What Substance Abuse Is and Tips to Work Through It Together | Can Someone Struggling with Addiction Ever Too Far Gone?
If you have a loved one who struggles with substance abuse, you know the emotional, spiritual, and financial toll it can take on family and friends.
After watching relationships dissolve and the person you love fade away, it can be difficult to see hope. As you surely know by now, addiction is a disease, and treating it is not a simple process.
However, no one is ever too far gone to recover from drug addiction or alcohol abuse.
Here’s how to tell if your loved one needs help, and what to do if they are struggling with addiction.
What Substance Abuse Is: Signs your loved one may be struggling with substance abuse
What is addiction, exactly? Where does one draw the line between having a few beers after work, vs. full-blown alcohol dependency?
It’s natural to want to give people the benefit of the doubt. However, knowing is half the battle when it comes to battling substance abuse.
Here are the top 4 warning signs of any kind of addiction:
1. Tolerance to the Substance
The user will have to take increasing amounts of a substance in order to feel its effects. They will also start to feel withdrawal when they cannot take more.
2. Social Issues
The use of the substance will impair social interactions. They may lie, cheat, steal, or break promises to enable the use of a substance. Productivity declines and work and relationships suffer.
3. Taking Unnecessary Risks
The user will do anything to take more of the substance. They will even take risks that seem to far outweigh the benefit of using (such as driving impaired or using dirty needles, etc).
4. Impaired Control
Over time, the ability to resist the substance fades, until it disappears completely.
Does your loved one have one or more of the above signs of substance abuse? Here’s what to do:
If the above list gives you pause, it’s time to make an action plan.
Don’t wait. If you are questioning whether your loved one is struggling with something like alcohol dependence or opioid addiction, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.
1. Learn about substance abuse
Do some research and learn more about what you’re dealing with. Listen to the stories of survivors and their families. It’s important to come from a place of understanding, even if this person has hurt you in the past.
2. Collect evidence of the addiction
Part of the addiction struggle is denial. No one wants to believe they have a problem, so write down all the times your loved one’s problem has impacted the lives of those around them. Ex) You can track DUIs, fights, hospitalizations, or times they were fired from a job.
3. Set realistic expectations
Interventions don’t always work. Prepare yourself for the very real possibility that it will take multiple tries to get your loved one to seek help.
4. Create a game plan.
In the best-case scenario, your loved one admits their problem and accepts that they need help. Line up the next steps. EX) Ensure there are no delays by calling ahead to Utah rehab centers that offer a 12-step program.
5. Confront your loved one with a group of supporting individuals
It’s inadvisable to confront an addict about their problem by yourself. Their reaction can be volatile or manipulative. There is strength in numbers and less of a chance of your loved one manipulating their way out of the situation. You also want a support group for yourself, in case the first intervention doesn’t work.
6. Be kind & show empathy
If you want to convince your loved one to seek help, set aside your anger and frustration for now. Come from a place of love and show them you’re on their side.
Stay Strong & Have Faith
While it’s never too late for someone to start their journey to recovery, it’s definitely not an easy road.
It’s important to set a strong foundation for yourself, seek a support group, and protect your own peace when necessary. Have faith that there’s help out there. There are plenty of resources for families struggling with substance abuse.
Don’t go through this alone. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call Renaissance Ranch Treatment Centers for immediate help: 855-736-7262. They are even opening up a brand new location in Burley, ID.
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