If someone you love, like a friend or family member, is struggling with overcoming opiate addiction, simply sitting by and watching them may be uneasy. It is natural to want to reach out and help them, but where would you start? Perhaps you have pleaded for them to go to rehab, sign them up for programs to no avail, or maybe turned a blind eye to their actions.
Overcoming opiate addition is a lot harder than it may seem, especially for the victim. Often, the first reaction is to immediately accuse the abuser. However, the chemicals found in opioids create a dependance that not many have the self-control to beat. Even though you cannot break their dependence on opiates, there are many helpful ways that you can do to support them while they are going through withdrawals. Below are 5 tips that you can start today to help your loved ones overcome opiate addiction.
Learn All You Can
Researching opiate addiction will help you understand exactly why it happens like it does. Know the signs of the different stages of addiction to withdrawals. For those who are abusing heroin, understand that there are certain household items that will give away their addictions. Items such as aluminum foil, spoons, shoestrings, and black smudges around the house all show signs of this addiction.
Show Empathy and Compassion
Showing empathy and compassion the same way you would show it to someone suffering from any other chronic diseases and illness goes a long way. When you tell your loved ones what to do and making claims such as “It’s not that hard” makes it a lot harder for them. Usually you will be met with animosity and resistance, and they do not want your help after.
Understand That Addiction is a Disease
Calling the addiction a disease may seem like the abuser is excused because it’s not their fault and the drug chose them. Although it may seem like addiction is a choice that you make YOURSELF, it’s not. It is a choice to try the drugs, but not a choice to become addicted. Once the addiction becomes a disease, it consumes the lives of the abuser, and it is not by their choice.
Keep Track of Their Medication
Be aware of your loved one’s medications and refills so that you know exactly how much and when they are taking their doses. This will help in preventing further opiate addiction, and keep them on a normal schedule.
Be Aware of Overdose
Once you know their medication schedule, it is much easier to determine if they are on the verge of overdosing or not. At this point it is also note knowing that perhaps the administration of naloxone should be introduced. The medication is used to counter the effects of opioid overdose. Because this drug cannot be self-administered, you will need to learn how to give it to your loved ones in case of emergencies.
In a nutshell, helping a friend or family member overcome opiate addiction can be much less harder than you think. It requires patience, understanding, and 100% support for them to recover. However, sometimes the effects are too great, and seeking a professional physician for suboxone treatment is needed. If so, contact Dr. Ben Evans for help in getting your loved ones off their addiction today.