When Your Family Member Is Struggling With Addiction… What To Do:

Drug addiction is a terrible disease that can be detrimental to a healthy lifestyle, and often leads people into a downward spiral that is hard to get out of. This leaves them feeling hopeless which can lead to further decline.

The statistics and effects of drug and alcohol addiction are astounding.

Terrifying Statistics:

The statistics on drug and alcohol addiction should be a major concern to all of us. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), over 19.7 million people in the U.S. have been struggling with abuse issues as of the report which was released in 2017. The report further states that:

  • Of those suffering from substance abuse, 74 percent are suffering from alcohol abuse; 38 percent are struggling from illegal drugs.
  • Nearly 1 out of 8 adults are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse at the same time.
  • Many people, up to 8.5 million in the U.S. suffered from mental illness at the same time as their alcohol and drug addiction.
  • The use of opioids has also continued to increase. Each day, at least 130 people in the U.S die as a result of opioid addiction and death.

The Cost of Addiction:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that drug addiction is very costly, the use of tobacco, alcohol and other illegal drugs cost over $740 billion in our Nation each year due to lost productivity, healthcare costs and other costs incurred due to crime. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has chronicled the “economic burden” the U.S. is experiencing due to opioid addiction issues. The combined cost of healthcare costs, lost productivity, treatment programs and crimes associated with opioid abuse exceeds $78 billion each year. This number is expected to go up along with an increased incidence of opioid addiction.

It’s Never too Late For Treatment:

When it comes to substance abuse, it affects more than just the addict. It affects friends, families, co-workers, and others involved in the addicts’ life. Often, the addicted individual doesn’t recognize the severity of their addiction or the effect it has on loved ones. In this case, friends and family members often need to take things into their own hands and look for addiction treatment options.

Often the first course of action is having an intervention. This is a gathering of people that the addict loves and respects who present their feelings in a non-threatening manner, hoping the addict recognizes they need help.

Family members and friends play a critical role in helping the addict recognize their problem, finding the right recovery resources and be a support system during their recovery.

Steps to Recovery:

As stated, often the first step in recovery is conducting an intervention.

Intervention:

· The goal of an intervention is to encourage the addict to get into treatment. This should be done in a loving way and not placing blame on the addict or others. 

· Encourage the addict to accept responsibility for their actions so they are ready to take the next step in the recovery process.

· Family members should do their best to not distance themselves from the addict, enable them or blame themselves. They need to be supportive and show love and support.

· Do not unwittingly support the addict by providing a place to stay, paying their bills or giving them money.

· Conduct the intervention before the addict hits rock bottom, address the issue as soon as a problem presents itself and before it is too late.

· Work with professionals that understand what your loved one needs to begin traveling down the road to recovery

Other Addiction Treatment Services:

Depending on the health of the addict, their drug of choice and the severity of their addiction, the addiction specialist may also use other treatments such as:

· Individual health assessments

· Recovery coaching and assigning a recovery companion

· Develop a treatment plan and addiction counseling

· Detox treatment at home or at a facility, as needed

· Transportation to/from a facility

· Relapse prevention plan

Footprints of Serenity:

A great option for those focusing on recovery is Footprints of Serenity. Located in North Hollywood, Footprints of Serenity will provide the support the addict and family needs during this difficult time.  They will assess the addict, assign a caseworker and develop a plan to successfully achieve recovery.

Footprints of Serenity have a confidential client list so all treatment modalities will be private. They provide support to not only the addict but to family and friends as well, so they can provide support during the recovery phase and thereafter.

If you or someone you know needs help with substance abuse, contact us today at 213- 807-6327.