Knowing When It’s Time to Find a Drug Rehab for Young Adults

Knowing When It’s Time to Find a Drug Rehab for young adults

Our teenage years are formative in so many ways; they help shape us, serving to define our interests more finely and determine our likes & dislikes. The young adult years are when we lay the groundwork for what’s to come.

It’s an invigorating and exploratory time in any person’s life.

It’s also a time of experimentation and increasing independence which is no doubt a cause for concern for all parents around the world.

This is a period in life when your son or daughter will encounter and perhaps even try drugs and/or alcohol for the first time and the statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) bear that out:

  • By 12th grade, nearly half of teens, 46.6%, will have tried illicit drugs
  • 43.7% will have tried marijuana by 12th grade
  • Almost 2/3rds, 61.5%, reported trying alcohol by their senior year

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 1/10th of all alcohol consumed in the United States is by people aged 12 to 20 years old. That’s 10%.

Whether it’s curiosity, peer pressure, coping with stress or another reason, experimentation doesn’t necessarily mean addiction or dependency. There are so many tough parts of parenting and knowing when to make that call about substances is among the hardest.

Fortunately, there are signs you can look for to know when things have gotten out of hand.

Signs Your Teen Is Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol

Addiction isn’t something that happens overnight, it may seem that way but in actuality, it builds over time presenting many symptoms along the way which can be broken down into physical and behavioral components.

Physical Signs of Addiction 

  • Bloodshot eyes or dilated pupils
  • Itching
  • Sniffling
  • Injection marks
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Changes in skin color, pallor
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Atypical or unusual body odors
  • Issues with sleeping, getting either too much or too little
  • Poor hygiene
  • Looking generally unkempt and increasingly disregarding physical appearance

 

Behavioral Signs of Addiction 

  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Depression
  • Lethargy and lack of motivation
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Paranoia
  • Lying
  • Borrowing money
  • Change in habits and more secretive about what they’re doing
  • Loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed
  • Engaging in more dangerous, risky and possibly even criminal activity
  • Missing curfew
  • Neglecting responsibilities at school or work

If you’re noticing more and more of these signs and symptoms, it very well could be time for you to consider drug rehab for young adults. There’s no harm in learning more about how rehab can help and seeking information from experts on the next steps to take.

How a Drug Rehab for Young Adults Can Help Your Teen Find Recovery

Once you’ve identified a potential issue with drugs or alcohol, it’s time to seek solutions and among the best options available to you and your teen is rehab.

Why?

Because that’s the sole purpose of it; it’s dedicated and specialized treatment for addiction under the care and guidance of trained and licensed professionals.

Your inclination as a parent might be to scold your kid, get angry and confrontational about their drug or alcohol use. That’s just not helpful though because addiction is a disorder of the mind and that type of reaction could have the opposite effect and further cement their behavior.

It’s worth defining addiction here to understand another reason how rehab, in particular, can be incredibly helpful. According to NIDA, addiction is “a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences. It is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits involved in reward, stress, and self-control”.

There’s more to undoing that than just a stern talking-to.

Rehab allows your teen to work through the issues that led them to substances in the first place and equips them with new tools and coping mechanisms to be able to overcome those same situations in the future, but in a healthy way.

If you’re worried about your child, give us a call at Footprints of Serenity and we can help you find the treatment option that’s right for them. 

What Are the Alternatives to 12 Step Programs in Addiction Recovery?

What are the alternatives to 12 step programs in addiction recovery?

12 step programs and addiction recovery seem like they go hand in hand, to the point that you almost might think it’s required to be a part of one in order to successfully stay sober.

Developed and started by Alcoholics Anonymous well over half a century ago, the twelve steps have truly been revelatory for many and have indeed helped countless men and women, millions over the years, stick with their recovery.

That said, it’s not ideal for everyone and that’s fair enough. Not everyone likes the same flavor of ice cream, after all. Certain aspects might not click for each person in recovery, the religious and spiritual parts of it, for example, may turn people off. Another big factor that may strike people as negative, or that they object to, is that 12 step programs require an admittance that you’re powerless over addiction (it’s the first of the steps).

Again, that’s not to say AA isn’t a fine program for some. 

Fortunately, there are alternatives to 12 step programs for those that are seeking them.

SMART Recovery

Whereas the 12 steps have a higher power at the core, SMART Recovery is rooted in science. An acronym, SMART stands for “Self-Management And Recovery Training” and, like AA or NA, is a global community of support groups.

Rather than 12 steps, SMART operates on a 4-point program:

  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges
  3. Managing Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors
  4. Living a Balanced Life

They add, “our science-based approach emphasizes self-empowerment and self-reliance. There’s no lifetime commitment; you decide when the time is right to move on. You choose how to personalize your own plan for successful change”.

Refuge Recovery

While Refuge Recovery is inspired and informed by Buddhist ideas, it’s a non-theistic program. Moreover, you don’t have to be well versed in Buddhism, or know it at all, to get the benefits of what they offer.

Refuge Recovery is rooted in the idea that “Buddhists commit to the path of awakening by taking refuge in three things: awakening (Buddha), truth (Dharma), and community (Sangha)”.

Additionally, it incorporates the Buddhist concepts of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

Four Noble Truths

  1. Addiction creates suffering
  2. The cause of addiction is repetitive craving
  3. Recovery is possible
  4. The path to recovery is available

Eightfold Path

  1. Understanding
  2. Intentions
  3. Speech/community
  4. Actions
  5. Livelihood/service
  6. Effort
  7. Mindfulness
  8. Concentration

The recovery program includes meetings, meditation, mentorship, and retreats.

Non 12 Step Rehabs

Some rehabs are fully committed to the 12 step cause, and that’s OK. If the ideology and principles of the 12 step program don’t gel with thought, you don’t have to go to a rehab where that’s the cornerstone, quite frankly.

The point of rehab is to do what works best for you.

If you’re uncomfortable with any part of it, it stands to reason that you’ll be reluctant to commit wholeheartedly because of that inherent skepticism. Without total commitment, whatever program you choose won’t be nearly as effective. It can’t be.

Non 12 step rehabs, like their 12 step counterparts, start with detox and from there move into evidence-based approaches to treatment that are personalized to your particular needs.

These mainly focus on various types of psychotherapy or talk therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) with the aim being to get to the root cause of why you started using substances in the first place. The emphasis is on empowering you to change your way of thinking and behavior rather than the notion that overcoming addiction is beyond your reach or control.

If you’re on the fence about 12 steps or non 12 step options, give us a call at Footprints of Serenity and we can talk you through them both in more depth.

Find a Drug Addiction Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles Today

How to find a Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles near me

Addiction is stubborn.

That’s sort of an obvious statement but it’s true nonetheless and a core reason why many who need treatment, don’t seek it.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) points out;

  • In 2015, an estimated 2.3 million people aged 12 or older who needed substance use treatment received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year. This number represents 10.8 percent of the 21.7 million people who needed substance use treatment in the past year.
  • Among the estimated 19.3 million people aged 12 or older who were classified as needing but not receiving substance use treatment at a specialty facility, about 18.4 million or 95.4 percent did not think that they needed treatment in the past year for their substance use.

In other words, only around 11% of people sought rehab. As you see, addiction is stubborn.

What can be done then to help get your loved one the treatment they so clearly need?

An intervention.

What Is a Drug Addiction Intervention?

An intervention is a deliberate process by which change is introduced into an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

It involves several respected and loved people close to the addict gathering to confront a person, in a non-threatening and non-aggressive way, to lay bare the depths of suffering that their addiction is causing themselves and their friends and family.

The idea is to hold a mirror to drug use and show them the effects. Similar to the  TV show “Intervention”, you won’t want to let your loved one know about the intervention beforehand. If they do know about it, they most likely won’t want to attend or will go into it with their guard up.

The goal is to get them to commit to receiving help in the form of rehab and to that end, another critical element is the consequences and ultimatums that must be followed through on should your loved one refuse treatment.

How an Intervention Specialist in Los Angeles Will Help Your Loved One Get Sober

An intervention isn’t just having a quick chat, suggesting rehab, having your loved ones accept, and dropping them off.

As you most likely know very well by this point, it’s hard to convince someone who doesn’t think they have a problem to fix it. There can be rampant denialism that’s wrapped up in addiction and often discussions about drug use become contentious, accusatory, and ultimately counterproductive. Serving only to further cement the use of drugs or alcohol.

Therefore, attempting an intervention without professional guidance is generally asking for trouble.

A trained interventionist understands this and works with you and the rest of those who will be participating in the intervention to develop a plan of action. In fact, they’ll help you form the most effective and convincing “team” with which to confront your loved one.

Once in preparation, you may find you don’t know exactly what to say, an experienced interventionist can assist you in developing the messaging that will truly connect and hit home, as well as help you create meaningful consequences if they refuse care.

Additionally, there’s the important task of making arrangements with a treatment center. An interventionist can ensure you cover all the bases in finding one that truly is a good fit for your family member or friend. 

Most importantly, they’ll be there on the day of the intervention to guide and lead it. It can be a tense, overwhelming and fraught meeting and for those who are unprepared for the torrent of emotions or haven’t been through it before – which is almost everyone – it can be hard to get through. 

Let Footprints of Serenity Guide You Through the Intervention Process

Working with someone who’s been there many times before, an intervention specialist in Los Angeles, means you can rely on their steady guidance to get everyone through it and with maximum impact.

If you think your loved one may be at the breaking point and that an intervention could be effective, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity to learn more.

 

Tips on How To Help an Addict Get Sober

how to help friend get sober

Regrettably, no magic, catchall solution makes helping an addict a breeze.

Just as recovery is a process, getting to recovery is also a process. One that can be marred by frustration, confusion, false hope and more. There’s a certain stick-to-itiveness, power of will and dogged determination that comes with the territory of helping an addict get sober.

How to support and assist an addict in getting sober encompasses a lot.

Tips on How To Help an Addict Get Sober

Don’t Ignore the Signs of Addiction

It’s tempting to think that what you’re seeing isn’t an addiction and is just some occasional drug or alcohol abuse. To excuse the behavior because you don’t want to believe that your loved one could possibly be an addict.

Don’t do that. Learn the signs of addiction and when you see them take note of them. Use that knowledge to help formulate a plan of action.

Be Realistic

Speaking of that frustration, confusion, false hope and going even further to exasperation, irritation, annoyance and more…you’ll experience all of it and more most likely. While you might be able to plainly see the problem their addiction is causing, it’s a different story to get them to see it.

Therefore, you need to prepare for that by being realistic across the board.

Don’t expect that your suggestion about rehab is going to be well-received initially. Know that they might break promises to you in the process. Try to be ready to not react in anger. Addiction is a disorder, if you can get through to them eventually, it’ll be worth the hardship for them and you.

All in all, don’t expect instantaneous and abrupt change.

Support Them 

Just like being realistic with the expectations is important, so is being supportive and communicating positively.

Simply being there and being there supportively can be hugely beneficial. Addiction is already an alienating and lonely experience, try to be supportive through it if possible.

But Don’t Enable Them

There’s a natural breaking point in how far you can extend support. When your support turns into enabling their addiction, that’s a step too far. Whether it’s withholding financial support or paying their expenses so they’re able to continue using, there’s a delicate balance to how far your support can reasonably go and it will be tough to maintain.

Nonetheless, it’s important to be conscious of this because if you end up enabling them, it will only prolong their addiction.

Communicate with Love, Not Guilt, Anger or Shame

No one likes to be attacked, shamed or guilted.

Without question, it’s difficult to remain loving in times like these but it’s important to understand that your loved one might already be dealing with feelings of guilt and shame associated with their addiction. Adding to that with more guilt and shame could push them further away.

Speak with love and try to make them feel that they’re deserving of it and the treatment to get themselves back on track.

Establish Trust 

Creating and maintaining some through-line of trust is tricky but if you can nurse it and build on the notion that you care and are trying to help, it can make it easier for them to accept that assistance down the road. 

Find Treatment Options and Remove Barriers to Them

Educate yourself throughout this whole process on what treatment options are available for whatever addiction your loved one is going through. The last thing you want to have happen is that they’re ready to commit to rehab…but you’re not sure exactly where to send them or how to go about finding out.

Let Footprints of Serenity Help Your Loved One Get Sober Today

If someone you love is battling with an addiction, there is hope to free them from it. There are resources available. Perhaps they’ve reached the point where an intervention is necessary to compel them to accept treatment, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity and let’s discuss your circumstances further and figure out what the best next steps to take are.

How to Find A Rehab & Other Addiction Resources

how to find a rehab

As the taboo of addiction has slowly started to wither away and society has come to accept that addiction to drugs or alcohol is a mental illness, a beautiful thing has happened in tandem. A massive groundswell of options to get treatment for that illness, known as a substance use disorder, have popped up.

That’s all well and good, fantastic in fact, but with so many addiction resources available and so many more becoming available, how do you find the right one for you?

It’s honestly something you may not have put a lot of thought into. And that’s fair enough. If you’re worried about a loved one and their substance abuse, it’s hard to think too far outside of each moment and get into a deep planning phase for treatment.

With so many options out there, you need a way to sift through the noise and find something truly viable.

Tips for Finding a Rehab

There are a lot of things to look for when searching for a rehab facility that ticks all the boxes for you or a loved one, but you can start with these.

Get a Medical Assessment and/or Talk to a Treatment Specialist

Residential inpatient treatment is a very thorough form of rehab but it’s not necessarily what everyone needs. To figure out what type of treatment is best suited for your particular addiction, talking to a treatment specialist can be a gamechanger. They can point you in the right direction and help match you with a facility that is in line with your goals. Additionally, a medical evaluation can help you determine the severity of your addiction and paint a clearer picture of which options could benefit you the most. 

Research the Programs

Even if you’re working with a specialist who can help you navigate these waters, you need to be asking your own questions and doing research as well. Look into the programs that are offered at a given center. Many rehabs, for example, are specialized in a certain type of addiction. Others are gender-specific. Some may incorporate medications that might give you pause while others might be more centered on alternative therapies.

There’s a lot to learn and all of it is important in landing in a good spot.

Proven Record of Success, Accreditation & Quality, Licensed Personnel

Not every place that has been around for decades is incredible but, logically speaking, if a treatment center has been around for a long time, they’re probably doing something right. In other words, it should raise some red flags if a place just opened shop last week.

Any reputable rehab will have their history, certifications and accreditation on their website as well as their staff’s qualifications and backgrounds.

 

Don’t Be Blinded by Luxury

Luxury is a big selling point for treatment centers and being comfortable in your surroundings certainly allows you to focus all your attention squarely on recovery, however, luxury doesn’t automatically equal quality treatment.

First and foremost, make sure you choose a rehab center because of the care you or a loved one is getting.

Useful Addiction Resources

On top of rehab, there are other valuable resources to consider:

Intervention Services

Unfortunately, it’s not always the case that someone just gets up and decides to go to rehab one day without issue. Often someone suffering from addiction can’t see the damage they’re doing to themselves or their friends and families. In those cases, an intervention might be the best way to turn a mirror on their behavior and get them to finally accept help.

12 Step Groups

Recovery from a substance abuse disorder is a lifelong journey and part of the process for many people is to participate in support groups that incorporate the 12-step program. The most commonly known of these groups are Alcoholics Anonymous, which developed the 12-step program, and Narcotics Anonymous. Another option, not related to the 12-steps, is SMART Recovery.

Individual Counseling

Both individual and group counseling are major components of most rehabs but it’s not something you have to stop once you complete treatment. There are distinct benefits to carrying on with counseling as long as you feel you need it.

Reach Out to Footprints of Serenity Today

At Footprints of Serenity, we know it’s not the easiest thing to find the perfect rehab but we have over 20 years of experience helping people find recovery and intervention services. If you’re having difficulty, reach out to us and let’s find the care you’re looking for, together.

Detox in Los Angeles: How to Find the Right One

los angeles drug detox

Going through the process of detox isn’t always easy, especially when trying to go through this process alone.  There are many different types of resources, support, and professionals that may be able to help each client succeed while going through this process. The professionals may help with things such as withdrawal symptoms, substance cravings, severity, and much more. Here at Footprints of Serenity, we are dedicated to helping those in need of finding detoxification from drugs and alcohol. It is never recommended that someone tries to detox alone. 

 

What Is a Detox Treatment Center in Los Angeles?

A detox treatment center in Los Angeles is a facility where someone who is going through withdrawal symptoms from addiction can go to get help and find comfort within this detoxing process. These facilities provide professionals that are capable of medically supervising each client. These clients may be going through withdrawal symptoms that may or may not be life-threatening, so having medical professionals to help guide them through this process is crucial. The professionals within these facilities can also provide medication to reduce the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, but the medication truly depends on the severity of the addiction, the substance that was abused, etc. When looking at different detox facilities that meet your needs, make sure you look into the credentials of this facility and what they truly have to offer.

 

Why You Shouldn’t Detox off Drugs and Alcohol Alone

Detoxing off of a dangerous substance should never be done alone. That being said, there are many different reasons why an individual should not detox off drugs and alcohol alone, below we have provided a few of them. These reasons include:

  • Withdrawal symptoms – When a client is going through a detox they may experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be very mild and also very severe. Some of these symptoms include: nausea, aches, fever, and fatigue. Some psychological symptoms include insomnia, irritability, anger, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • No support – Going through a detox within a treatment facility, this facility can help provide support that may or may not be in each of the clients lives. Having support during this difficult process, will help our clients stay accountable and also help them continue this process without relapsing. 
  • What’s the next step? – The detox process is the first start of the recovery process. While going through this detox process, it is a great way to build relationships with professionals. These addiction and medical professionals can help their clients find the best treatment option for their individualized needs.This will put each person on the right track to succeeding in recovery and sobriety, and will also help to prevent future relapse.

 

These are just a few of the many different reasons why going through the detox process alone is dangerous and going through the detox process in a professional detox facility is important. Not only do these facilities provide professionals to help with these withdrawal symptoms, but they also provide wisdom in guidance with the next steps after the detox has occurred.

 

How Footprints of Serenity Can Help You Find a Detox in Los Angeles

Here at the Footprints of Serenity, we want to help you find the perfect detox that best suits you and your individualized needs. We provide the support and the resources for each of our clients, in hopes to ease the stresses of finding a detox and also ease the withdrawal symptoms that our clients may experience. Let us help you find the best treatment plan and detox for you. Reach out to us today to get started on your journey to recovery! 

How To Pack For Rehab

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration‘s National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that of over 22.5 million people who suffer from addiction, less than 20 percent get treatment.

So while going to rehab for addiction treatment can be scary, it’s important to keep your eye on your long-term goal — reaching sobriety and learning to live without drug abuse. This is a new beginning, and you’re not allowing yourself to just become another statistic. In order to get the most out of your experience, it’s important to know what to expect and pack appropriately.

Now, all treatment programs have their own specific set of rules and lists of items you are permitted to bring, so it is important to reach out to yours before going. That said, this is a general packing guide you can follow:

Bring the Essentials

While many rehab facilities are indeed luxurious and designed to help you relax, it’s important to remember that you are not at a spa retreat. You’re there to focus on detox and addiction recovery, and any personal items that do not help facilitate that can get in the way. Because of this, most treatment centers prohibit many personal items that are not deemed essential to your wellbeing or everyday care.

Essential items are general categorized as the following:

  • Toiletries – These include essential bathroom and personal care products like  toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner, body soap, basic makeup, etc. All items must be alcohol-free.
  • Comfortable clothing – You’re not going to rehab to dress to impress. Wear whatever will help you stay calm, relaxed, and receptive to treatment.
  • Sunscreen / sunblock – You may be outside for longer periods of time than you realize, and many rehab programs offer plenty of time in the sun.
  • Cozy pajamas – It seems like a no-brainer, but be sure to pack for comfort at all times, not just during the day!
  • Extra underwear – Especially if you are going through detox, you may sweat more than usual and will want to change more frequently to stay comfortable.
  • Some cash and/or a debit card – You may have opportunities to purchase snacks or make other small purchases. 

Other Items You May Want to Bring

There may be some items considered “essential” to rehab that you may not consider in everyday life. During most programs, you will spend time both inside and outside, and you will also have opportunities to exercise and focus on health. It’s also perfectly normal to want to bring along at least some small items for comfort and inspiration. 

With these things in mind, other items you may want to bring include:

  • A workout outfit and sneakers / tennis shoes – Entering addiction recovery is the perfect time to start practicing overall health. Many rehab centers offer fitness classes or have a gym on-premise for your wellbeing.
  • Sandals / flip flops – Not only may these options be more comfortable for you, but you may also be taking shoes on and off more frequently. 
  • A modest swimsuit – For most rehab facilities, this means swim trunks for men and a one-piece for women. 
  • Bathrobe and slippers – Just another way to keep comfortable!
  • A journal – Some addiction treatment centers will give you a journal to write in, but either way, it’s a good thing to bring. Chronicling your progress and exploring your thoughts will help keep you on track. 
  • A small photo or encouraging letters from family and friends – Contact the facility first to ask what is and isn’t permitted in this area, but a reminder from home that you are loved and cared about is usually acceptable.

Things to Avoid Bringing

Again, all facilities have their own sets of rules. However, you will generally want to avoid bringing the following items. Not only can these get in the way of your treatment (and that of others), but you may also not have an opportunity to use them in the first place:

  • Entertainment devices – Most electronics are prohibited in the first place, so don’t bring any entertainment devices that require charging and/or internet connection. Many rehab facilities even require you to leave items like phones and tablets at the front desk when you check in to prevent any distraction during treatment.
  • Aerosols, alcohol or chemicals – Make sure none of your toiletries should contain these items as they may invoke drug abuse urges. 
  • Opened vitamins or supplements – Many places will allow you to bring these in for health reasons, but only if they are unopened. If you have any medication you need to take, disclose it upfront while you’re checking in.
  • Weapons – Even if you are legally carrying the weapon, it will not be permitted inside for your safety and that of others.
  • Candles or incense products – This is usually for safety reasons, but other people in the program may also be irritated by these scents.

 

Still Looking for an Addiction Treatment Program?

It’s not too late to confront your drug abuse and go to rehab. At Footprints of Serenity, we help individuals from all walks of life find the addiction treatment program that works for them. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your options and what to expect in rehab. 

The Importance of Interventions

importance of interventions

Addiction, for lack of a better phrase, sucks. It can ruin the addict’s life and also deeply affect the lives of their friends and loved ones. Someone’s addiction can even affect their colleagues and other professional relationships. An addict can experience feelings of hopelessness and if you’ve been caught in the crossfires of someone else’s addiction, you probably feel hopeless too. If you currently know someone struggling with addiction and don’t know how to help them, an intervention is the best way to get them initial help. 

What are Interventions?

The first step for an addict to take to get help is admitting they have a problem. Sometimes addicts hit a ‘rock bottom’ and are able to determine on their own they need help. Other times addicts are so consumed by their addiction they don’t even know they need to stop. An intervention is a tool to help an addict realize they need to stop using drugs or alcohol.

An intervention is a formal process conducted by friends and family of an addict, and a trained professional, such as an interventionist. The end goal of an intervention is to motivate the addict to get help. Help for addiction can include going to a residential treatment center or attending 12-step meetings. Types of addictions that can require interventions are alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs, eating disorders, and even gambling. An intervention is a non-judgemental, safe, confrontation of an addict’s drug use. 

How Interventions Work and The Importance of Interventions

If you are looking to stage an intervention for someone you know or loved one, Footprints of Serenity is happy to walk you through the process. 

A plan will be put in action for you and whoever is attending the intervention before it actually happens. This plan will include gathering information on your loved one’s addiction and researching the best treatment options for them. It’s our hope that at the end of the intervention, your loved one will accept the help offered to them. 

A date, time, and location will then need to be chosen for the intervention. It’s important to pick a date that you know your loved one will be available for. If your loved one currently sleeps late due to their drug or alcohol abuse, the intervention should take place in the afternoon or evening. You’ll also want the intervention to happen in a safe place. If you know your loved one likes going to their parent or sibling’s house, you can have the intervention there. 

During the actual intervention, you will confront your loved one. The interventionist will kick off the meeting usually by letting your loved one know why you are all gathered together. Every person at the intervention will have a chance to let their loved one know how their addiction has affected them and why they think they need help. It’s imperative to come from a place of love when speaking to the addict. You’ll also want to state-specific consequences that are going to take place if your loved one doesn’t accept treatment. If the addict currently lives with you, maybe you’ll ask them to move out. If you currently employ the addict, you can fire them from their job. Make sure to target specific behaviors and not the actual addict. It’s easy to let our emotions get the best of us, especially when we feel hurt, but it’s important to remain calm, and let everyone speak one at a time. 

Benefits of Interventions

  • An intervention will raise awareness to your loved one on how they’re actions while using drugs or alcohol have hurt you 
  • The addict will no longer think their addiction and behavior are a secret
  • The addict will receive the option to get help

It’s common for an addict to not know the extent of their addiction or how to get help. An intervention will let them know that they do indeed need help and it’s out there waiting for them to take advantage of. 

Footprints of Serenity Can Help Intervene

At Footprints of Serenity, we’re dedicated to providing support for you and your loved ones while they battle addiction. We’re here to help you with every step of an intervention. We also offer treatment placement options, recovery coaching, recovery companionship, detox placement, and more.  Contact us today to get help for your loved one! 

How to Support an Addicted Loved One

how to help addicted loved one

Addiction is a crisis on a national level. Odds are that you have a loved one who needs addiction treatment. But finding ways to help your loved one get the treatment they need isn’t easy. They may feel like they don’t have a problem, or that they don’t want to stop. The addict may be afraid of stopping and uses excuses like they’ll lose their job or home if they seek treatment. How do we, as family and friends, help our loved ones get the treatment they need? It starts with understanding addiction as a mental illness, becoming aware of our actions, treating our loved ones with compassion, and finding help for ourselves to heal.

Understanding Addiction

Addiction isn’t a character defect or a moral failing. It’s a mental and physical illness. When a person becomes addicted, the neural pathways in the brain change. It rewires itself, and the body adjusts to relying on the substance to feel “normal.” The addict no longer has control over the substance. They experience a compulsion and mental obsession to use regardless of consequences.

Along with the physical and mental changes that happen with addiction, your loved one is also dealing with a lot of emotional issues around their substance abuse. Addicts start using because they are covering up feelings and emotions they don’t want to deal with. Many have a trauma they have experienced. When they come down, those feelings bubble up again, and they need to use to make them go away. Their substance of choice has become their coping mechanism for life. They’re afraid of giving it up because it’s the only thing that has ever worked for them. They experience incredible shame and self-loathing with their using.

Co-Dependency & Enabling

We can’t get our loved ones sober or into addiction treatment, but there are things that we can do ourselves to help. Many people who love addicts engage in codependency and enabling behaviors. They take responsibility for the addict’s actions. They ignore their own needs and focus on their loved ones. Family members may focus on “fixing” the other person and not have boundaries. These habits and behaviors keep our loved one sick.

You can stop enabling your loved one. Allow the addict to take responsibility for their actions. If they get arrested, don’t bail them out. If they run up a debt, don’t pay it off for them. These actions enable the addict to continue with their substance abuse. You should set boundaries that you feel comfortable with. For example, don’t participate in situations where your family member is using. Set an example by not indulging in recreational drugs or alcohol yourself, otherwise, they may see you as a hypocrite.

How to Support Your Loved One: Compassion

While some of these suggestions may sound harsh, it’s important to use them with love. The most important thing when dealing with a loved one who needs addiction treatment is to treat them with compassion. People who suffer from addiction often feel like no one cares about them. They’re full of self-loathing and believe they’re worthless. Instead of reinforcing the shame they already feel, try non-confrontational and supportive techniques. Recognize that your loved one is suffering and listen to them so that they feel heard. If they don’t want to talk about it, that’s okay – tell them that you’re there for them and will listen when they’re ready.

You want to validate any feelings or emotions they have and make sure that they know you care about them and will be there to comfort them. If you come to the addict with anger, you’re reinforcing what they already feel about themselves. Instead, let them know that you’re there for them, that you love them, and that you recognize that they’re suffering. Offer help and resources for addiction treatment. Be there for them when they’re ready.

Take Care of Yourself

As family and friends of an addict, it’s no surprise that addiction is actually a family disease and that you too will need treatment to recover. You need to deal with your feelings and emotions in healthy ways, otherwise trying to treat your loved one with compassion isn’t going to work. You need to take care of yourself, recognize your own emotions and needs, and meet them. You may not think that you are helping your loved one seek addiction treatment by taking care of yourself. But, if your world centers around the addict in your life and you put your feelings and needs first, you create healthy boundaries. Seek the help of a therapist or support group like AL-ANON. Learn how to detach with love and compassion. Learn how to take care of yourself and your family.

Loving an addict can take a lot out of you. But you need to remember that you didn’t cause the disease of addiction, and you can’t cure it or control it. What you can control is your actions, reactions, and the way that you interact with your loved one. Communicate with them lovingly and compassionately, and let them know that you’re there for them – that you see them, you hear them, and you love them. And hold onto the hope that they will seek the addiction treatment they need.

How to Reach Out To Your Addicted Loved One

You can never understand the effect alcohol and substance abuse have on an individual until it affects your loved one. At this point, you start wondering; how did they start? What led them to this unhealthy lifestyle? How can you be of help to them? Finding the right answers to these questions is difficult because they might not accept your help. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot reach out to them. Because the addiction problems are unique, you will need to devise ways to help them overcome their problems. Here’s how:

The Things to Avoid

Playing the blame game

Blaming them for their woes is one of the worst things you can do as a person who is reaching out. They will not only make an enemy out of you, but they will also go back to the drugs to drown their miseries. It doesn’t matter whether you are the cause of their habits or they started doing it for fun.

Confronting them when they are high

When an addict is high on drugs, they tend to have irrational thoughts. Confronting or having a candid conversation is an uphill task because of their state of mind. Insisting on doing this not only escalates into arguments, but it also triggers their aggressive behaviors.

Enabling

Your addicted friend or relative can easily make you feel like you are the cause of their decisions. Covering-up or making excuses to justify their habits only allows them to become habitual liars and trigger their habits. It makes them believe that they are justified to take more drugs because they hold others responsible.

Setting unrealistic expectations

You may not like the idea of associating with an addict. You start thinking that it takes a day, week, or a month to recover. Well, that isn’t entirely true. The journey to sobriety is a gradual process that is filled with challenges such as withdrawal symptoms, triggers, anxiety, cravings, and many more. This is a perfect recipe for future heartaches if you had higher expectations.

What to Do

Have a one-on-one conversation with them

Addicted people tend to isolate themselves from people for fear of being judged or intimidated because of their actions. For this reason, they will avoid anyone who tries to talk them out of their unhealthy habits. As a person who has their interest at heart, you need to have a sober one-on-one conversation, instead of gathering a battalion.

Get a quiet place where they feel comfortable. Let them air their frustrations if there’s any. Adapt a compassionate conversation with them to avoid provoking them any further. That way, they will open up to you.

Be positive

Did you know that more than 200 Americans die from drug-related overdose each day? The fear of losing a loved one on drugs is inevitable. Feeling sorry for them won’t help them either. Like any other disease, drug addiction is treatable. This is the time to look on the bright side. When you stay positive, they will also see light at the end of the tunnel.

Encourage healthy habits

Most addicts aren’t keen on what they eat, how they dress, and how they view life. You see, drugs only give them what they want to believe. Addiction worsens their mental, physical, and physiological wellbeing when they indulge in unhealthy lifestyles.

Always encourage them to adopt healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet, exercise, and rediscovering their hobbies. That way, they will be quick to accept professional help and stay healthy.

Recommend professional help

A person with an addiction problem isn’t quick to ditch the habit because they are delusional. You might not realize the effect it will have on you, and the rest of your family members, until they go back to drugs. At this point, you can stage an intervention led by their loved ones and a professional in a supportive environment.

During the intervention, the assigned therapist will give everyone a chance to voice their opinions on alcohol and substance abuse. Though the addict may remain in denial about their condition, an intervention is a perfect plan to help them to think otherwise.

It takes compassion, enlightenment, and patience to help someone who is enslaved to drugs. If left untreated, it can cause a rift between them. Accepting and reaching out before it gets worse, is one of the best ways to help them.

About Footprints of Serenity

As an intervention facility located in the North Hollywood area of Los Angeles, Footprints of Serenity provides a holistic approach to persons battling addiction. Among the services they provide include; interventions, recovery companion, counseling among others. Visit our official website to book an appointment and to discover the types of services we offer.

Conclusion

Finding the right addiction treatment for your loved one involves a series of steps. You need to understand the Do’s and Don’ts to ensure they drop their unhealthy lifestyles and maintain a good relationship with their families and friends. In everything you do, always remember that addiction is a disease like any other. Remember, how you approach the issue will either help or worsen their addiction problems. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, reach out to us at Footprints of Serenity.