Taking Care Of Yourself
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.
Canada: Download the PDF Finding Quality Addiction Care from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
Support for families and loved ones
Where To Get Help For Substance Abuse Or Addiction
You can start looking for help for a drug or alcohol addiction by speaking with a doctor, doing research on what help is available and discussing these options with your friend or loved one. Factors that can play a role in deciding where to go for drug or alcohol addiction treatment and what kind of program you choose include the reputation of the rehab facility and the type of care you are seeking.
Typically, when an individual enters drug addiction treatment, it will occur in stages that include:14
- Medical detoxification, where a person clears substances out of their body in a safe, supervised atmosphere. Detox treatment alone is rarely sufficient in achieving long-term abstinence from a substance, but it is an important first step.
- Treatment, or rehab, addresses a persons motivation to change, helps a person identify triggers that lead to substance use and teaches people ways to cope with stress or other triggers that do not involve turning to substances. Treatment typically includes individual therapy, group therapy, peer support programs and, in some cases, medication.
- Aftercare provides continued support for a persons recovery after formal treatment. This can include attending mutual help groups , individual counseling or therapy and continuing medications that were started during treatment.
Age Groups And Drug Addiction
A persons age can significantly affect their vulnerability to addiction and resulting health risks. Abusing drugs as a child or teen can hinder brain development. Young adults entering college for the first time often find themselves in an environment where drugs are easily accessible. Even the elderly can develop a dependence or addiction to opioid painkillers after surgery or treatment for cancer-related pain.
Read Also: How To Stop Phone Addiction
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
Listening To Doctors And Therapists
It is important to listen to the advice of doctors, therapists, and counsellors. Not only do they want to help, but they are professionally trained to do so. Their advice is a combination of education in addiction studies and experience in helping others overcome addictions. If these professionals prescribe medication, for example, it is important to take it properly. Even if the first drug prescribed does not work, a doctor can prescribe a new one and continuously tailor a patient’s treatment to his or her needs. In addition, it is important to attend all health care appointments so that doctors and therapists can monitor progress and adjust treatments as necessary.
You May Like: What Do Drug Addicts Use Batteries For
Reflect On Your Addiction
Take time to reflect on what is important to you, how addiction has negatively affected you, and how your life will improve with sobriety.
The easiest way to reflect effectively is to keep a daily journal. With a journal, you can help yourself start a plan to stop addiction to help identify patterns, triggers, goals, and motivators.
Treatment Approaches For Drug Addiction Drugfacts
NOTE: This fact sheet discusses research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. If youre seeking treatment, you can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP or go to for information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your state.
Don’t Miss: Is Drug Addiction An Illness
Admit There Is A Problem
The hardest part to recovery is admitting you have an addiction. Substance use disorders affect the brain causing it to look for excuses and justifications to keep using.
Admitting a problem shows you have the courage to face your addiction and its underlying causes.
There are several places to turn to for help however, having a solid support system is essential in any treatment approach you choose. If you are not ready to turn to friends or family, consider talking to a therapist, doctor, or rehab facility.
Detoxification Does Not Have To Be Painful
First, Dr. Glen Hanson explains the benefits of using methadone to treat heroin addiction. Then, Dr. Adam Gordon talks about how people can be dependent on a drug without having substance use disorder. Yet, to stop using the drug, people with dependence also go through the potentially painful process of withdrawal.
With some drugs, suddenly stopping use can cause painful withdrawal symptoms. In the past, suffering through withdrawal was considered a necessary part of rehabilitation. It was the punishment for having the moral flaw of addiction.
Today we know better. While stopping use of the drug is a necessary step in recovery, patients should not have to suffer. In fact, allowing painful withdrawal gets in the way of recovery. Patients know that going back to the drug will instantly make their symptoms go away.
To prevent withdrawal symptoms, patients can take medication that has a similar effect to the drug, then gradually decrease the dose over time. Examples of this type of treatment include methadone for opioid treatment, nicotine replacement therapies and bupropion for nicotine treatment, and benzodiazepine and anti-seizure drugs for barbiturate treatment. These medications stabilize the brain, allowing the patient to focus on other aspects of recovery.
You May Like: How To Prevent Drug Addiction
Build A Meaningful Drug
You can support your drug treatment and protect yourself from relapse by having activities and interests that provide meaning to your life. Its important to be involved in things that you enjoy, that make you feel needed, and add meaning to your life. When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal.
Pick up an old hobby or try a new one. Do things that challenge your creativity and spark your imaginationsomething youve always wanted to try. Learn a musical instrument, a foreign language, or try a new sport.
What Happens After You Leave Addiction Treatment
Recovery doesnt end after rehab. An important aspect in the recovery process is maintaining abstinence and the other initial gains made during treatment. Aftercare , can help people remain engaged in recovery after they leave rehab or complete a treatment program. Remember, addiction is a chronic disease, and like other chronic illnesses, it means that relapse is possible. Therefore, when you leave addiction treatment, following an aftercare plan can help you stay on track with your recovery, as well as avoid relapse and provide you with other aspects of support, including employment, recreation, housing, and involvement in other meaningful activities.8
Rehab aftercare often includes mutual support groups to reinforce relapse prevention skills. They focus on helping patients understand and manage triggers, stay motivated to continue a sober lifestyle, be accountable, and develop social support. The value of community and connection should not be underestimated, as establishing a bond with others who can relate to your situation is priceless during this vulnerable period of time in your recovery.8
Patients, including those who have already completed a treatment program, can participate in an alumni program, too. A treatment facility may host past patients to continue building upon relationships, forge new connections, and offer support to people months or years after they have completed the program.
Don’t Miss: What Percentage Of Homeless Are Addicts
The First Step To Overcoming Drug Abuse And Addiction
Developing an addiction to drugs isnt a character flaw or a sign of weakness, and it takes more than willpower to overcome the problem. Abusing illegal or certain prescription drugs can create changes in the brain, causing powerful cravings and a compulsion to use that makes sobriety seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is never out of reach, no matter how hopeless your situation seems or how many times youve tried and failed before. With the right treatment and support, change is always possible.
For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: recognizing that you have a problem and deciding to make a change. Its normal to feel uncertain about whether youre ready to start recovery, or if you have what it takes to quit. If youre addicted to a prescription drug, you may be concerned about how youre going to find an alternate way to treat a medical condition. Its okay to feel torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:
- the way you deal with stress
- who you allow in your life
- what you do in your free time
- how you think about yourself
- the prescription and over-the-counter medications you take
Its also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know its causing problems in your life. Recovery requires time, motivation, and support, but by making a commitment to change, you can overcome your addiction and regain control of your life.
What Are Treatments For Drug Addiction
There are many options that have been successful in treating drug addiction, including:
- behavioral counseling
- medical devices and applications used to treat withdrawal symptoms or deliver skills training
- evaluation and treatment for co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- long-term follow-up to prevent relapse
A range of care with a tailored treatment program and follow-up options can be crucial to success. Treatment should include both medical and mental health services as needed. Follow-up care may include community- or family-based recovery support systems.
Different Types Of Ways To Treat Drug Addiction
Different types of ways to treat drug addiction
There are many ways to treat this awful disease that takes 10 percent lives every year. Drug addiction is something that has become a serious issue around the globe, mainly due to the fact that drugs are rampant all around the world. People are selling drugs like hot cakes. In this context, illegal drugs are being talked about and illegal drugs are sold in every neighborhood. There is at least one person that sells drugs in every community. These are the people that do not want drug addicts to recover because this is how they make their income.
There is no need to be proud of the excessive money one makes by selling illegal drugs. Because these drugs are ruining lives, ruining relationships that are extremely valuable, ruining work life, ruining school life, and just about everything else of the drug addict. The drug addict is getting diseases after disease, every month there is a new disease but the illegal drug dealer wont care about it as long as the drug dealers pockets are filled with money.
Therefore, it is up to the family members, the friends, and relatives to help the drug addict in this hard time. Make no mistake about it that there are many ways to deal with drug addiction, and all of those ways will be discussed below:
How Effective Is Drug Addiction Therapy
How effective behavioral therapy is for addiction treatment depends on the particular individual receiving treatment, their level of treatment engagement, the therapist and other members of the treatment team, and the type of therapy being provided. For example, research indicates that the skills that patients learn in cognitive behavioral therapy sessions tend to stick with them beyond treatment completion. In other words, what is taught in CBT seems to have a positive lasting impact on substance misuse patients.4
Contingency management has also been shown to be effective in treating a range of substance use disorders, including those involving alcohol, stimulants, opioids, and marijuana. Giving patients tangible rewards, such as vouchers or even cash prizes, may help promote recovery by reinforcing abstinence and other positive behaviors.5
One clinical trial found that incentive-based therapy may also contribute to improved treatment retention.6
You May Like: What To Say To An Addict Who Wants To Use
How To Get The Most Effective Treatment
Addiction affects each person differently, so it is important for treatment to be individualized as well. Just because something works for one person, doesnt mean it works for everyone. Over time, needs will change, and so should treatment plans.
Still unsure if you would like to attend a detox or rehab program? Take our free, 5-minute substance misuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance use. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result.
Motivational Interviewing And Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic technique that can help a person uncover how their substance use is at odds with their goals and values. With this understanding, they can better navigate how to change their habits and may feel less resistant to treatment.10
Motivational interviewing involves meeting the person where they are at on their journey and trying an approach called rolling with resistance. Rolling with resistance means that the counselor guides a person towards his or her own definition of both the substance use problems and the solution to the problem. This approach can help minimize power struggles and resistance, as the person isnt being told what to do.
Several other techniques may also enhance the motivation to change, including empathetic listening and working with ambivalence.11, 10
Motivational enhancement therapy is a structured approach that works to quickly motivate a person to engage in treatment through a series of therapy sessions.3 Research into this method shows its been effective with alcohol and marijuana use, and is useful in motivating treatment versus leading someone to change their drug use with this method alone.3
Causes & Risk Factors For Addiction
There are a variety of causes and risk factors that can contribute to the development of a substance use disorder. These may include:
- Genetics, such as a family history of substance misuse.
- Starting substance use at an early age.
- Easy access to drugs or alcohol, especially at a young age.
- Exposure to heavy advertising of substances .
- A current mental health diagnosis.
- Low parental monitoring.
- A high amount of family conflict.
- A history of abuse or neglect.
- Family conflict or violence.
Through therapy, counseling, rehab, and other treatment modalities, the core reasoning for development of addiction can be discussed and coping mechanism and healing can commence. Because addiction impacts everyone differently, the course to addiction recovery can be different for each person. Fortunately, there are a variety of specialized rehab types and treatment programs to choose from to suit each persons individualized needs.
What Should Be Said During An Intervention
While a person is free to say anything they want during an intervention, its best to be prepared with a plan to keep things positive and on track. Blaming, accusing, causing guilt, threatening, or arguing isnt helpful.
Whatever is said during an intervention should be done so with the intention of helping the person accept help.
Bear in mind that setting boundaries such as I can no longer give you money if you continue to use drugs, is not the same as threatening a person with punishment.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I So Addicted To Video Games
How To Find Help For Drug Addiction Near Me
If you want to help your loved one recover and they agree to go to treatment, your next question may be where to find the drug addiction help your loved one needs. You might be in search of short-term detox programs near you or more long-term inpatient treatment. You can talk to a doctor or treatment specialist or research online resources including treatment directories. American Addiction Centers can help you find the best drug and alcohol treatment facilities near you and understand your options. Contact us for free at .