If you’re one of the 46 per cent of people with a family member who suffers from drug addiction, you’ve surely encountered moments of helplessness in your life. You may have attempted to run an intervention but were met with resistance and contempt. You may have given up because you were tired of trying, or you didn’t want to lose your loved one to estrangement. So, you decided to sit back and let the addiction continue.
Seeing a loved one with a drug addiction isn’t easy, especially when you’ve tried your best to help and nothing has worked. You might feel like you’ve failed, but you didn’t. It’s not your fault that the addiction is stronger than any of the forces at work.
Addiction isn’t limited to illicit street drugs. The addictive substance could be legal drugs such as alcohol or prescription opioids (prescription painkillers) or legal habits such as sex and gambling. Addiction treatment was once stigmatized because it was seen as a rehabilitation method for illegal drug users or signaled a fall from grace.
Hard times: addiction comes in many forms, not only drugs
With millions of addicts abusing substances that are not illegal, the criminality behind substance abuse is no longer the case. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now classifies addiction as a mental health disorder.
Addiction treatment has changed quite a bit over the years, but despite the fact that it’s now widely considered a physical and mental illness, stigmas still exist that prevent people from getting the help and treatment they need.
It might be difficult to convince an addict that it’s time to get sober, but when they’re ready, you can show your support by helping them find a treatment center. There are three main types of rehabilitation programs:
The right rehab and support from family and friends is essential
As you begin the process of selecting a rehab, also try to keep these factors in mind:
To make sure you’re getting the best treatment available for your family member, you should ask questions based on your loved one’s own preferences and needs. When it comes to finding a rehab center, your family shouldn’t settle for cheap or convenient. Addiction is a serious disease that can cause permanent injury and irreparable damage if left untreated, and treatment is not where you should take the easy way out.
Do your due diligence as you select the right rehabilitation program, as a poor fit could ultimately lead to relapse. Be a source of love, support, and encouragement without enabling the bad behaviors or letting yourself get hurt in the process. It’s a long road to recovery, but it can be done, together. ●
Main image: Pixabay
Writing about recovery saved Amber Speck's life. After four years of sobriety, she’s ready to share her story and hopes doing so will inspire and help others. That's why she created writeaboutrecovery.com. Writing played a major role in her recovery, guiding her on the journey to learn how to love herself again. She knows writing can play an essential therapeutic role for others too. On her website, she provides information on how to get started putting pen to paper. Her book, Pen to Paper: How Writing About Recovery Saved My Life, will be out in 2019.
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