Millions of people perish each year as a result of opioid use, whether they were on purpose or not.
Some people take painkillers for medical reasons and, although they weren’t misusing the medication at the time, have developed an addiction to it.
Others, on the other hand, use drugs to obtain that high or to shut out all pressures in their lives. It’s difficult to watch someone you care for become addicted to drugs and hurt their bodies in this way. You understandably want to support them, so here are some suggestions about how to approach a loved one about their drug addiction.
Understanding substance abuse
People begin using drugs for a variety of reasons, including curiosity, to have a good time, to increase athletic success, to numb emotional pain, and more. Drug use does not always lead to violence, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that it becomes problematic.
Drug abuse and addiction are usually defined by how often an individual uses drugs. It’s all about the reasons why people start using drugs in the first place, as well as the effects of abusing them. If substance addiction is causing issues in your life, such as job loss or broken relationships, you most likely have a drug problem.
Addiction does not happen to everyone who uses drugs. The risk of developing a drug addiction varies from person to person. The following are risk factors that raise the probability of addiction:
- Addiction in the family
- Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic events are all examples of traumatic experiences.
- Anxiety and depression
- Administration method (injecting or smoking a drug may increase the likelihood of addiction)
- Abuse of drugs at a young age
Give them your empathy and love
It’s important to recognise that, no matter how well you think you know your loved one, they might be dealing with issues that they don’t feel comfortable discussing with you.
Tell them how much you care about them and how concerned you are about their actions. Tell them you’re there to listen and understand without interfering, and that you really care for their well-being.
It can be difficult when talking to a Highly Sensitive Person about their drug addiction, but make sure you have empathy, patience and most of all, unwavering love.
Avoid taking on all of their problems
You may be concerned your loved one is taking drugs because of the stress in their lives.
While it’s absolutely fine to try and help resolve these issues – particularly if they don’t know how – it’s also important to refrain from taking over completely.
As hard as it is, they have created this situation themselves and as a part of the healing process, must learn to deal with problems themselves. So, while it’s okay to help guide them and support them, don’t take over the situation altogether.
Talk to your loved one about treatments
The next step is to determine the best course of action without frightening your loved one into resuming substance use.
Examine all of the treatment options and speak with your loved one about what to expect on the road to recovery. New technology has been introduced that provides the most reliable clinical urine toxicology testing available, enabling medical practitioners to reliably determine not only which drugs have been consumed, but also the best course of action.
Be there for every step of the way
Trying to combat a serious problem like opioid addiction can be terrifying. Your loved one may regard their drug as a lifeline, and they are afraid of what will happen if they stop taking it. Allowing them to know that you’ll be there for them no matter what happens can be really reassuring, and it may be just what they need right now.
Attend appointments with them, pop over for coffee to help support them, and invite them places to help take their mind off their addiction. All of these things are perfect examples of how you can be there for your loved one every step of the way.
Try and put yourself in their shoes
Some drug addicts want to get out of their situation just as badly as you do. It’s difficult to put yourself in their shoes unless you’ve dealt with addiction yourself. Recognize that it’s a tough task for them, and that there’s a possibility they’ll make stupid mistakes. It is important to develop empathy and compassion for them on their road to recovery.
While we aren’t suggesting to literally put yourself in their shoes, try and think about something you do that makes you feel good, and then think about having to give it up. Don’t assume that battling drug addiction is as simple as not taking it anymore.
Set a good example for them
The last thing your loved one needs is to see you or others using substances around them. Even if their addiction isn’t about alcohol, they’re trying to start fresh and build a new life for themselves. Lead by example and show them you can be strong too by avoiding alcohol or drugs.
Lead a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water. If your loved one is trusting you with their delicate situation, it’s very likely they look up to you as a person and as a result of your healthy lifestyle, are more likely to follow suit and change their way of living.
Never patronise your loved one
Finally, patronising your loved one for being in that situation in the first place is one of the worst things you can do.
Addiction strikes people without warning most of the time, and the last thing your loved one deserves is to be patronised because of it. It may come as a surprise to hear that they are addicted to drugs, but you should want to move beyond that to assist them in getting clean and rebuilding their lives.
Helping a loved one with substance abuse can be difficult but with these tips, you can help them on the road to recovery.