One of the most helpless feelings in the world involves watching a loved one addicted to drugs and not knowing how to help them. When someone’s spouse, child, parent, family member, or close friend find themselves lost in the world of addiction, the people who care about them want to know what concrete steps they can take to offer help. We’ve assembled a list of ideas to help address the situation and try to provide and inspiration.
Recognize What It Means When a Loved One Is Addicted to Drugs
When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they have a substance use disorder. It may be easy to think the individual doesn’t exercise self-control and could get better if they just stopped using drugs, but the situation is more complicated than that. Substance use disorders impact the brain and a person’s ability to think clearly. Their brain chemistry becomes accustomed to the effects of drug usage, often usurping the natural abilities of the brain and body.
Telling a loved one to simply stop using drugs and everything will be okay will not work. They need to enter formal treatment in order to receive guidance and monitoring while they work on beginning recovery. Taking the focus off demands to simply “snap out of it” and replacing them with attempts to point the person in the direction of agreeing to get help work better.
Offer to Find Help for Loved Ones Addicted to Drugs
A person consumed by addiction may want to get help but does not possess the ability to seek out the right program and get started on beginning it. Their mental abilities may be compromised, as well as energy levels. Their loved ones can ask a doctor, therapist, or other clinical professionals for references to treatment programs. They can offer to help the individual contact their insurance company and take notes on the information given to them. From there, the family member or friend can assist in making phone calls, asking questions about treatment plans, filling out paperwork, and helping get their loved one signed up for the treatment they deserve.
Provide Reasons That Excuses Not to Get Treatment Aren’t Valid
A loved one addicted to drugs learns to become an expert at making excuses for why they can’t get sober. They are coming up with weak ideas or they may truly believe staying sick is their only option, but their loved ones can counter each justification with a dose of reality. Examples of this can include:
Excuse: Treatment is too expensive. I could never afford it.
Response: You don’t know that until we investigate all the possibilities. Checking with your insurance company, asking for referrals, and contacting treatment and government programs can give you the information you need. Even pricing, coverage, and availabilities you previously learned about may have changed over time.
Excuse: I’ve tried to quit before and it never works.
Response: Many people don’t successfully become sober on their first try. If you go into treatment with an attitude that it can and will work, and take advantage of the support you have from people who care about you, this attempt at recovery can be the one that becomes permanent.
Excuse: I promise to get help after (a certain event happens or hurdle is overcome). Leave me alone until then.
Response: There will always be a reason you can think of to postpone treatment. The sooner you get help, the sooner you will be able to handle any event or hurdle in life without using drugs.
Excuse: I can’t leave home for treatment or spend several hours a week in outpatient treatment. I have responsibilities at home.
Response: Let’s make a list of what you would need assistance with in order to create the time for you to get help. People love you and are willing to help with things like child care, pet care, housesitting chores, and transportation to and from treatment.
Do Not Assume Responsibility for a Loved One Addicted to Drugs
Often a loved one addicted to drugs finds themselves entangled in a co-dependent relationship with a loved one. The other person may try to take the blame for the reasons the individual turned to drug abuse or offers excuses to others as to why they cannot help themselves. Ultimately, the responsibility to decide to get help and stick with it belongs to the person with the addiction. While it can be painful to watch a person struggle and fall down repeatedly, it does them no favors to agree that getting sober is too hard or can be put off yet again. Regardless of the age of the loved one addicted to drugs, only they are responsible for their current station in life and where they go from here.
Drug Addiction Treatment in Los Angeles
Getting help for addiction to drugs can seem scary but Launch Centers can help walk you through the professional options we offer to help you or someone you love get sober. We provide treatment for substance use disorders and mental illnesses that combines clinical and holistic treatment to provide a well-rounded approach to getting healthy.
If you are ready to get help for addiction in Los Angeles, contact us now and let us answer all your questions.