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How to Handle a Substance Abuse Problem in Your Family

How to Handle a Substance Abuse Problem in Your Family

There are very few families who won’t be affected by the sting of addiction. Currently, it’s estimated that more than 20 million people seek treatment for addictions in this country every year. When you have a loved one suffering with substance abuse issues, you must get them into treatment and not enable their usage.

If you see the warning signs that someone in your family is suffering from an addiction, you must be proactive. Remember, the longer and deeper they go into their substance abuse, the more challenging it’s to get them out of it. Additionally, they risk hurting themselves or others in the process.

Warning Signs of Addiction

The warning signs may be subtle at first, but things will become more apparent as the addiction progresses. Here are the most common symptoms of addiction.

  • Moody and irritable – can become agitated and volatile at points
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Becoming irresponsible and missing work or other responsibilities
  • Hanging out with a new, rougher crowd
  • Disappearing for days without as much as a phone call or text
  • Spending large amounts of money
  • Trouble with law enforcement
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Shutting out those they care about
  • Days are consumed with getting high (later phases)
  • Bloodshot eyes and “stoned” behavior
  • Changes in appetite – eating too much or too little

If you see any of these signs in someone you love, it's essential to have an intervention. They may be ready for help and don't know how to communicate this with you.

The Intervention

The intervention is part of the process when you want someone to seek rehabilitation therapy. Now, keep in mind that if someone is not ready to get help, you can talk for hours, and it will not make much of a difference. They must want and be willing to accept help. Here are a few guidelines for this crucial step.

  • Don't belittle them or make them feel less than but come at them from an angle of love.
  • Have the intervention in a place where they feel safe.
  • If they have a counselor or trusted friend in their life, see if that person can be present. It can help them navigate this challenging process.
  • Never push or make ultimatums to their treatment. The program won't be successful if it's not something they're willing to do. Unless the treatment is court-ordered, you can take them one day, and they can sign out the next.
  • Let them feel the love and support of their family. Much work is to be done when they get home.
  • If the first attempt doesn't work, you can try again. Keep trying until you get through and they see the need for help.

One of the reasons you want to ensure you don't come at them is that someone deep into addiction can become quite agitated and even volatile when backed into a corner. No matter how angry you're at them or how much you want them to change, you must remain calm during this process.

Finding the Right Treatment Center

There are several types of treatment programs that can help various addictions. It depends if they're addicted to drugs or alcohol and if there's a mental health issue under the surface. Having mental concerns like bipolar, schizophrenia, or a borderline personality can often make treating the addiction a challenge. A dual-diagnosis center is well trained to help these folks. Placing them in a traditional rehabilitation won't work, as they must address the underlying issues first. You will want to find a partial hospitalization program in California which is a great way to help your family member to reclaim their life.

They may need a medical program if they've been on more potent drugs like meth or heroin, or they may want to do it alone if they're relatively new in their substance abuse. There are many scenarios to consider, and each person and their needs are different.

The Road to Recovery

Going through treatment seems like a challenge, but it's the easiest part of the journey. Many people can obtain sobriety when surrounded by a vast support system. The real world is a very different place, and it can be quite a shock when they reenter it changed.

Conclusion

Support after treatment is critical, which includes a mentor, meetings, and the love and support of your family. If you want to see what programs are available to help your loved one in treatment, call us at 1-800-123-4567.


This article was submitted exclusively to CrystalWind.ca by Rayanne Morriss.

Photo from Pexels

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