Wednesday, April 17, 2024

How To Help Someone With Opioid Addiction

How Do I Know My Loved One Is Suffering With Alcoholism Or Substance Abuse

Checklist for helping someone with opioid addiction

Here are some ways you can tell if someone is dealing with drugs and alcohol addiction:

  • Many times when you see the person they are drunk or high
  • They talk about drinking multiple times throughout the week
  • They cant have fun without using substances
  • Their work and personal life is being negatively affected by their drug or alcohol use
  • Your loved one is participating in risky behavior and chasing thrills in life
  • They are acting differently
  • When you bring up their drug or alcohol use, they get very defensive and upset

When To Call A Doctor

Opiate withdrawal can be a frustrating process with symptoms that, while typically not life threatening, are difficult to manage. Your doctor can help you to manage the symptoms you may experience with personalized recommendations and prescription medications to ease the process. They can also run tests like blood work to evaluate any damage to your system caused by the opiates.

Medications that can be used to treat opiate withdrawal include:

  • methadone, which helps to relieve withdrawal symptoms and makes the detoxification period easier
  • buprenorphine, which can shorten the time of the detox period and lessen withdrawal symptoms
  • clonidine, which can treat symptoms like anxiety, agitation, and muscle aches

If you are worried about your symptoms, or know that you wont be able to make it through withdrawal alone, consult your doctor or find a rehab facility for help.

If you experience nausea or vomiting, you may become dehydrated. Its important to seek medical treatment. Dehydration can be a serious problem leading to abnormal heartbeats, which in rare cases can lead to circulatory and heart problems.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

Other Support For Opiate Addiction

Other types of help and support you may be offered while you come off heroin include:

  • talking therapies you may be offered a talking therapy like CBT if you need help with anxiety or depression while you’re detoxing
  • support groups your key worker will give you details of local self-help groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery
  • support for family and carers your key worker can organise support for people close to you who are affected by your addiction
  • help to stay healthy this could be anything from advice on healthy eating to tests for infections such as HIV
  • incentives you may be offered rewards, such as vouchers or doses of methadone to take at home, for sticking with your treatment and staying off heroin

Also Check: How To Overcome Weed Addiction

Keep Their Addiction In Perspective

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.

Physical Dependence And Detox

Opioids: How to Help Someone Battling Addiction

Opioid addiction leads to changes in certain areas of your brain. Prescription drug addiction alters the circuits that handle mood and reward behavior.

In addition, long-term prescription drug abuse affects almost all of your bodyâs systems. When you cut off the opioid supply, youâre likely to get withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Craving for drugs
  • Body aches
  • Agitation and severe bad moods

If you have an opioid addiction, you know that a list of these symptoms doesn’t capture the agony of going through them. Itâs very unpleasant, and youâll do almost anything to avoid it.

Opioid withdrawal lasts hours to days — and sometimes weeks. It depends on which drug you were taking, how long you were taking it, and how much. After the intense initial symptoms subside, some physical and mental discomfort may linger for weeks.

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Substitute Drugs Just Prolong The Suffering

There are thousands of rehab programs that offer substitute opiates like methadone, Suboxone or Subutex as part of their treatment. There are stacks of literature that claim that these drugs are harmless and offer a good method of recovery from the illicit habit. But you would have to ask those who went through this kind of treatment if they felt they had recovered from addiction. After all, these substitute drugs are also drugs of abuse.

Many people who have been through these types of treatment still abuse opiates like heroin, oxycodone or hydrocodone at the same time or they may use other drugs. One person taking methadone as a substitute for heroin said that his health and ability to live the life he wanted deteriorated while he was on the drug, but the deadness he felt as a result of the drug kept him from realizing it.

The best life is a sober one, where a person can feel both the joy and sadness that come along when you are truly alive and undrugged.

Of course, a drug-free withdrawal is just the beginning. Next, a person goes through a thorough detoxification which consists of an exact nutritional program, moderate exercise and time in a low-heat sauna, the result being the flushing out of old, lodged drug toxins.

Family And Friends Support Groups

Addiction takes a toll on families. It strains friendships. Its easy to blame yourself. Or you may be tempted to cut off your loved one who is struggling with their addiction. On the other hand, you may find yourself excusing their behavior and enabling their addiction. All of these emotions are common.

Consider joining a support group that can offer guidance during this stressful and confusing time. There are Nar-Anon Family Groups that offer worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone elses addiction. There is also Narateen for teens affected by someone elses addiction. There are a number of other support groups, too. Many are regional. Most offer options for online support. Your family doctor is often the best place to start when looking for a support group.

Also Check: How To Deal With Gaming Addiction

The Two Approaches To Getting A Loved One In Recovery Are:

  • Tough Love. Cutting someone who has opioid addiction off from financial support, loving contact, and a support network may feel like the only option. However, letting them fall to rock bottom without a safety net may be the only way for them to confront their addiction.
  • Gentle Love. You can offer a more nurturing and supportive approach to help get them the care they need. By maintaining your boundaries but reminding them that you care, they may enter recovery of their own volition.
  • Regardless of which approach you take, dont enable your loved one. Create and maintain boundaries and follow through on consequences. Dont allow drug use or other users in your home. Dont cover for your loved one when they are in trouble. Require them to support themselves financially and refuse to pay off any debts or legal expenses they may have. Insist that they treat you with the respect you deserve.

    If youre able to convince your loved one to go to therapy, have realistic expectations. It may take several attempts for your loved one to make a full recovery. In addition, they may relapse, so try to stay patient and supportive. Each relapse is an opportunity for them to learn from their mistakes and move forward.

    Choosing Appropriate Opioid Addiction Treatment

    Supporting Someone with Opioid Addiction

    If you choose to hold an intervention to address your loved ones opioid addiction, you will need to search for drug detox and rehab programs to present as an option. While searching for treatment options, the National Institute on Drug Abuse recommends considering the following five questions to ensure your loved one receives the most appropriate care for his or her needs.5

    • Does the program use treatments backed by scientific evidence?
    • Will the program tailor its treatment to the needs of your loved one?
    • Will the program adapt treatment as your loved ones needs change?
    • Is the duration of treatment sufficient?
    • How do 12-step or similar recovery programs fit into drug treatment?

    Read Also: How To Talk To An Addict

    Medications For Opioid Addiction Include:

    • Available as dissolving tablet, cheek film, extended-release injection, or 6-month implant under the skin.
    • Can be prescribed by a doctor for use outside of a clinic.
    • Can only be used in a certified opioid treatment program setting.
    • Can be prescribed by any clinician who can legally prescribe medication.
    • Only used for people who have not used opioids for at least 710 days.

    Talk with a doctor to find out what types of treatments are available in your area and what options are best for you and/or your loved one. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease be sure to ask your doctor about the risk of relapse and overdose.

    If you notice that someone may be struggling with opioid addiction:

    The Importance Of Family Support Groups

    Family members with a loved one abusing drugs may feel alone and angry at themselves. They may also feel as if they have failed as a parent and seek reassurance in their suffering. Finding support is essential in understanding a family members substance use disorder , as is easing parents anxieties and frustrations.

    Addiction is often referred to as a family disease, as one family members addiction ultimately affects the entire family. When family members attend support groups, it inevitably affects the family as a whole. It can be highly beneficial in helping a family heal from the dysfunction that addiction causes. It also increases the chances that their loved one will seek help and maintain long-term recovery.

    Support groups can also allow parents to be vulnerable as they seek community in losing a child to Opioid abuse. Members facilitate the group as a whole by sharing common experiences, strength, and hope with each other. Lastly, family members can gain insight on coping with anxiety, shame, depression, and anger arising from a family members substance use disorder.

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    What Are The Signs Of An Addiction

    People addicted to drugs may change their behavior. Possible signs include:

    • Mixing with different groups of people or changing friends
    • Spending time alone and avoiding time with family and friends
    • Losing interest in activities
    • Getting into trouble with the law
    • Attending work or school on an erratic schedule
    • Experiencing financial hardship

    Find A National Takeback Location

    Opioid Addiction
    • Additional Locations

      Google is working with the National Drug Enforcement Agency to make it easier for people to find permanent drug takeback locations near them using Google Maps. Michigan, along with Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, are part of this Google Maps Integration Pilot.

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    What Is Naloxone And How Can It Help With An Overdose

    Available as an injection or nasal spray, naloxone is a lifesaving medication that can rapidly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. If you happen to have naloxone when responding to an overdose, call 911 and administer the medication according to the package instructions.

    Access to naloxone is expanding on a state-by-state basis. It can be prescribed by a physician, is often carried by police officers and emergency medical responders, and is increasingly available over the counter at some pharmacies.

    Help For Percocet Addicts

    If youre battling an addiction to Percocet , youre not alone.

    According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 6.5 million Americans age 12 years or older were current non-medical users of prescription drugs a category that includes oxycodone formulations.

    Regardless of how long youve taken Percocet, treatment programs are available to help you fight your addiction.

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    What You Can Do Right Now

    1. Get InformedTake the time to learn about opioid addiction. Research the signs of dependence and signs of withdrawals.

    2. Watch ThemDo not make an impulse decision on one or two events that have happened in their life. Instead, monitor their behavior over days, weeks, and months. Take notes of what you see.

    3. Talk With SomeoneAfter monitoring them for a few weeks or months, talk with someone you can trust. Express yourself to them and see if they agree. You could even talk with a specialist who can help guide you down the right path.

    4. Express YourselfBe willing to have a real talk with them. Let them know that you want to talk, that it is serious, and that you want to be away from everyone . Start by letting them know they are loved and appreciated. Let them know what you have seen and what you think may be wrong. Do not get upset if they are unwilling to listen.

    5. Be Prepared For The WorstIf they are not willing to listen, be prepared for the worst an overdose. Have emergency contact information ready and do not be afraid to call them immediately. Let your friend know that they can always call you, even in the worst of circumstances.

    6. Dont Lose HopeAbove all, do not lose hope in them. It can be frustrating watching someone deal with opioid dependence, but they need someone who will be there for them when no one else will.

    Path To Improved Health

    Getting Help for Opioid Addiction: Treatment at Primary Care Offices

    Watching someone you care about struggle with addiction is incredibly difficult. It can make you feel helpless. You may feel like you are not prepared to help. You may even try to convince yourself that your loved one doesnt have a problem.

    The best thing you can do if you suspect your loved one is misusing opioids is educate yourself about addiction. This can help you spot the warning signs of addiction, including:

    • A change in personality. This can include mood swings and doing things that are out of character.
    • No interest in usual activities. Someone who is becoming dependent on opioids may not enjoy things they used to enjoy doing.
    • Continuing to use opioids in spite of negative effects. Signs of this may include being sleepy during the day or falling asleep at odd times. They just cant seem to stay awake or focus.
    • Being focused on satisfying their craving for opioids. They may change doctors frequently or see multiple doctors. A person who has an opioid addiction may also use multiple pharmacies to help hide their addiction. They may call for early refills or claim they lost their medication.

    Also Check: How To Deal With An Addict In Denial

    Long Term Opioid/opiate Addiction Recovery

    Now that we know our overall goal for a friend or loved one who is addicted to opiates, we can set up a way to achieve that goal. Remember that the goal is long-term rehabilitation from opiate addiction, not just a short term solution. In order to ensure that our solution to the problem will be a long-term solution, it needs to have some safeguards in-place.

    Primarily, we want our long-term recovery to be strong enough to prevent the individual from giving into any urges to use opiates during recovery, and after treatment. Therefore, we want to make sure that the opiate treatment program utilizes treatments and therapies to promote relapse prevention.

    Our Goal: Long Term Opioid/Opiate Addiction Recovery

    Are Opiates Addictive

    Because opiates cause sedative and euphoric effects, they can be addictive to users, even when taken as prescribed. Many users end up taking higher doses than those prescribed and continually increasing the doses as their bodies become tolerant to the effects they produce.

    Once the opiate is withdrawn, withdrawal symptoms kick in, with very unpleasant flu-like symptoms, such as:

    • Cramping.
    • Cravings.

    Also Check: How To Get Help With Food Addiction

    Dispose Of Your Drugs

    • Dispose of Your Drugs

      After filling a medication, you may not think about what happens when some of it goes unused. Opioids and other prescription medications can be stolen or used by people other than the patient that was prescribed the medication. Further, proper drug disposal is important because it helps protect human health and our environment. To find a proper drug takeback location near you, click the button below.

    An Opiate Addiction Treatment Program That Offers Aftercare And Follow

    Treating Opioid Use Disorder with Opioid Addiction ...

    Addiction treatment programs should be flexible in the help they provide after treatment. It is easier for someone to adapt to a life of sobriety when they are under careful supervision during rehab than it is after they have left rehab. Will the rehab program allow the individual to return for counseling sessions if they need help?

    Will there be any aftercare program that helps ease the individual back into everyday life? If the individual has a relapse and quickly regrets that decision and wants to get back onto their recovery path will the program make them start over from the beginning, or is there a way to continue building off the success they have already achieved?

    Even though the hope is that your loved one will have a perfect recovery, and will not relapse or have any slip-ups, will they be able to get back on track or will the treatment program force them to take a big step backward? Opiate addiction treatment programs that have some form of aftercare, offer ongoing treatment, and work with at every stage of your recovery journey are very much needed if we are going to achieve our goal of long term recovery.

    Our Goal: Long Term Opioid/Opiate Addiction Recovery

    What is Needed to Achieve This Goal: 1.) Relapse Prevention2.) An Opioid Addiction Treatment Plan including Dual Diagnosis, Aftercare and Follow-Up Treatment Options

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    A Life Must Be Rebuilt

    A person has to recover his own self-respect, integrity, and ability to make drug-free decisions. He must learn how to deal with those whose friendship would lead him back to drug abuse. These life skills and many others are taught in the Narconon program. By the time a person goes home after eight to twelve weeks , he has confidence in his own personal morals and values, his problem-solving ability and his emotional self-control. He has also overcome the cravings that drive drug abuse so that every day is not a struggle for sobriety.

    This is why so many parents say that they have their loved one back in their lives again.

    Learn how the Narconon program can provide the help for opiate addiction you are looking for.

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