Pulling a Family Member or Friend out from the Trenches of Addiction

In many ways, family and friends are an extension of who we are.

They help to define our character, ethics, intelligence and appearance. And when something negatively interferes within this connection, even if it's the slightest of obstructions— we notice, become angry and are left scared and feeling helpless.

There may be no greater threat to a family or relationship than drug addiction or substance abuse.

If you’re left powerless against your loved ones dependence to drugs or alcohol, take a deep breath, and think of ways you can help. Obviously, it’s a question easier said than done, but you’d be surprise to know just how significant your involvement is.

Remember, no matter how bleak the situation appears, sobriety is possible through proper treatment.

Advancements in understanding the phycology behind substance abuse have entered new territory in terms of successful rehabilitation. Substance abuse programs such as the treatment at Balboa Horizons as well as other facilities continue to discover new and effective methods that customize an individual treatment plan so that's tailored to meet their lifestyle. In other words, don’t lose faith in the prognosis of recovery, as you can be the key to turn someone's life around.

The following suggestions will assist for encouraging your family member or friend to seek treatment:

Trust your gut

If you notice any unusual behavior in a friend or family member, listen to what your heart says.

What actions can you take?

  1. signs and symptoms of substance abuse.
  2. Keep track of changes in the person’s attitude. If helpful, discreetly write down any unusual behavior that may lead you to think he or she is in danger.
  3. Ask other family members and friends for their opinions; ask if they’ve noticed anything peculiar about the individual as well.
  4. Consult with a professional such as substance abuse professional, mental health professional, physician, employee assistance professional, guidance counselor, clergy or other someone who specializes in drug therapy

Articulate on the specifics of your family or friend’s behavior and how changed during the time you started to notice unusual behavior. Provide as much information as possible including, if there are money problems, a change in diet, change in drugs, prescription or illicit usage, predisposed health conditions or any erratic behavior you’ve recently noticed.

If you’ve brought up the subject matter with the individual only to be met with a negative response, anger or confrontation—bring up it up as well.

Early drug abuse indication and its significance towards recovery

Ending drug problems can begin at the start. Not the end.

The sooner the individual addresses his or her risk of developing an addiction, the better chances they have of recovery. The assumption of “hitting bottom” before recovery is false and viewed as a myth within the medical community.

Early indication occurs at the initial moment you notice a problem—before money, education concerns, alteration in mood, loss of job, health conditions or violence ensues. So, encouraging the individual to complete a drug-screening test before “addiction” enviably proceeds will make the process easier to eradicate versus forcing treatment later down the road. A health care professional, nursing assistant or even you can administer the screening, which will determine the need for admission to addiction treatment or mandate additional screenings before a tangible trait can be measured.

Threats of negativity never work

When you love someone, you experience first-hand how drugs can deteriorate their appearance and mind. As a result, anger is usually triggered and directed towards the addict--a response to emotional frustration.

Threats are made, voices are loud, things break and people get hurt. Drug addictions is fueled by added stress and negativity, instead use warmth and compassion as a way to spread positive vibes. Intimidation and fear stand no chance against friendship and empathy.

Drug addiction is a relentless opponent that can be near impossible to defeat. But if you have any hope of getting one better you'll use empathy to overcome anger. Empathy encourages confidence, which is vital during a time of emotional pain and drug addiction. Arguing made be a result of your love and frustration towards the individual, but in turn, only elaborates the problem.