Seeing someone you love lose himself or herself over a drug addiction is saddening. More often than not, you will try and exert all the possible means to help them. There are instances wherein family members and close friends may be successful in doing so, but there is also the possibility that no matter how hard they try to help, their efforts seem to be ineffective. Thus, try to get into the mind of a drug abuse victim in order to find more effective means to help them.
The Effects of Drugs on the Human Brain
With substance abuse, the human brain undergoes significant changes that extremely interferes with the thought process. More often than not, a person under the influence doesn’t have the capability to recognize that their actions already have a negative impact on their health, relationships, careers, and even finances. It is also often the case that drug abuse victims rationalize their use of the drug, with the notion that they can stop anytime they prefer.
Some of the justifications that they use are that the use of the substance is their coping mechanism to stress or that their addiction is not really the problem, but other circumstances in their life such as hurtful past experiences, or even bad luck. There are also cases that substance abuse is done as a form of escape from specific strong emotions such as anxiety and depression. It goes without saying that people suffering from drug addiction have their own logic and trying to help them can be frustrating, especially if your efforts are put in vain.
How to Help Them
Open the Channel for Communication
First, try to talk to your loved one or friend, but acknowledge that they may not recognize that they have a problem. You may want to talk about addiction and its negative effects in general first or cite scenarios that they truly care about. For instance, they might not really be worried about their health, but they may be more concerned about losing a scholarship. In another scenario, they may not really prioritize losing their job, but they may think twice about the possibility of losing their spouse. The important thing is that you are honest with them in bringing up that you see a problem.
Encourage Them to Seek Help
Help your loved one or your friend to stay positive and revisit their goals in life. It is in this phase wherein it is best to encourage them to seek assistance from those that will be able to effectively help them overcome their addiction. How to help someone get into therapy may prove to be difficult, but your efforts will be all worth it, especially when they succeed in the treatment programs. The perfect timing and setting may help such as a private moment, which is an appropriate place for a discussion, compared to a holiday dinner table in front of everyone.
In the event that they identify the need for help, it is best to do your research to find the most appropriate treatment facility. There are several rehab centers that offer several programs, but keep in mind that the program must be tailored-fit according to the needs of the person you care about. There may be instances wherein you may prefer a facility close to home so that you can frequently visit, while other intensive programs recommend otherwise.
There may also be cases wherein the person you love already needs treatment immediately, such that they need to be treated involuntarily. In these instances, you may need to file an involuntary commitment, which is granted by a court ruling.
Supporting your loved one or your friend to recover from drug abuse is one significant thing. Being optimistic and positive is another avenue that you can help your friend hone in order to fully win over his or her addiction. While a relapse may be inevitable, it is not a sign of a failed therapy. Oftentimes, it is a normal part of the process. In these instances, don’t lose hope. Rather, project a positive mindset that they will surely be on their road to recovery even after a relapse.
Drug abuse victims need all the support and help they can get from their family and closest friends. In the event that they already recognize their problem, helping them will be much more effortless. However, it is in instances wherein they fail to distinguish that there is indeed a problem where more help and support is necessary.
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