How to Help Those You Love Who Have an Addiction Problem
When someone you love has a problem with addiction, it can be devastating. A series of consequences inevitably accompany the addicted person which affect everyone around him or her.
Financial devastation, legal troubles and health usually go hand-in-hand with the addict or alcoholic. They will constantly turn to loved ones for solutions to problems they have created as a result of their addiction. This is financially, emotionally and mentally draining to those around him or her. Watching someone you love slowly engage in risky behaviors robs you of your peace of mind and your sense of security; it will also undoubtedly keep you up at night worrying.
While it is difficult to understand, the addicted person has become powerless to stop their chemical dependence on their own. They have been taken hostage by a consuming mental obsession to do drugs and unable to control the physical compulsion to use more and more once they start. Typically, the addict is in complete denial that there is a problem and wonder why everyone is “making such a big deal” out of their alcohol or drug use.
It is not uncommon for loved ones to grow resentful because of their irrational behavior and complete lack of regard for the damage they are causing. The addict may have stolen from those closest to him or her, had violent episodes or destroyed property as a result of their addiction, invoking an apathetic attitude in those who have been victimized because of the addiction. At the very least, being around the addict is uncomfortable because they are incoherent, keep poor hygiene or are totally self absorbed, making social interaction next to impossible. Usually, loved ones end up washing their hands of the person altogether and want little to do with them.
Don’t Give Up
At times, it may seem impossible to reach the addict or alcoholic but if you truly want to help them, you must not give up hope. Educating yourself is paramount. There is help available and the one you love can learn to live a productive life without mind-altering substances. No matter how angry you may be, temporarily set aside your feelings and get serious about helping. Chemical dependence is a life-threatening condition and it cannot continue to go ignored.
The first step in helping an addicted person is getting them to recognize they have a problem. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to stage an intervention. This is when family members, friends and loved ones join forces and collectively confront the addict in an attempt to strip them of their denial. In this case, the use of a certified interventionist or substance abuse counselor is recommended. These are trained specialists who can ensure the intervention is successful. Bringing in a professional is not a requirement. The family can perform an intervention independently but extensive research should be performed to fully understand how to engage the addict and ensure they get the help they so desperately need.
In most situations, addicted people cannot get sober without the supervision and guidance offered in a rehabilitation facility. Stopping certain drugs and especially alcohol can create serious health risks. Withdrawal symptoms can cause seizures, psychosis or even death. Research drug and alcohol rehabs and be armed with information when you confront the addicted person. There are plenty of places that accept insurance, operate on a sliding scale or cost absolutely nothing. Encourage the addicted person to check themselves in to an in-patient rehabilitation program.
At minimum, someone with a drug or alcohol problem should begin attending 12-step meetings immediately. Alcoholics, Narcotics or Cocaine Anonymous meetings are available in almost every city in the United States. Be ready with meeting information and be prepared to drive your friend or family member to their first meeting. There, they will find recovering people who will help them feel less alone and begin the recovery process.
Set clear boundaries. One of the greatest gifts you can give to an addicted person is to tell them “no.” Learn to exercise tough love. Explain that you will no longer bail them out, accept their inappropriate behavior or allow them to create chaos in your life. Do this with love but be serious and follow through. If they are unwilling to check themselves into treatment or go to a recovery meeting, you will have to detach and stop enabling their behavior. Only when they have nowhere else to go will they go get help.
Finally, be very cautious in the way you communicate with an addict or alcoholic. Always speak kindly and lovingly, never harshly or judgmentally. They are looking for every reason to rebel and resist. If they feel loved and cared for, they are more likely to see the truth and get help.Stop suffering with addiction! Located a few minutes from the US border and one hour from Montreal, Canada, Heritage Home Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center offers a tranquil and therapeutic environment to begin your recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Our team has worked together in drug rehab for many years and will give you a personal, unique, and individualized approach to emotional healing and sobriety. Visit us online today.
Prescription Drug Addiction â Which Method of Drug Detox is Best?
Choosing the right drug detox can mean the difference between success and failure.
When looking for help for themselves or a loved one with a prescription drug problem, people are often unsure which detox program is best. Choosing the right program could mean the difference between success and failure in overcoming prescription drug addiction. Different types of drug detox programs are available and each one has its advantages and drawbacks.
For most people drug detox is just the start of full rehabilitation. It is primarily a method of withdrawal, and does not address why the person became addicted in the first place – for that you need a successful drug rehab program. Nevertheless, withdrawal is the necessary first step to rehab and to get someone with a prescription drug addiction problem to even agree to quit, it is often necessary to find a drug detox program that can effectively handle prescription drug addiction detox, is safe, and is as comfortable for the addicted person as possible.
Some drug detox programs simply provide a setting where the person is kept away from all drugs, fed, housed, and watched over to ensure they don’t encounter any serious medical problems. They are basically withdrawing ’cold turkey’, with nothing to relieve the pain or other withdrawal symptoms. For many with a prescription drug addiction problem, this type of drug detox is very hard on the body, and very traumatic.
Another type of drug detox program basically amounts to substituting a different drug for the one the person is already taking. The person arrives at the detox center, is given a drug that helps relieve the symptoms of withdrawal, and leaves the center on the substitute drug – possibly chained to it forever. If they want to get off the new drug, they may well have to go through another drug detox. This is obviously not a good choice for someone with a prescription drug addiction as they have just replaced one prescription for another.
Then we have ’rapid detox’, promoted as the fastest route. You arrive at the facility, usually a hospital, and, after medical examination and other preparations, are put under general anesthetic for between four and six hours – the person is basically ’out’ while a strong drug is pumped through their system.
The most talked about aspect of the rapid detox method is the fact that you are technically done within hours. However, recovery from the anesthetic and physical stress put on the body can take several days, and the person is likely to continue to have side effects and symptoms for weeks. In fact, most people leave rapid detox centers on medications designed to handle the after-effects of the detox.
The best method of detoxing from prescription drugs is the gradual withdrawal technique. The person checks into a medically-supervised, comfortable facility where they are helped through withdrawal by the use of drugs that help alleviate the symptoms. This differs from the ’substitute drug’ method as the person is given the withdrawal drugs only for a short period of time, and is no longer taking that drug when they leave.
There’s no quick fix for drug addiction. The first step is a drug detox program that can successfully deal with prescription drug addiction. Then finish up with a drug rehab program that addresses the reasons behind the addiction. With these steps done, the person can get their life back.
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Drug Addiction and Alcoholism; A Treatable Illness
Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are comparable to chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, and hypertension, and should be treated as such,according to an article published in a year 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Authors Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., and Herbert D. Kleber, M.D., conducted a literature review of those illnesses, revealing that there are underlying similarities between drug addiction, alcohol addiction and chronic diseases. Yet, say the researchers, drug addiction is typically treated as if it is an acute condition. Altering perceptions to think of drug addiction as a chronic illness may change the way it is treated and insured.
The researchers found that drug addiction and alcoholism shares many of the characteristics of other chronic illnesses. In the area of genetic heritability, for example, studies of monozygotic and dizygotic twins have found heritability estimates of .25 to .50 for hypertension; .80 for type 2 and .30 for type 1 diabetes; and .36 to .70 for asthma. Heritability estimates for the drug addictions are similar, ranging from .34 for heroin dependence, .55 for alcoholism, .52 for marijuana dependence, and .61 for dependence on cigarettes.
Typically, both medical professionals and the general public view drug abuse as voluntary activities. That people choose to use drugs seems to set drug addiction and alcohol adidiction apart from other chronic illnesses. Yet, there are many chronic illnesses in which voluntary choice affects initiation and maintenance of disease. Salt sensitivity, obesity, stress level, and physical inactivity, all within voluntary control, are important factors in the development of hypertension.
Drug addiction and alcoholism also resembles other chronic illnesses in regard to treatment response. The course that an drug addiction takes if left untreated is an important issue in this regard. Studies comparing treated and untreated populations of addicts have typically shown that untreated, addictions do not remit.
At this time there is no reliable “cure” for drug addiction and alcohol addiction. Typically, addicts who remain in addiction treatment and who attend follow-up have superior outcomes compared with those who do not. If you are looking for an effective drug addiction treatment program or alcohol rehab, call the national addiction treatment helpline, 1-800-511-9225 or go to www.lakeviewhealth.com.