Does anyone in your circle have a problem with substance abuse? Nowadays, many teenagers and adults have started consuming drugs and alcohol to escape reality. Some people like the adrenaline rush that happens after taking drugs, while others have it for fun. Unfortunately, seeing your loved ones abusing substances can be highly distressing. You worry about the risk of overdosing, the damage to their health and future life.
As despairing as you may feel, you can always help addicts cope with substance abuse. First, you have to understand the reason why your loved one started consuming drugs. It will identify the underlying issue behind substance abuse, allowing you to tackle the problem. Similarly, ask about the factors or elements that make them crave drugs. Usually, the temptation arises when people are bored. In such situations, you can find activities to keep your loved one occupied.
Since you aren’t a doctor or therapist, you must encourage your loved one to seek help. Perhaps, you can explore different treatment options and find an approach that works. If you are still uncertain about this, let us show you the ropes. Here are four ways how to help a loved one cope with substance abuse.
1. Identify a Treatment Option
Drug addiction is pretty severe. People face withdrawal symptoms, temper issues, and severe anxiety when they try to stop consumption. Therefore, the best thing you can do is find a suitable treatment option. If your loved one has lost track of life because of substance abuse, enroll them in a rehabilitation center. You can look up rehab in your region by searching online. For instance, if you reside in Florida, you can search online by typing Florida treatment center to find the suitable option for your loved one.
After that, enter a treatment program and request the management tailor it to the addicts’ needs. They would also detoxify the body to remove substances from the body. The entire treatment would last up to fourteen days, depending on your loved one’s addiction. Once the body gets detoxified, you can bring your loved one home, but the therapy will continue. The therapists will help in developing new thought and behavior patterns to ensure the addict recovers quickly.
2. Find an Approach that Works
Besides rehab, there are different ways you can help your loved one cope with addiction. Think about something that best suits their needs and goals, and help them in this challenging time. Here are a few options.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): The purpose of CBT is to understand people how their thoughts influence their behaviors. In short, the focus is on changing the idea and behavioral patterns that contribute to addiction. Here is one option from Abbey Care Foundation to help in alcoholism recovery.
- Medications: Most people think medications have side effects, but The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medicines. Whether your loved one is dependent on alcohol or has substance disorders – ensure they take medications.
- Community Reinforcement & Family Training (CRAFT): It is a method for helping families to get their addicted loved ones out of the drug trap. It is a session where a therapist tells you how to take care of a person suffering from substance abuse. Perhaps, they might tell you to be careful of the things that trigger substance abuse.
3. Manage Expectations
When your loved one enters the treatment, the sense of hope often feels overwhelming and exciting. After all, you would feel that everything will be better soon. However, that doesn’t mean you can bother your loved ones with a million questions every time they return from therapy. The behaviors and patterns associated with addiction take a long time to change. Hence, your loved one might become frustrated with the process, and your questions will fuel the anger.
Therefore, manage expectations for yourself and other family members. Give your loved one enough time to recover and show your support in every step. If your loved one goes through a relapse, don’t feel disheartened since it is a part of the recovery journey. You can provide moral support to your loved one without setting unrealistic expectations.
4. Establish Trust
Depending on the circumstances, trusting an addict can be pretty challenging, especially if that person has broken your trust. It might be tough to regain trust, but it is crucial when helping someone with an addiction. You can establish trust with your loved ones and make them believe that you are here to help. After all, trust is a two-way process.
Often, addicts think everyone is trying to control them, and these feelings further drown them into addiction. Therefore, you can understand their perspective before anything else. Most importantly, avoid nagging, name-calling, or lecturing the addicted person. Instead, you can make them understand the consequences of substance abuse. Talk about how it can hurt their physical wellbeing and the impact of abuse on their loved ones.
Undeniably, having an addict friend, partner, or family member can be arduous. Sometimes, you would feel frustrated, while often, you may feel like giving up. Well, that’s not the solution. You can support your loved ones and help them cope with substance abuse. For that, you can explore treatment and recovery options, try different therapy approaches, and offer your support. It comforts the addicts and motivates them to recover from substance abuse.