Create A Safe Space For Discussion
It is important to create a safe space for discussion. People suffering from addiction may benefit from hearing from you and being able to respond. If other people are going to be involved in a conversation, let the person who is struggling with addiction know that a few of you would like to talk in a safe place and that you are willing to hear them out as well.
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
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.
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How Can I Stop My Friend Taking Lots Of Drugs
You cant force your friend to do anything they dont want to do, but you still might be able to help.
Start by encouraging your friend to stay away from the places where theyd normally take drugs , and suggest other activities.
You can also remind your friend of the potential dangers involved in taking lots of drugs and tell them where they can get accurate information about what theyre using. Whatever happens, make sure your friend knows youre around and happy to talk that youre there to help and not judge.
Take Care Of Yourself
When helping someone with a drug problem, try to consider the potential effect on your own wellbeing. You should not feel pressured to take on a supportive role if you dont feel you will be able to manage.
If you do become involved, its a good idea to talk to someone about your feelings and worries. For example, you could contact a counsellor or join a support group.
This is especially important if the person you are concerned about is a family member. Drug addiction can seriously damage relationships within a family. But at the same time, a healthy, well-supported family can play a vital role in the recovery of someone struggling with drug addiction.
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Understanding Your Loved Ones Substance Abuse
People start using drugs for a lot of different reasons. Many turn to substances to cope with the emotional pain of a mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Known as self-medicating, some people may be aware they have a mental health issue but are unable to find healthier ways of coping, while others remain undiagnosed and use drugs to manage specific symptoms.
Other people turn to drugs to change how they feel, to fit in, or to alleviate boredom or dissatisfaction with their lives. Then there are those whose substance abuse develops from a doctors well-intentioned efforts to treat a medical condition. Of all the people prescribed opioids to relieve pain, for example, estimates suggest that more than a quarter will end up misusing the drug.
Whatever your loved ones reason for starting, though, not everyone who uses drugs develops a problem. While the exact causes of addiction arent clear, genetics likely plays a role, along with environmental factors. While one person is able to use substances without detrimental effects, another finds even casual use quickly escalates into compulsion and addictiona very dark hole from which they can feel powerless to emerge.
Are You Willing To Help
If youve found someone who cares enough about your family member or friend to talk with you about addiction, youve probably found someone who wants to help. You can talk about how you can both help and even discuss the possibility of organizing an intervention, which can draw more friends and family together to help the person you all care about start fighting addiction.
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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.
What Are Substance Abuse And Addiction
The difference between substance abuse and addiction is very slight. Substance abuse means using an illegal substance or using a legal substance in the wrong way. Addiction begins as abuse, or using a substance like marijuana or cocaine.
You can abuse a drug without having an addiction. For example, just because Sara smoked pot a few times doesn’t mean that she has an addiction, but it does mean that she’s abusing a drug and that could lead to an addiction.
People can get addicted to all sorts of substances. When we think of addiction, we usually think of alcohol or illegal drugs. But people become addicted to medicines, cigarettes, even glue.
Some substances are more addictive than others: Drugs like crack or heroin are so addictive that they might only be used once or twice before the user loses control.
Addiction means a person has no control over whether he or she uses a drug or drinks. Someone who’s addicted to cocaine has grown so used to the drug that he or she has to have it. Addiction can be physical, psychological, or both.
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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 Warning Signs Have I Seen
There may be one particular incident that pushes you toward talking to your loved one about addiction. However, there have probably been many other signs often subtle youve noticed along the way. Indications of addiction to look for in your family member or friend include:
- Change in Appearance Is my normally well-dressed loved one neglecting their personal appearance?
- Health Issues Is my loved one suffering from new health issues?
- Altered Behavior Have I noticed major changes in how my loved one is acting?
- Different Spending Habits Has my loved one asked me for money without giving a reason?
- Issues at School or Work Does my loved one skip school or work frequently or have a dramatic change in performance?
You may not even know for sure that your loved one is using drugs, but these questions can help you determine if your spouse, family member or friend is using and trending toward addiction.
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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.
Drug Or Alcohol Abuse Symptoms
Mayo Clinic offers a comprehensive list of symptoms that may be displayed by a person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. Many of these may be internal experiences for that individual however, symptoms that may be evident to others include:
- Appearing intoxicated more and more often
- Developing problems with cognition and memory
- Being lethargic, sleeping more, sleeping irregular hours, or appearing unwell or tired
- Developing problems at work or school possibly losing ones job or dropping out of school
- Attending social events only if drugs or alcohol are available becoming intoxicated before the social event or attending fewer social events specifically to drink or use drugs
- Stealing money or valuables to pay for drugs
- Lying about the substance or how much they are using
- Becoming angry, sad, or lashing out when questioned about their substance abuse
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to take the drug
- Neglected appearance and poor hygiene
People who struggle with substance abuse problems are likely to behave differently when they are intoxicated versus when they are sober they may say or do hurtful things, and they are likely to take serious risks with their life, such as driving while intoxicated. These behavioral problems can cause intense worry and fear in loved ones.
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Things To Say To Your Addicted Loved One
If you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you know that it can be extremely difficult to talk to that person about their addiction. Addiction involves a number of defense mechanisms that serve to protect the addict and their addictive behavior.
Typically when you confront the person about their addiction you may encounter a variety of techniques they use to avoid focusing on the real issue, their addiction. These can include anger, rationalization, avoidance, guilt, aggression or anything else they can do that might prevent you from having a serious and productive conversation.
Talking to an addict about their addiction requires courage, patience, proper planning, good timing, and honesty. Keep in mind that addiction is a disease, and often treating the addiction will require the assistance of a professional. If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, here are some suggestions that might help to at least start the conversation:
Approaching And Helping An Addict
Trying to help someone with an addiction can be a long, challenging, and painful process. Unlike someone with a physical health condition, such as cancer, a person with an addiction might not recognize the true danger of their illness or understand the risks of not treating it.
Its important to remember that they are ultimately responsible for their own recovery. Typically, they must first recognize that they have an addictive disorder. Then, they must be ready and willing to address their addiction before their recovery can even begin. Setting realistic expectations and boundaries can help you provide support, while protecting your own well-being.
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Take Care Of Yourself First
Having significant problems with substance use is a chronic illness. It not only affects the person who is using, but everyone close to them. Family and friends often place the needs of their loved one above their own. That results in a lack of self-care, increased illness and sometimes struggles with depression and anxiety. Taking care of your own physical, emotional, spiritual and mental needs will leave you better able to help your loved one through the difficult journey of recovery.
How To Confront An Addict In Denial
The truth is that it is possible your loved one has been thinking about seeking help and deep down they might be craving it. In addition, maybe they have just been waiting to see if anyone cares about them. So, you should really take the first step and figure out how to talk to someone on drugs. This will help you find the strength to reach out to your loved one.
You can also offer your loved one resources, including contact information and schedules for local support groups. You could also suggest that your loved one seek professional substance abuse counseling or addiction rehab. There are also inpatient and outpatient programs available for people who have addictions. You could recommend one to your loved one as a solution to their addiction issues. If they are nervous about getting treatment, you could volunteer to go with them so they dont have to go alone.
Addiction recovery is an ongoing process, denial is part of the process. Overcoming denial is a step towards sobriety. Watching someone suffering from an addiction can be frustrating, stressful, and difficult. Knowing how to talk to drug addicts can help a person express themselves to a loved one who has an addiction. Although you should remember if you have a loved one who has a drug or alcohol addiction, it is a good idea to express your concerns to them when they are sober. Dont place blame on your loved one. Stay positive and speak with them regarding their addiction.
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If Necessary Stage An Intervention
If the person is in grave danger or doesnt respond to your concerns, it may be helpful to stage an intervention. Before organizing an intervention, it may help to talk to a substance abuse counselor, social worker, or other trusted health expert. Their guidance may be very helpful, especially if theyre willing to attend the intervention itself.
Organize a time when friends, family, and other concerned parties can gather together. Allow at least a few hours for the intervention. Everyone present should have enough time to communicate his or her thoughts and feelings.
Host it somewhere quiet where the person with the addiction feels safe, such as their house or that of a family member. Dont attempt to lock the doors or block their exit if the meeting doesnt go well. They should be able to leave if they arent prepared to participate in the intervention. The intervention will only work if they accept it.
When they arrive, explain that youve gathered everyone together because youre concerned about their behavior. Invite members of the intervention to talk about how the persons behavior has affected them. Encourage them to express their concern for the persons welfare. It may also help to discuss the consequences that could ensue if the persons behavior continues. Its important to avoid threatening them.
Acting Out Of Character & Personal Safety
Some people take drugs because it makes them less inhibited but this can have negative effects too. They might do things they wouldnt normally do that they later regret, like having unprotected sex. If your friend is out of it or having a bad experience on drugs, theyll be vulnerable and may need help and looking after.
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Realize You Might Not Get Through To Them Right Away
Realizing and accepting that there is a problem can take time. This can be an extremely difficult process. Even if you are not able to get someone to admit they have a problem right away know that you have at least planted the seed for them to realize what is going on. There may even be a good chance that on some level the person already knows they have a problem but are not yet willing to admit to it to others.
How To Talk To An Addict About Getting Help
Its important to know how to talk to an addict about getting help. Saying the wrong things can be discouraging and drive him or her deeper into their dependency and abuse. Your family member may try to borrow money or ask you to make excuses for his or her behavior. You can refuse these requests without making insulting comments. If you are asked for money, dont say No, your just a junkie. Instead of applying a label to your family member, you can say Because I care about you, I cant contribute to something that will harm you. Learning how to talk to an addict about getting help means you dont apply labels. Someone who is suffering with an addiction will not react well to being labeled. Some labels you definitely want to avoid include:
Applying labels like this to someone you care about gives the impression you think he or she is worthless and hopeless, when you really want them to recognize the fact their life is important to you. Explain that you understand addiction is a disease, and you are willing to do what you can to help them recover. You wont buy candy bars for a diabetic, and you wont give them money they will use for drugs. Both are disease that can destroy organs, the brain, and result in coma and death.
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