Substance use disorder is relatively common. The latest findings show that over 23 million adults in the United States have struggled with substance use disorder. The report shows that about 75 percent are yet to receive treatment or professional help. In many cases, those who do not seek treatment do not recognize they have a problem that requires treatment and therapy.
If a loved one is fighting addiction, helping them get out of the condition may be essential. This can be challenging, confusing, and even scary. But loved ones should not lose hope in helping the person struggling. It is best to support them through their recovery process.
Learning About Addiction and Treatment
Before family and friends step into helping a struggling loved one, they should understand addiction and the nitty-gritty of substance use disorder. Knowledge is power. Educating oneself on addiction can help loved ones make informed decisions when seeking solutions to helping an individual.
It’d be best to learn about the symptoms of addiction and the available treatments or treatment programs. Addiction is a chronic brain dysfunction that may be physical or behavioral.
Here are some examples of addiction that may require treatment:
It is also imperative to watch out for signs of addiction and withdrawal symptoms . However, this manifests differently in different people. The signs vary based on the type of addiction. Loved ones can quickly identify signs of addiction by looking at the changes in the body, behavior, and physical side effects.
For instance, addiction could cause relationship or social problems and abandonment of hobbies that someone previously enjoyed. The person could also spend a lot of time using substances, increase tolerance, and inability to quit the addiction or engaging behavior.
What to Do When Planning to Help an Addicted Loved One
Once loved ones have learned what addiction is and the signs, it’d be best to know how to walk with the individual positively and compassionately. There are several ways to do this. However, the process requires patience, effort, focus, and understanding.
Addiction is a disease that no one would ever want to get into or intend to happen. This is why you should avoid criticizing or shaming your loved ones for what they are going through. Show compassion and let them know that help is available to them.
Understand that most people get addicted as a way of getting temporary relief and a copying mechanism to life issues. When friends and family show compassion, it can build a long-lasting relationship with them as they help the individual through their recovery.
When friends and family feel it is time to help an addicted loved one overcome addiction, finding friendly ways to approach and communicate with the loved one is essential. Consider using positive statements assuring the individual that friends and family enjoy their company when they are sober.
Avoid telling them how addiction distracts them since this may make them defensive. It’d also be best to provide empathy by informing the individual that loved ones notice addiction frustrates them and understand what they are going through. Loved ones can tell the individual that they would like to be part of the solution to helping overcome the addiction. This makes them feel loved.
Addictions start as harmless behaviors and grow as the individual gets used to the behavior. It is easy to notice changes in a loved one that portrays different behavior from their everyday lives. If friends and family notice changes, it is best to take measures immediately before they hit rock bottom.
Taking more time could be late because it becomes difficult for the person to stop the addiction. This can destroy their lives in the long run. So, take measures once friends and family notice or suspect changes from the usual character in the loved one.
Supporting a Loved One During Addiction Treatment and Recovery
It is important to note that addiction involves intense emotions. As the loved one starts therapy and treatment, friends and family should be close to them and support them during recovery .
The best way to support a loved one is by getting involved in their treatment journey. If they are living with friends or family, be a good example by remaining optimistic about life and doing things that keep them focused on their recovery. This is not the time to drink alcohol or use drugs in their presence.
Remove all drugs and alcohol from the house to create a healthy environment. Stay close to them as they celebrate their milestones in getting out of their addiction. Drive them to meetings and assure them they are doing fine and improving by the day.
Seeking Professional Counseling or Therapy
Professional intervention can help a loved one overcome addiction. Consider a professional specializing in addiction treatment with in-depth experience in the field. The professional can guide friends and families and suggest the best approach to helping an addicted loved one.
They may also create a follow-up plan until the individual recovers. Here are things to consider when looking for an addiction professional:
Considering the above factors can help loved ones locate professional addiction rehab therapists that can offer counseling, family therapy, and a comprehensive approach. The professional will analyze the condition of the individual and determine the appropriate treatment.
How AToN Center Can Help
If you are feeling concerned about your loved one’s current state and feeling hopeless about their well-being due to addiction, we can help. Our addiction rehab therapists at AToN Center in San Diego are licensed and certified CD counselors providing personalized treatment plans to help patients transition from addiction to living healthy lives free from addiction.