Substance addiction is our most serious national public health problem. Millions of Americans of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic levels, abuse drugs and/or alcohol. Many of them have families that are affected in various ways, triggering a range of reactions. Are you wondering how to help someone with a drug addiction? The credentialed professionals at Gratitude Lodge offer some guidance.
GET THE FACTS ABOUT DRUG & ALCOHOL ADDICTION
Families with loved ones who become addicted to drugs or alcohol often become angry or confused and blame the addict for their choices. The fact is, everyone makes bad choices; some have greater consequences than others. Drug or alcohol dependence disorders are medical conditions that can be effectively treated. Millions of families just like yours have loved ones who are successfully completing a recovery program right now.
Many people addicted to drugs or alcohol are productive members of society. They maintain careers, relationships and outside pursuits. This can often create a false hope, in the victim and their family, that the problem “isn’t that bad,” or that there isn’t a problem at all. Denial is common among those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Different substances have different levels of toxicity and appeal. They also vary in how much must be used before the user forms an addiction. Once a user becomes addicted, they will struggle with personal, professional, financial, and social consequences as a result. Learning more will help you with confronting your loved one about getting help with their addiction.
HOW TO HELP SOMEONE WITH A DRUG ADDICTION
If you notice any of the signs of substance abuse or addiction, it’s time to confront your loved one about getting help. Treatment is available, and many people undergo addiction therapy each year and get sober for the long term. There is hope for your loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Here are some suggestions for what to do next.
1. DEMONSTRATE COMPASSION
Addiction is a disease and can be treated, just like any other disease. If a loved one has cancer, do you berate or shame them? Do you turn your back on them? Of course not — you run to them and offer support in every way possible. This is what your loved one suffering from addiction needs from you the most: a sense of compassion and understanding.
Often, there are external factors that likely contributed to their addiction, such as stress, mental illness, peer pressure, anxiety, or depression. Addiction can stem from coping mechanisms that were sought to provide temporary relief or a means of escape. Repeatedly seeking relief in this form led to addiction.
2. EXPECT THE CONFRONTATION TO BE HARD
Your loved one may be reluctant to seek treatment for their addiction, even denying that an addiction exists. They may feel shame over their actions, fear of being ostracized, fear of endangering their career or relationships, a desire to avoid the social stigma associated with substance abuse, and more.
Knowledge is power. Educating yourself on addiction and available treatments can give you more tools in your toolbox to help your loved one seek help. Many resources are available from our team at Gratitude Lodge, and also online. Patiently overcoming their objections to addiction with knowledge and understanding can take time. But the alternative is allowing your loved one to destroy themselves.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Self-care is necessary before you can benefit anyone else. Make sure that you are healthy, both mentally and physically. Addiction is tough on everyone, from your loved one to their loved ones and anyone else involved. Seek professional help if necessary. A counselor can provide resources to maintain your own equilibrium, so you are better equipped to help your loved one.
Continue to pursue your own family relationships, career, hobbies and pursuits that are not connected to your loved one battling substance addiction. Time away for yourself is important to recharge and keep yourself well.
4. BE PATIENT WITH THEM
It’s important that you not have unrealistic expectations about your loved one’s recovery from addiction. Recovery from substance abuse is a process, and it takes a different shape and timeframe for every victim. Begin by viewing your loved one’s recovery as an ongoing process that will have highs and lows along the way. Be patient and encouraging at every step.
Some detox and treatments require more time than others. Some are harder on the patient than others. Sometimes, various treatment protocols must be tried before the best one is discovered. Recovery is not a cut-and-dried, mathematically determined process. Dealing with people in recovery is art and science, relationship and medicine. It will take time.
DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT AT GRATITUDE LODGE
The credentialed and experienced addiction recovery professionals at Gratitude Lodge provide medically supervised detoxification and treatment for the following:
- Prescription Painkillers
With Southern California treatment center locations in both Long Beach and Newport Beach, CA, Gratitude Lodge offers medically supervised detox, in-patient rehab, options for outpatient rehab and sober living opportunities that help those suffering from substance addictions get sober and stay sober for the long term.
Contact us today at Gratitude Lodge if you suspect your loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. We can help. Recovery begins here!