular stage.

Learning More About Treatment Options

How Do You Help Someone with a Drug Addiction?

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.

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