It is simple to consider the effects of drug addiction on the individual abusing narcotics. As addiction advances, its consequences worsen with time. There may be short- and long-term health problems, job loss, escalating financial difficulties, and legal issues. Living a life of active addiction is not an easy endeavor.
The main goal is to comprehend the impacts of addiction on your family and relationships. This also applies if your loved one is recuperating. Learn how to overcome the problems that might arise when living with a loved one who is addicted and how to care for yourself and your loved one.
What is Alcohol Use Disorder (Alcoholism)?
According to Medical News Today, alcoholism, currently termed alcohol use disorder, is a condition characterized by an individual’s desire or physical need to use alcohol despite its harmful effects on their lives. Historically, this condition was denoted by the term “alcoholic.” Nonetheless, this designation is widely viewed as useless and harmful. Health practitioners now classify an individual as having an alcohol use disorder (AUD).
You likely have an alcohol use disorder if your drinking behavior causes recurrent severe discomfort and daily functioning issues. It ranges from mild to severe severity. However, even a moderate illness can worsen and lead to major complications; thus, early treatment is essential.
What is a Substance Use Disorder (Drug Addiction)?
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a mental condition that affects the brain and behavior, resulting in the inability to manage the use of legal or illicit drugs, alcohol, or prescriptions. The most severe manifestation of SUDs is addiction, whose symptoms vary from mild to severe.
Those who have a substance use disorder (SUD) throughout their lifetime may also develop a co-occurring mental condition, and vice versa.
How to Deal with Them
According to research, addiction is a neurological condition. It is equally fatal as heart disease, diabetes, or emphysema. It can be much more dangerous than these situations. As with other long-term (chronic) diseases, individuals with addiction can experience relapse and recovery. Addiction’s behavioral and social effects can harm family, friends, and coworkers.
However, you may be in the ideal position to assist the patient in comprehending the necessity of treatment. Most people in recovery report they received assistance because a friend or relative was candid about their drinking or drug use.
Take action early.
Before a person has had a traumatic incident, dropped out of school, or lost vital relationships, jobs, health, or self-respect, early identification happens.
Identification may be conducted by a healthcare professional, employee assistance professional, or family member. This can improve relationships that are deeply affected by the disorder.
What occurs following the screening is determined by the test findings. Some individuals can learn to cut back, while others require additional evaluation and therapy.
Educating oneself about addiction and treatment is advantageous when understanding how to assist someone with an addiction. Suppose you are unsure how to assist your alcoholic kid, study about alcoholism. Learn about the signs and symptoms of alcoholism as well as the potential therapies. Educate yourself on the type of recovery your kid is in so that you may better comprehend what he is experiencing and the type of assistance he is receiving.
The more you learn, the more you will comprehend the situation and be able to assist your loved one.
Establish boundaries for safety.
Safety is particularly important if you have vulnerable family members, such as young children, elderly relatives, or pets. Ensure that home norms and limits are established. If safety concerns arise, you may need to ask the addicted loved one to temporarily leave home.
Establish clear expectations and standards. You may also create a list. Provide clear repercussions if your loved one violates any of these limits.
Plan an intervention.
An intervention can encourage someone to seek treatment for substance abuse, compulsive eating, or other addictive habits.
An intervention is a carefully organized procedure that may be carried out by family and friends, in collaboration with a physician or professional such as a registered alcohol and drug counselor, or under the direction of an intervention professional (interventionist). It may involve a member of your loved one’s faith or other individuals who care for the individual battling addiction.
Identify the triggers.
Triggers are mental and emotional cues that place people in a state of anguish, pain, rage, and other intense emotions. In the context of addiction and recovery, a former addict’s desire to use drugs or alcohol again is frequently triggered by internal or external stimulation.
Triggers are easily recognizable by a person’s reaction to a stimulus. For example, a trigger may occur when a person recalls an event or an unpleasant experience. The encounter may lead to aggression, breakdown, or inappropriate coping mechanisms. As a result, persons with unmanaged triggers may employ dangerous coping mechanisms, cultivate dysfunctional relationships, and endure great misery. With this, it’s also important for you to look out for symptoms of a mental breakdown to help your loved one get through the struggle.
Be aware of treatment or recovery resources available in your community.
Find the phone number for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous in your area (NA). Call your state’s Office of Substance Abuse Services or utilize the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s treatment locator to learn about local treatment options.
If hesitant, you can always try an online suboxone clinic with a treatment called medication assisted treatment which combines psychotherapy or counseling with certain medications
for convenience and high-quality care in the comfort of your own home.
Explore addiction treatment options
As unresolved conflicts persist, family members create their own problems. Partners of individuals with drug abuse issues might suffer immensely. Common symptoms include headaches, backaches, stomach issues, sadness, anxiety, and panic attacks. Children of parents with substance use disorders are more likely to suffer from addiction and to have poor school behavior and academic performance.
In a supervised atmosphere, medically assisted detox allows you to rid your body of addictive substances. This is advantageous because substance withdrawal symptoms can sometimes be unpleasant or even life-threatening. Because detox does not address the underlying behavioral causes of addiction, it is generally combined with other therapy.
Outpatient rehabilitation programs are another type of comprehensive addiction treatment. These programs provide many of the same successful treatments and therapies as residential treatment facilities. However, outpatient rehabilitation programs permit patients to rehabilitate at home. Patients can continue working and caring for their families while attending weekly treatment sessions.
It is vital to remember that outpatient rehabilitation programs do not exclude patients from the real world; therefore, patients are more likely to face triggers that threaten their sobriety. Due to this, outpatient rehabs are ideal for those with mild forms of addiction and a devoted, disciplined attitude to recovery. Outpatient programs are also effective “step-down” programs following inpatient care, and they are frequently paired with sober living facilities.
Medication can play an essential role in recovery when paired with behavioral therapy. Certain drugs can lessen cravings, enhance mood, and diminish addictive behaviors. For instance, the FDA recently approved lofexidine to lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms in individuals getting treatment for opioid dependence. Acamprosate and other medications can help reduce drinking behavior.
If you or a loved one are battling an addiction, you do not have to do so on your own. Consult a medical practitioner. There are effective treatments that can assist you in overcoming your addiction.
In holistic therapy, the focus is on the individual’s complete health; withdrawal symptoms are also treated physically. You may incorporate yoga, acupuncture, art therapy, and guided meditation into holistic therapies.
Take care of yourself.
The most important thing you can do for the addict is to concentrate on your own life. When you are stressed out by their problems in addition to your own resentment and tension, it is tough to want to assist someone who has caused you so much trouble in your life. By taking care of yourself via exercise, adequate rest, socialization, and support, you may be better able to assist your loved ones when they are willing to accept assistance.
Remembering that you are not alone is of utmost importance. Daily, many people struggle with these challenges, and it is crucial that you obtain the necessary resources and help.