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Helping a loved one overcome drug addiction

Drug addiction is devastating both for its sufferers and their loved ones. It is also a far more common problem than many of us realize. The US has witnessed a steady increase in the number of prescriptions for addictive drugs, e.g. opioid-based pain killers and benzodiazepines such as Xanax. This has both dramatically increased the rates of prescription drug abuse and brought them sharply into focus within the mainstream consciousness.

Most Americans will know someone who is currently or once was struggling with a drug addiction and an alarming number of us will have friends or loved ones die from a drug addiction. It is therefore important that those suffering from this affliction have access to the best quality of care available and that we all understand how we can help them to access it.

Be prepared for the long haul

Drug addiction is a complex psychological condition and breaking the habits and behaviors associated with drug addiction takes time, patience, and commitment from all involved. Drug addiction features both a physical and psychological component and the psychological component is the strongest, most prominent and hardest to break. The physical withdrawal from a drug is usually over within the space of a week, but identifying and addressing the underlying psychological issues will require professional help. Simply removing the drug from that person’s life won’t be enough. Dealing with the psychological issues takes time, often many months, and is the part of the process during which the patient will be most delicate and vulnerable.

Don’t rush rehab

Some rehab centers offer rapid detox programs, but these are the least likely form of treatment to be successful and should be avoided if possible. The National Institute on Drug Abuse advises a minimum of three months’ rehabilitation for the greatest chance of success. If you and your loved one agree that rehab is the best next step, then look for somewhere like the Beachway Therapy Center near you.

Different rehab centers will offer different treatment programs and will place their emphasis on different aspects of the individuals’ recovery. Research the rehab options near you and if possible discuss the choice with a specialist addictions counselor.

Stand by them

Tackling drug addiction solo is very unlikely to succeed as the addicted individual will require advice and support as well as other perspectives on life. Many of the behaviors and thought patterns associated with drug addiction are self-reinforcing and a big part of the psychology of addiction involves self-deception. In fact, self-deception is one of the main reasons that many addicts postpone seeking treatment and why addictions are often out of control before the addict has realized the problem exists. You should make sure that supporting your loved one doesn’t drag you down too, but also realize that if you begin this journey with them you need to be prepared to see it through.

Helping a loved one overcome a drug addiction is a long and difficult process, but there are numerous options for support and treatment that will help to alleviate some of the burdens from you while ensuring the best chance of beating the addiction.

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Monetary Library
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