You go through a series of emotions when you realize that someone you know and care for is suffering from drug dependency. You feel upset, worried, disappointed, angry etc. There are people who would not think twice before completely ignoring and avoiding a friend/ relative who is a drug addict. On the other hand there are those who would do all they can in order to help the addict clean up his act for a better life. If you belong to the second category, here are ten things you can do to help a drug addict!
1 0 Know the signs
The first step towards tackling a problem is to understand that there IS a problem and how serious it is. If you suspect someone you know has an addiction, there are some common signs/symptoms you should look for. Drug addicts often tend to ignore work, social gatherings or family obligations. Noticeable personality changes also take place. Financial problems are common among drug addicts. Other symptoms include changes in sleeping pattern, declining health and physical appearance, dilated pupils etc.
The addict’s family and friends must get together and organize an intervention. The purpose is to let the addict now that his addiction is not only causing him harm; it is also affecting the life of his loved ones. Let the addict know that he /she has to take some action to tackle this problem before it causes serious damage to his/her life.
8 Encourage the addict to seek help
A number of treatment programs are available out there to help a drug addict. If the addict hasn’t really reached the point where he is ready to seek help, convince him that further delay may make the matters worse. Encourage the addict to seek help as soon as possible.
7 Help them choose the right rehabilitation program
Once you have convinced the addict to seek help, the next step is to choose the right rehabilitation program. Do a little research and find out the best rehabilitation clinics in your city and the services they offer. There are a variety of programs out there and you need to go through all the available options in order to choose the right one. For example, you may go for an inpatient program where the addict will be living at the facility or an outpatient program which will give a little more freedom to the patient. The kind of program you choose depends on the needs of the addict.
6 Show your support
One thing which you need to understand is that the addict has a serious problem and overcoming it is going to be a tough battle. Addicts need all the love and support they can get to overcome the addiction. Now if they are willing to go for treatment, it shows that they already know that their addiction is causing harm to them as well as their loved ones. Do not be judgmental. Chances are that the addict might be going through some serious emotional crisis and making them feel guilty about themselves by judging them will only make the matters worse!
5 Encourage them to socialize
The addict may be reluctant to be a part of social gatherings or mingle with others. You must encourage them to be a part of social gatherings and get togethers. Spending more time around friends and family and engaging themselves in healthy hobbies and activities proves to be really helpful for the addicts. The more lonely and left out the addict feels, the more he may crave for drugs.
4 Help but don’t enable
Helping someone with a drug addiction issue is a good thing to but make sure you are not confusing ‘helping’ with ‘enabling’. Helping includes supporting your loved one while he/she works towards an addiction free life. On the other hand enabling the addict may include- allowing them to live in your house, lending them money, covering up for their faults etc. Facing the consequences of their action might be hard for addicts but it will certainly prove to be extremely helpful in the long run.
This journey towards an addiction free life is not going be an easy one , for the addict as well as for his loved ones. A lot of difficulties may come your way-the addict may not want to admit he has a problem, he may not want to discuss his problems etc. Be prepared to face a lot of challenges.
2 Build up trust
The first thing which you need to do in order to help drug addicts is to show them that they can trust you. If you think the addict is turning to drugs as a way to cope with some other issues he may have, encourage him to share the problems and talk about it. Do not try to control the addict. If the addicts feel they are being controlled, they may feel stressed and this may hinder the recovery. All you have to do is assure them that you will be there for them.
As mentioned earlier, this battle against addiction is going to be a tough one for the addict as well as for his/her loved ones. The key to success is hope. Except relapses, these are almost an inevitable part of the recovery process, but do not let them discourage you. The battle isn’t over as long as the addict has the willpower and the determination to fight this deadly habit and as long as their families and friends are willing to stand by them.