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.

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.