Recovery Requires Actions Rather Than Intentions
Happy thoughts will only get you so far. Positive affirmations and intentions can be helpful, but addiction recovery requires actions. Taking small daily actions to improve your lifestyle and work towards your goals, such as walking for 15 minutes, or signing up for a new class to keep yourself busy is the only way to move forward.
How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction
Having an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be a serious risk to ones physical and emotional wellbeing. When you are trying to learn how to help an addict, its important to start with recognizing all of the warning signs. While its true that anybody can develop an substance abuse issue, there are certain factors and causes of addiction that could put your loved one at a greater risk.
Things like a family history of addiction, your loved one going through a traumatic experience, or them having co-occurring mental health disorders are all risk factors that contribute to addiction. But being aware of these significant risk factors can give you a head start on knowing how to help an addict that you love. You might be able to bring these elements to their attention before the problem gets out of hand.
Additionally, look for any changes in your loved ones behaviors or health, such as:
- Using prescription drugs more frequently than the recommended dose
- Collecting drug paraphernalia or using household items to store drugs
- Constantly talking or asking about drugs or alcohol
- Experiencing memory loss
- Having more severe mental illness symptoms
This last factor of addiction shows that mental health and substance use often go hand-in-hand. This means that untreated mental health concerns can lead to more substance use and more substance use can actually lead to worsening mental health symptoms. So, knowing how to help an addict also encompasses mental health assistance.
Realize Theres A Lot About Substance Abuse To Learn
Having feelings of fear, worry and anger is understandable and normal. As with any other chronic illness, the more informed you are the better you will be able to support your loved one. You can help them, and yourself, by educating yourself. Learn more about substance use disorder, interventions, treatment methods and recovery programs. And know that now is not the time to nag, preach or lecture your loved one about what they should have done, how things could have been better or how wrong they are.
Seek professional help on how to approach your loved one about their addiction so they can get treatment for it. Assistance in Recovery is one resource in our community that offers advocates who can help coach you on ways to do this that work. They can also explain the variety of treatment options out there for your loved one many of which include the involvement of family and others who are supportive.
HealthPartners alcohol and substance abuse recovery treatment programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin include:
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Help Your Loved One Recover
Addiction is a terrible condition, and it is especially terrible for the loved ones that live with an addict or alcoholic. Luckily, recovery is possible. Every year, millions of Americans find the help that they need to get started living a better, sober life. You know what its like to live with an active addict, now its time to find out what its like to live with a recovering alcoholic. Contact a treatment provider today to discuss available rehab options.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelors and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffreys desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffreys mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Principle : Love Is Not To Be Held Hostage Or Used As A Threat
Having an addict in your life is not going to be peaches and cream. There wont be montages with uplifting 80s songs in the background to gloss over the grueling, extensive process of convincing and encouraging the person to seek and fulfill treatment, nor will there be a clear happy ending to signal that the coast is clear, and addiction is officially out of everyones lives. It just doesnt work that way, unfortunately. There will be fights, bitter words said, and ugly times. Your love for this person will most definitely be tested.
That being said, it is not a good idea to use your love as a tactical way of getting the person to quit their substance abuse. Saying things like if you loved me, youd quit is the sort of manipulative behavior that almost always backfireson you. Using your love as a threat will only translate as lost love to the addict, who might be triggered into doing desperate and rash retaliation, such as running away or purposefully overdosing. Instead, convey your concerns with your love. Continue to remind them that you are willing to be their recovery support, that they are not alone, and that you love them enough to see them live. Use love as a comforting tool, not a weapon.
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Prepare Meals And Eat Them As A Family
In todays modern, chaotic world, its all too easy to eat separately. One partner grabs a burger on the way home, the other snacks on salad at work and the kids heat up ready-made foods they can find in the freezer.
A family meal allows everyone to reconnect at the end of a day that may have been stressful, lonely or upsetting. Each meal helps build upon the work done in family therapy, and the ritual of eating together can promote a sense of common ground and togetherness.
The activity doesnt have to stop at the table, either. Spending time making the meal together or cleaning up afterwards can increase the benefits. Even one meal together per week can have a significant impact.
Treatment And Supportive Recovery Services In Bc
Treatment and supportive recovery services are live-in or bed-based substance use services that offer a range of programs and supports to help people who are looking to reduce or abstain from substances, and/or reduce harms associated with substance use. Programs can vary both in length, types of services offered, model of care and intensity of supports available.
The following lists of services are made available by the BC Centre on Substance Use as an easily accessible tool for individuals to find service options available in their community.
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Support Recovery As An Ongoing Process
Once your loved one decides to enter treatment, its essential that you remain involved. Continue supporting their participation in ongoing care, meetings and participate in support groups for families of addicts. Be the support system that they need, and show them that youll be there every step of the way.
Why A Support System Is Important For Recovery
Looking at substance abuse treatment programs, it should come as no surprise that we tend to look at addiction recovery as a solo venture. After all, family and friends arent completing treatment programs alongside the actual patients.
However, there are, in fact, forms of recovery that are communal in nature, particularly the recovery fellowships and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Although drug rehabs and holistic treatment programs are widely considered to be a more effective form of recovery, countless people have experienced immense success in support groups, which is a clear sign that theres something about the support group model thats quite effective for recovery.
Why is it that support systems are so beneficial for addiction recovery?
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What To Avoid When Talking To A Loved One About Addiction
When talking to a loved one about getting treatment for their addiction, here are some things to avoid:
- Preaching, lecturing, threatening or moralizing your loved one
- Emotional appeals that may increase the feelings of guilt and the compulsion to use drugs
- Lying or making excuses for their behavior
- Taking over their responsibilities doing this protects them from the consequences of their behavior
- Enabling their behavior by covering up the abuse or giving them money for drugs
- Arguing with your loved one when theyre using drugs during this time, your loved one wont be able to hold a rational conversation and likely wont be open to what you have to say
- Feeling guilty or responsible for their behavior its not your fault
If you feel that your loved one is abusing drugs, the best thing you can do is to encourage them to seek treatment for their addiction. Be loving and supportive, but also know that theyre likely going to make excuses for their behavior. Be firm in what you want, and keep encouraging them to get help. Although this isnt easy to do, its a critical first step in helping them achieve a healthy and happy life in recovery.
Characteristics Of A Recovering Addict
For addicts who receive professional help, rehab is just the beginning of recovery. In order to maintain long-term sobriety, its essential for a person not only to go through rehab but to also begin the recovery process.
As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains, recovery begins when a person takes the following actions:
- Deals with his or her problems without using drugs or alcohol and without getting stressed out
- Realizes his or her personal boundaries and how to separate their problems from other peoples
- Has at least one person he or she can be completely honest with
- Takes time to restore his or her physical and emotional energy when they are fatigued
If people take these acts after rehab, then they are in recovery.
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Ways To Help Someone You Love Stay Sober
Many people who decide to get help with their substance addiction might think that detox and rehab are the only parts of the recovery process, but ending substance abuse is only the beginning. Recovering from an addiction is a lifelong process because staying sober takes commitment and determination. It helps recovering addicts to have support from their loved ones, so its essential that people encourage recovering addicts by motivating them to continue living a substance-free life.
Millions of people struggle with substance addictions each year. The 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Mental Health found that 8.5 percent of the US population had a substance dependence or abuse problem in the previous year. Of these people, only 2.5 million people received professional treatment. These statistics show that addiction is a common problem that many people ignore.
How To Help Someone Stay Sober
At United Recovery Project, we help you to recover from addiction easily with the support of family and friends. It may help to suggest a support group for the person, to interact with other recovering addicts and receive encouragement. There are also support groups for family and friends to receive the resources they need.
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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.
Principle : Recovery Support Is A Lifelong Process
Another very important thing to know throughout your loved ones recovery support process is that change is gradual and may have ups and downs. Not everyone has a clean, linear path to recovery. There will be setbackswhether its a relapse, stressful stage in life, or feelings of resentment. An eight-year study of about 1,200 addicts showed that only about a third of recovering individuals who had been sober for less than a year remained abstinent, which meant that two-thirds of recovering addicts relapsed within their first year of recovery. As time goes on in sobriety, the chances for relapse drops, but it should be understood that relapses are not an indication of failure. Instead, they are an indication that the method of treatment needs to be changed.
Recovery support is a lifelong process. Your loved one might relapse several times before finding an effective treatment method that keeps them on track. Stability in life is difficult to achieveeven for sober people! So continue to be supportive of your loved ones improvement and sobriety. As long as they have the will to change, and you have the will to see it through, then with patience, time, and dedication, the both of you will get your lives back again. Be strong.
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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.
Stage Two Securing Addiction Treatment
Having admitted to yourself or even a loved one that you are struggling with an addiction, the next stage in addiction recovery is securing treatment.
Addiction treatment is available via private inpatient rehabs, such as our own, or outpatient rehabs, such as NHS rehabs.
Securing treatment will see you required to complete a pre-admission assessment and a clinical assessment. Pre-admission assessments are typically conducted over the telephone when you make initial contact with rehab of your choice. In contrast, clinical assessments are carried out by medical professionals upon entering rehab.
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Can Help You Adjust Your Mindset
You have to put yourself in the right frame of mind to quit drinking or using drugs. As an individual who has struggled with addiction, it is vital that you maintain a positive attitude and outlook on life. This will keep you motivated during the difficult times ahead of you when attempting to overcome drug and alcohol addiction.
The first step to helping someone recover from drug and alcohol addiction is helping them recognize that they have a problem. An Addiction Recovery Coach will also help you to understand why you struggle with the addiction in the first place.
How Do The Best Treatment Programs Help Patients Recover From Addiction
Stopping drug use is just one part of a long and complex recovery process. When people enter treatment, addiction has often caused serious consequences in their lives, possibly disrupting their health and how they function in their family lives, at work, and in the community.
Because addiction can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment should address the needs of the whole person to be successful. Counselors may select from a menu of services that meet the specific medical, mental, social, occupational, family, and legal needs of their patients to help in their recovery.
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Your Loved One Is Still In Active Addiction
Understandably, if the loved one is still using drugs or alcohol, you are still in the thick of the addicts distressing behaviors and challenged daily to refrain from enabling the substance abuse. As difficult as it is to stand by and not respond when they are engaging in self-destructive activities, continue to invite them to seek treatment. This is the most important thing you can do for a loved one with a substance use disorder. In time, after they experience the brunt of the effects of their addiction, there is great hope that the next time you suggest they get help they may just surprise you and say yes.
How To Help An Addict With Their Mental Health
Mental health can be a sensitive topic. Unfortunately, mental health is seen as taboo in society, meaning that its not well understood. But the reality is that millions of people in the United States struggle with some sort of mental health issue. Some commonly occurring mental health disorders are:
- Mood disorders
- Panic attacks
While the symptoms of all of these disorders range widely depending on the person and their experiences, red flags that your loved one might be struggling with their mental health include self-isolation, expressions of hopelessness, and turning to drugs or alcohol in moments of stress.
One of the best ways on how to help an addict with their mental health is simply to ask them if they would like to talk to you. Having a supportive friend or family member can sometimes help them to feel as though they have someone to go to for help. Furthermore, assisting your loved one in finding professional mental health care is the most important thing that you can do.
Mental health conditions like the ones listed above and so many others require expert treatment. In mental health treatment, your loved one will have opportunities to engage in recovery options such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Discharge planning
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