Addiction to Drugs: How to Help Someone?
Knowing someone who is influenced by addiction to drugs is a heartbreaking experience for sure.
You badly want to protect the person, but you are helpless. You don’t understand what you can do for them.
The effect of addiction is so overwhelming that it shuts down the senses. They will not be able to reach out to anyone because they are under the influence of substance.
At times like this, when the victim themselves cannot make any change or even think about bringing the change, the pain of curing them is no less than the pain of bringing someone back to life.
You see them ruining their health, life, future, and everything that they have. You see what they could be if only they were not the victim of drug abuse.
But all you can do is to stand there and watch and feel your hands and feet getting cold.
This phase doesn’t only ruin the victim’s life, it takes a toll on their loved one’s mental health as well.
It is so depressing and frightening to see your beloved being dragged by the substance use addiction.
So, what must you do?
What measures you can take to help your friend? Is it a completely helpless situation?
Can you really not do anything beside watch them being consumed by the addiction?
You might not be able to cure the problem, but you can help to minimize it.
You are not a professional, that’s why you cannot give them the medical help they require, but you can give them the emotional help they desperately need.
Likewise, you can give them a reason to fight the problem and at least try to overcome it.
Here are some tips you can follow to help your loved one with drug problem:
1. Accept the Addiction
The first thing that you need to do is to accept the truth.
Denial won’t help you to fight the problem. Our goal is to cure them, not to turn evil towards them.
Therefore, being hostile towards their behavior and punching it in their mind that they are ruining their lives won’t help at all.
They know all of this. They know what they are doing to themselves. But they are not in control.
So, you need to understand that forcing them to quit substance use will only worsen the situation. They will feel threatened and then rebel against you.
You want to avoid turning them away.
Understanding that your loved one is intoxicated by substance use is not easy at all. But you need to follow some dos and don’ts.
Communication is the key to every problem.
Talk to them about how they are feeling and what they are going through. But do not pressurize them.
If they are unwilling to open up about their situation, then don’t pressurize them to do so. It will only make them shut themselves to any help.
Persuade them little by little. Watch their behavior and reaction to certain topics. If anything triggers their behaviour, then try not to mention it.
It can be a tough time trying to have a proper conversation with them. In the beginning, they will refuse to talk at all.
And if you are willing to help, you have to prepare yourself for the worst. Therefore, you need to have patience.
You can start by talking about the normal stuff. Then, when they are comfortable around you, you can raise questions about their health and how they are feeling.
Staying connected with victim and bonding will keep them away from the cravings and slipping away yet again.
3. Educate yourself about Addiction
It is important to know what your friend is going through. Then only you can know how to help them.
Knowing about the substance they are using and the possible disease they are going through will help you track down on how to help them.
You can try to talk to a professional doctor or contact rehabilitation centers to know more about psychotic substance abuse.
They will show symptoms of possible diseases developing in them.
Therefore, knowing about what kind of substance they are using and how it can affect the mind and body will help you.
4. Make them feel loved
Let them know that you are there for them. Even if they refuse any supporter help, make them feel loved.
Building trust is yet another important factor. They will not like if you invade their privacy and keep on pestering them about their situation.
So, make them feel that you are not trying to blame them or abuse them for their situation.
If they trust you enough, they will open up to you on their own. Then you can talk to them on the sensitive matters as they like it.
In most of the cases, people turn to substance use when they are under extreme emotions. Agony, dejection, and failure are the most common cause.
Make them feel that you love them for who they are and that you are always there for them no matter what.
Emotional support will give the victim a reason to fight the problem and seek professional help.
5. Encourage them to get help for their Addiction
When they are ready enough, encourage them to seek help to cure their problem.
Tell them that a professional will help them to overcome the addiction, and it is possible.They might tell you off and deny the treatment, but you have to be persistent.
It is important for them to get treated the earliest to avoid further harm to the body and health.
6. Take care of yourself
The process will take some time and will almost feel like giving up. If the situation gets hard on you, then find help for yourself first. You cannot expect to mend them if you are in a bad shape.
Talk to people around you. Tell them how you are feeling and how hard it is for you.
Seek professional treatment if needed.
The bottom line
Having a loved one who is a victim of drug abuse can be a heartbreaking experience.
At times like this, a person needs to stand strong and help the beloved to recover and get treated for the disease.
It can also affect your mental and emotional well-being. Therefore, you should also get help in such situations.