What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you or a loved one is experiencing substance use disorder, ask your healthcare provider:
- How can I stop taking drugs?
- What is the best treatment plan for me?
- How long will the withdrawal symptoms last?
- How long does therapy take?
- What can I do to prevent a relapse?
- What community resources can help me during my recovery?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Substance abuse, or substance use disorder, is a brain disease. Drugs affect your brain, including your decision-making ability. These changes make it hard to stop taking drugs, even if you want to. If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder, talk to a healthcare provider. A trained provider can help guide you to the treatment you need. Usually, a combination of medication and ongoing therapy helps people recover from addiction and get back to their lives.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/03/2020.
How To Help Someone Dealing With Addiction
Knowing someone who has an addiction is not uncommon, but knowing the best way to help a loved one with an addiction can be confusing and even scary. When someone has an addiction, it can affect every aspect of their lives as well as the lives of their loved ones. You will inevitably be concerned about your loved one, and it can be difficult to know what to do and what not to do, but its important to remember that Recovery is a solution.
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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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.
Dont: Enable Your Loved One
There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them. Sometimes when we think were protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually enabling them to continue with potentially destructive behavior.
For example, if youre trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, keeping them from drinking and driving is helpful, since that could put them and others in danger. However, consistently offering to drive them home whenever they get too intoxicated is enabling their actions, because its setting up a formula in which you are constantly available to rescue them.
Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue.
Its important to set up boundaries and rules, both for your well-being and the well-being of your loved one and its important to enforce those rules and boundaries. This is the only part of Recovery in which tough love is beneficial, since its done for both you and your loved ones protection.
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Effects Of Addiction On Family And Friends
Addiction is a widespread concern in our society, with an estimated 50% of all Americans having a family member or close friend who has struggled with a substance use disorder.9 In fact, more than 1 in 10 children in the United States live with at least 1 adult who has a substance use disorder.10 The impact of substance use on family members can be profound. For example, children who grow up in a home with a caregiver who has substance use disorders are more likely to have social, emotional, academic, or behavioral issues.10 Other consequences in families where one member has a substance use disorder can include poor communication, increased risk of interpersonal violence, and overall impairment of emotional connections.10
When you live with someone who has a substance use disorder, you may engage in unhealthy behavior patterns such as codependency and enabling. Codependency is a pattern of behavior in which you seek to fix others and are unable to state your own needs and wants. If you are a person who displays codependent behaviors, you may value your loyalty to others over your own needs, even when doing so is harmful to you.11 Codependent behavior can result in enabling your loved oneâs substance use, allowing them to carry on without facing consequences for using drugs and/or alcohol.12 An example of enabling behavior is calling your loved oneâs boss and telling them your loved one is sick, when they are actually hung over.
How To Talk To Someone With A Substance Use Disorder
When you talk with your loved one about their substance use, there are things that you can do, and not do, which can help the conversation be more productive and potentially result in a positive outcome.7, 8
- Express your concerns and state facts, not opinions.
- Be patient.
- Offer help, including information about treatment, how it works, and how it can help.
- Offer to go with them to the doctor or to an appointment.
- Neglect your own needs. Take care of yourself, regardless of the outcome.
- Donât yell or act angry.
- Enable the person.
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Recognizing Drug Abuse In A Loved One
Its not always easy to recognize if a loved one is abusing drugs. In teens, for example, drug abuse can often resemble normal adolescent moodiness. Furthermore, theres no specific amount or frequency of use that indicates someones drug use has become a cause for concern. Whether your loved one is using every day or every month, its the adverse impact their drug abuse has on their life that indicates a problem.
Signs your loved one may have a substance use disorder include:
Experiencing problems at work, school, or home. They appear high more often, for example, and take more days away from work or school to compensate. Their work performance or school grades suffer, they neglect their responsibilities at home, and encounter more and more relationship difficulties. They may even lose their job, drop out of school, or separate from a long-term partner.
New health issues, such as changes in sleep schedule, often appearing fatigued or run-down, pronounced weight loss or weight gain, glassy or bloodshot eyes, and forgetfulness or other cognition problems. Depending on the type of drug theyre abusing, they may also exhibit frequent sniffing, nosebleeds, or shaking.
Recurring financial problems. Your loved one may run up credit card debt to support their drug use, seek loans, or ask to borrow money without any solid reason. They may even steal money or valuables to sell for drugs.
Drug paraphernalia to look out for
How Are Behavioral Therapies Used To Treat Drug Addiction
Behavioral therapies help patients:
- modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use
- increase healthy life skills
- persist with other forms of treatment, such as medication
Patients can receive treatment in many different settings with various approaches.
Outpatient behavioral treatment includes a wide variety of programs for patients who visit a behavioral health counselor on a regular schedule. Most of the programs involve individual or group drug counseling, or both. These programs typically offer forms of behavioral therapy such as:
- cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs
- multidimensional family therapydeveloped for adolescents with drug abuse problems as well as their familieswhich addresses a range of influences on their drug abuse patterns and is designed to improve overall family functioning
- motivational interviewing, which makes the most of people’s readiness to change their behavior and enter treatment
- motivational incentives , which uses positive reinforcement to encourage abstinence from drugs
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What Happens To The Brain When A Person Takes Drugs
Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit,” causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones. Surges of dopamine in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy behaviors like taking drugs, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again.
As a person continues to use drugs, the brain adapts by reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drugan effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities.
Long-term use also causes changes in other brain chemical systems and circuits as well, affecting functions that include:
Despite being aware of these harmful outcomes, many people who use drugs continue to take them, which is the nature of addiction.
Types Of Treatment Methods
- Short-term methods – last lessthan 6 months, include residential therapy, medication therapy, and drugfree outpatient therapy
- Long-term methods – may includemedication therapy such as methadone maintenance outpatient treatment foropiate addicts and residential therapeutic treatment
- Outpatient drug free treatment-does not include medication and encompasses a wide variety of programsfor patients that visit a clinic at regular intervals. Involves individualor group counseling. Generally, patients entering this type of program do not abuse opiates, or are opiate abusers for whom maintenancetherapy is needed. Generally these patients have stable lives and onlybrief histories of drug dependence
- Therapeutic Communities – highlystructured communities where patients stay for 6-12 months. Patientsgenerally have long histories of drug dependence, involvement in seriouscriminal activities, and seriously impaired social functioning. Thistype of program focuses on the resocialization of the patient to a drugfree and crime free lifestyle.
- Short-term residential programs– “chemical dependency units,” based on the “Minnesota Model” of treatmentfor alcoholism. Involve 3- to 6-week inpatient treatment phase followedby an extended outpatient therapy in a 12-step self-help group such asNarcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous.
Is treatment worth it?
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Encourage Them To Seek Help
Trust is a key factor in this step.
In Step 7, we talked about love and support replacing intimidation and guilt. Once you have established that approach, encouragement comes next.
While some drug rehab centers and support groups utilize the tough love approach, we believe you can get just as far or further with encouragement. You may be asking yourself at this point, how can you love and encourage while at the same time setting boundaries and looking out for yourself first?
When healthy boundaries are set and you are putting you first, you are more able to freely share love and empathy. You have made the decision to not let that person harm you or take advantage of you or whatever the boundary is you have set.
Once any negative feelings and emotions about the person or situation have taken a back seat, you can begin to take a more objective approach to the problem and motivate them to start getting help.
Signs Of Drug Addiction
The signs and symptoms of drug addictions vary, and some drugs have a higher risk of getting addicted to them than others. Here are some of the symptoms of drug dependence:
- Feeling an intense urge to use drugs or medication frequently. Maybe several times a day.
- You need more substance to get the same effect because you built a tolerance for the drug.
- You feel alive when you are on the drug. When the drug wears off, you feel shaky, depressed, and confused. You may not feel hunger and may have headaches or run a fever.
- You cant stop yourself from taking the drug.
- You are doing everything you can to make sure you get drug supplies, even if you cant afford it.
- Your social life is a wreck. You have a hard time bonding with co-workers, friends or family.
- Your personal health declines. For example, you may start to gain or lose weight. You have bad breath or red eyes.
- You start to steal money to buy drugs.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking drugs.
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Drug Dependency Is A Result Of Diverse Matters And Diverse Conditions
There are so many situations that have brought on drug addiction in the first area and we can dive into all of them in element. Drug dependency is something that simply takes place in human beings. There ought to be no guilt worried, all of us get inclined in our lives at instances. And cross after matters. That may provide us comfort effortlessly.
There are so many situations that have brought on drug addiction in the first area and we can dive into all of them in element. Drug dependency is something that simply takes place in human beings. There ought to be no guilt worried. All of us get inclined in our lives at instances. And cross after matters that may provide us comfort effortlessly.
Take Care Of Yourself First
It can be easy to feel devoted to helping someone get out of drug addiction, but you need to take care of yourself first. If you are not taking proper care of yourself, you wont be able to help someone else.
That means getting a full 8 hours of sleep, exercising, eating well, and even seeking mental health counseling or support groups.
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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.
If You Are Struggling With Addiction Know That Addiction Is A Treatable Disease Not A Moral Failing
Substance use disorders create changes in the brain, leading to a compulsion to use drugs or alcohol. It is a chronic mental health condition however, sobriety is possible with the proper treatment and support.
Olympia House Rehab provides patients with individualized addiction treatment tailored to their long-term goals and mental health concerns.
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How Many People Get Treatment For Drug Addiction
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.5 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit* drug or alcohol use problem in 2014. Only 4.2 million received any substance use treatment in the same year. Of these, about 2.6 million people received treatment at specialty treatment programs .
*The term “illicit” refers to the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana according to federal law, and misuse of prescription medications.
How To Find The Best Drug Addiction Rehab Center Near Me
If youre in search for the best drug rehabilitation center near you, youll want to be thorough while searching for the substance abuse treatment program that is right for you. Not all treatment facilities are equal, so its important that you know what youre looking for. Not everyone will benefit from the same type of rehab so some priorities may depend on the individuals preferences, but some standard things to look for include:
- Treatment program accreditations and certifications.
- Appropriate education, experience, and certifications for staff members.
- Individualized treatment plans.
- Experience in treating your specific addiction.
- Experience in treating addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, if necessary.
- Empathetic, nonjudgmental, compassionate staff members.
- Staff trained in cultural sensitivity.
You may also want to consider a facility that shares your philosophy. For instance, some people prefer faith-based rehabs if their religion is important to them. Others may choose to enroll in a holistic treatment center that utilizes alternative and complementary practices, such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga. Regardless of the treatment program you choose, its important to confirm that it possesses the above-mentioned qualities.
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