Theyre Unsure If Their Substance Use Disorder Warrants Help
Its incredibly difficult to know whether or not you need help. Many people believe the stereotypes surrounding addiction and addicts and therefore believe you dont need help unless youve lost everything, are homeless, or the substances you use are physically killing you. Its hard to know when enough is enough. What Ive learned is that addiction is a spectrum and falling anywhere on that spectrum means you can benefit from addiction treatment.
They Dont Believe They Deserve Help
The self-esteem and self-worth of people who have substance use disorders can be lower than you realize and lower than they outwardly exhibit. Chances are if they are caught up in drinking and using, they are not thinking very highly of themselves. In my case, I wasnt aware that I deserved help. I thought I deserved the messed up life and the situation I was in. Substance users often need to be reminded that they are worth it and can get better.
Outpatient Vs Residential Treatment
Residential therapy separates you from the place and things that led you to use drugs. Youâll go away to a special facility for a period of weeks to months. While there, youâll learn new habits or skills for sober living.
While this approach works well in the short term, thereâs no proof it helps you stay away from drugs any longer than outpatient programs, which youâll attend for anywhere from a few hours to several hours a day while you live somewhere else.
In fact, relapse may be more likely if you go from a controlled, inpatient environment back to your home, where itâs easy to start using again. Also, residential treatment programs are expensive. They can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and insurance plans donât always cover them. Learn more: What does insurance cover for substance use disorder treatment?
Outpatient treatment programs are the usual setting for drug and alcohol abuse treatment.
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Find Support For Your Addiction Recovery
Dont try to go it alonereach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Lean on close friends and family. Having the support of friends and family members is an invaluable asset in recovery. If youre reluctant to turn to your loved ones because youve let them down before, consider going to relationship counseling or family therapy.
Build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs, you may need to make some new connections. Its important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Try taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending events in your community.
Consider moving into a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while youre recovering from drug addiction. They are a good option if you dont have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Make meetings a priority. Join a 12-step recovery support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous , and attend meetings regularly. Spending time with people who understand exactly what youre going through can be very healing. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.
What Is A Substance Use Disorder
Substance use disorder is a complex condition in which there is uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences. People with SUD have an intense focus on using a certain substance such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, to the point where the person’s ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired. People keep using the substance even when they know it is causing or will cause problems. The most severe SUDs are sometimes called addictions.
People with a substance use disorder may have distorted thinking and behaviors. Changes in the brain’s structure and function are what cause people to have intense cravings, changes in personality, abnormal movements, and other behaviors. Brain imaging studies show changes in the areas of the brain that relate to judgment, decision making, learning, memory, and behavioral control.
People can develop an addiction to:
- PCP, LSD and other hallucinogens
- Inhalants, such as, paint thinners and glue
- Opioid pain killers, such as codeine and oxycodone, heroin
- Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics
- Cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants
When someone has a substance use disorder, they usually build up a tolerance to the substance, meaning they need larger amounts to feel the effects.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people begin taking drugs for a variety of reasons, including:
In addition to substances, people can also develop addiction to behaviors, such as gambling .
Learn more about
The Dos And Donts Of Helping A Loved One With An Addiction
Once youve noticed the signs of addiction in your loved one like an Alcohol Addiction or an Opioid Addiction, for example youll need to know how to talk to and treat them in a way that is positive and helpful. There are several ways to do this, some easy to practice and others that require a little more effort and understanding on your part. Here are a few dos and donts for helping a loved one deal with addiction:
Find An Approach That Works
There are a number of different treatment options that can be effective, so it is important to consider the options. Think about which approach might be best suited to you and your loved one’s needs and goals.
Depending on the nature of the addiction, treatment might involve psychotherapy, medication, support groups, or a combination of all of these. A few options include:
What Is Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long-lasting. These changes in the brain can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who use drugs. Drug addiction is also a relapsing disease. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop.
The path to drug addiction begins with the voluntary act of taking drugs. But over time, a person’s ability to choose not to do so becomes compromised. Seeking and taking the drug becomes compulsive. This is mostly due to the effects of long-term drug exposure on brain function. Addiction affects parts of the brain involved in reward and motivation, learning and memory, and control over behavior.
Addiction is a disease that affects both the brain and behavior.
What To Do If An Addict Is Unwilling To Seek Help
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People suffering from addiction may find it hard to ask for help. It may seem simple, but it feels different for the person with the addiction. Actions that seem easy from the outside may seem insurmountable to a person suffering from addiction.
People struggling with addictions often ask for help indirectly, because they are ashamed or reluctant to admit they have an addiction, or because loved one feel addiction is a personal moral failing. They may contact a friend or family member and ask for money or a place to stay when what they really need is a listening, patient ear, and direction for moving through and past an addiction. When speaking to a person with an addiction, take advantage of lucid moments and be reasonable.
How to Encourage a Person with Addiction to Seek Help
Ask open-ended questions to get more information
Maintain healthy boundaries
Avoid disagreeing, arguing, or criticism
Be concerned and show it
Direct the person toward accepting the existence of an addiction Encourage responsibility in life
Ask for help from other family, friends, or recovery centers like Pathways
What To Do if An Addict Doesnt Want Help
Dont wait if you see addiction taking hold
Talk to a friend or family member who has struggled with addiction Call a solutions-oriented, positive change recovery program
What Makes Pathways Real Life Recovery Effective for People with Addictions?
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How Should I Talk To My Family Member
You may be tempted to repeatedly urge, plead or even threaten your family member into seeking treatment. Unfortunately, this often results in a breakdown of communication and the person shutting you out.
Try to use I statements rather than you statements to express your concerns about the importance of treatment. I statements focus on your own feelings or beliefs rather than criticizing or directing the other person. This approach may allow you to get your point across without making your family member feel defensive.
For example, instead of saying You need to get help! say When I hear you talking about how unhappy you are, I feel worried. I think it would be really helpful for you to talk with someone about how youre feeling.
What can I do?
Learn about mental illness and addiction
It can be easier to cope when you feel informed about what your family member is experiencing. Many resources are available, but sometimes it is difficult to know what information is accurate. The Resources section in this pamphlet is a good place to start. There may also be education sessions that you can attend.
Talk to your family member about your concerns, and encourage them to seek support
Let your family member know you are concerned. Consider how best to express your concerns. See the How should I talk with my family member? section for suggestions.
Get support for yourself and your family
Take care of yourself
Support other family members
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 .
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Important Ways To Convince An Addict To Get Help
Many people who struggle with alcohol or drugs have a difficult time getting better. There are many reasons why these people do not get the help they need to get better. Many family members who see their loved ones struggle have a very difficult time in getting their loved ones assistance. Here are six suggestions on how to convince a person struggling with alcohol or drugs to get the help they need to get better.
1. Family Intervention
The most popular way to get someone the help they need is to do a family intervention. This is when family members and an interventionist get together with the addict to tell them how they love them and wish that they get help to get better. Each family member takes a turn and tells the person how special they are and that they need to get help. The person who is struggling listens and hopefully they become convinced to get the help they need.
2. Talk To The Person On What Will Happen If They Do Not Get Help
3. Use The Services of A Professional Or A Former Addict
Try to find a professional or even a former addict who has âBeen Thereâ to talk to the person. This is similar to Step Two, however instead of warning the person, these professionals can use their skills to talk and try to reason with the person. These experts are usually trained and can use a proactive approach into trying to convince the addict to get help. The goal is to try to reason and talk with the person so they can get professional help.
Tips For Helping Someone With An Addiction
The challenge with addiction is that the addict is not the only one impacted by this disease. Family and friends can have difficulty with the addicts behavior, financial problems, legal problems and the daily struggle of supporting a loved one. Here are seven tips that family and friends can reference to support an addicted family member or friend.
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S To Take If An Alcoholic Or Addict Refuses Treatment
Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:
- Access to licensed treatment centers
- Information on treatment plans
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Common Questions About Rehab
Am I covered for addiction treatment?
Have a confidential, completely free conversation with a treatment provider about your financial options.
What Are Symptoms Of Substance Use Disorder
Symptoms of drug addiction include:
- Bloodshot eyes and looking tired.
- Changes in appetite, usually eating less.
- Changes in physical appearance, such as having a poor complexion or looking ungroomed.
- Craving drugs.
- Difficulty completing tasks at work, school or home.
- Engaging in risky behaviors, despite knowing negative consequences .
- Inability to reduce or control drug use.
- Issues with money.
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The Addiction Is The Root Of Severe Consequences
Another telltale sign that its time to seek treatment is the substance use negatively affecting other areas of your life. Showing up to work intoxicated or high, or failing to show up at all, could mean the loss of employment. Maybe a mandatory drug test resulted in suspension.
Some other consequences that might indicate addiction include:
- Being expelled from school/college
- The end of ones relationship/marriage
- The inability to perform the duties of caretaker
- A DUI/DWI.
No matter what events have transpired, when ones addiction yields loss its time to consider treatment.
How To Help A Drug Addict
The first thing that you need to know is that the difficulties involved with stopping substance use are complex. Using drugs or alcohol affects areas of the brain associated with self-control. As an individual keeps using drugs or alcohol, the way these areas of the brain function are changed, making it difficult to stop or otherwise control compulsive substance use.1 It is also important to know that it is unlikely that you alone can make them quit using drugs. However, loved ones of drug addicts can help them get off drugs by supporting their motivation to change.
Encouraging your loved one that seeking some form of professional help for addiction is a positive step towards recovering from drug and alcohol abuse can put them on the path towards a sober life. Whether you are seeking help for a problem with alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, crystal methamphetamine or any other addiction, recovery is possible.
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Recovery Isnt Impossible To Find
Some may believe that recovery from addiction is not possible due to cost and time commitments. This couldnt be further from the truth.
There are many affordable or no cost programs to curb addiction and theyve been proven to work.
Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous are two of the staples when it comes to seeking help and rehabilitation from addiction. These are easy to join and are available in every city across the US. Best of all theres no commitment necessary. Individuals can attend however many meetings they see fit.
Its Important To Proactively Seek Help For Addiction
Around 8.6% of the population needs treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol. However, a smaller percentage of these people actually receive treatment. Whether its because of shame, belief that the substance use isnt that bad or any other reason against seeking treatment, many individuals wait until the addiction has impacted their life in a nearly irreversible way to talk to a therapist.
We believe that there is no such thing as an untreatable addiction, but we do know that some cases are more complicated than others. For this reason, we are strong advocates of proactively seeking treatment, even if you think its not that bad.
If you are at a place where you think you might need treatment, but arent completely sure, consider the below signs. This list might help encourage you to reach out to a counselor soon rather than later.
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How To Talk To Someone About Their Drug Abuse
Starting a conversation with someone about their drug addiction is never easy, but its important you come from a place of compassion and understanding. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict. Drug abuse is often a misguided attempt to cope with painful issues or mental health problems. Stress tends to fuel addictive behavior, so criticizing, demeaning, or shaming them will only push your loved one away and may even encourage them to seek further comfort in substance abuse.
Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if its your child or teen whos using. These strong emotions can make communicating with a drug user even more challenging. So, its important to choose a time when youre both calm, sober, and free of distractions to talk. Offer your help and support without being judgmental.
Dont delay. You dont have to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottomto get arrested, lose their job, suffer a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselvesto speak out. The earlier an addiction is treated, the better.
Express your concerns honestly. Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being. Offer specific examples of your loved ones drug-related behavior that have made you concernedand be honest about your own feelings.
Staging an intervention