Witnessing someone suffer from the pain of addiction is difficult. You want to help, but sometimes you just don’t know how. Finding a way to help an addict in your life can be one of the most important factors in an individual’s recovery.
One of the ways to help an addict may be for you and your family and friends to stage an intervention. Understanding what that entails is important. But there are other ways you can support your loved ones that are not quite as dramatic. Learning as much as you can about addiction and recovery is a good first start.
Providing help to an addict isn’t easy. But it may make all the difference.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is far more complicated than the process of drinking too much or using illicit drugs to excess. Addiction is a disease that changes the chemical composition of the brain, and in doing so, alters your judgment and behavior. Taking drugs or drinking becomes your principal priority in life, something you pursue despite the troubles it causes.
The difficulty is you can’t just help an addict by telling them to stop drinking or using drugs. The body has come to depend on drugs or alcohol. When those aren’t forthcoming, the brain triggers a physical reaction called withdrawal.
You also can’t just stage an intervention to help reverse the course of addiction. Treatment is a multifaceted process that takes time and commitment and the involvement of health care professionals.
Five Ways to Help an Addict
Addiction isn’t easy on the individual who suffers from it. It’s also not easy for people who love that individual. Here are a few suggestions for things to try to help an addict, in addition to providing outpatient treatment resources:
- Show that you care. Addiction makes people feel like they are alone. Showing your love and support can close the gaps.
- Build trust. To help an addict, maintaining a relationship is crucial. You can’t do that by nagging, harping, or judging.
- Learn. There are a lot of misconceptions about addiction. You can help an addict by understanding what’s real and what’s untrue and by knowing about available resources.
- Be mindful and present. You can help an addict by involving them in holistic activities. Go for a walk in the woods, rather than to lunch where alcohol is served.
- Know when to walk away. Sometimes the best way to help an addict is to do nothing, so they can learn the depths of what they may lose.
The Process of Treatment
Knowing the specifics of treatment is an important way to help an addict. Help them understand what to expect in treatment to lower their anxiety.
The stages of treatment include:
- Intake and assessment. Doctors will give you a full exam to understand the state of your mental and physical health.
- Planning. Information from the assessment goes into a comprehensive roadmap for care.
- Detox. To succeed at treatment, you need to stop drinking and step down from your drug use. During detox, doctors monitor your progress through the withdrawal stage.
- Counseling. Substance use disorders are addressed in the main through talk therapy and other forms of therapy.
- Aftercare. The potential for relapse is very high. Aftercare involves resources such as additional counseling that are designed to help reduce the risks of relapse.
Addiction Treatment at Blueprint Recovery Center
There are many ways to help an addict. Perhaps the most important is to have a thorough understanding of addiction treatment and where you can find the right resources in your community. The team at Blueprint Recovery Center is here for you. Our clinical staff specializes in various forms of outpatient treatment, including our intensive outpatient program and partial hospitalization program. We will support you through the entire process, from intake and detox to counseling and aftercare. You will work hard in a secure, comfortable, and private environment. Your well-being is our number one priority. Contact a counselor today by calling Blueprint Recovery Center at 833.654.1004 for a consultation.