How to Help a Loved One That Is Addicted To Opioids
Addiction is a disease that takes lives if it is not curbed in time. Judging people or even loved ones because they cannot quit is counterproductive. How to help a loved one that is addicted to opioids should be a priority.
If someone you know is exhibiting addictive tendencies, the first thing you need to realize is that it is a brain disease. Like other diseases, the organ fails to function as it once did. In case of an opioid addiction, memory, decision making, impulsive and other cognitive processes are impaired. The good news is that addiction is treatable with multi-component programs that involve medication-assisted treatments.
What You Should Not Do To a Person Addicted To Opioids
The worst thing you can do is drag an addicted individual to a treatment center. Most deny that they have a problem so they will not take a forceful approach seriously. Before going into how you can help them accept your aid, here are some things that can be harmful to their potential sobriety:
An opioid addiction can change a person and make them the worst version of themselves. As they isolate themselves and lash out, they can hurt family and friends, sometimes irreparably by cheating, lying, or doing anything they can to remain dependent on the drug. Yes, you will feel angry and upset, but if you judge them, you will help them take several steps back in their recovery. Try to understand their situation and realize they need help, not your criticism.
You are not helping an addicted friend by giving them money for more drugs or by giving them a place to crash and binge on their opioid of choice. While you may think you are helping them, your sympathy is not well placed. At some point, you need to detach yourself from them so you can help them.
Just because your friend is addicted to opioids, doesn’t mean he is inherently ‘bad.’ By demonizing him, you are making him turn in on himself and seek drugs for solace and comfort. It will only make their addiction worse.
How to Help a Loved One That Is Addicted To Opioids
Denial is the first thing that an addicted individual will do if they are confronted. Getting through to them requires a delicate approach. Otherwise, you may lose them forever.
Here are some things you can do to diffuse a delicate situation:
Use ‘I’ Statements
The worst thing you can do when confronting an addicted individual is accuse them of the addiction. They will feel attacked and will not open up to you. Prevent that from happening and reassure them that you are on their side by using ‘I’ statements.
This is what that approach may sound like:
‘I was so worried when you said you would skip my party.’
This approach allows you to acknowledge the behavior that led them to that decision without making them feel as if they are being belittled. It circles back to the effect the action had rather than an explanation for said action. These statements are the most efficient when it comes to de-escalating a tense situation.
Focus On the Impact of the Action
The statements you use to acknowledge an opioid addict should always focus on the impact of the addiction rather than on the individual struggling from it. By doing this, you separate them from the affliction and remind them they are not their addiction. This acknowledgment can be the key that helps them open up to you sooner rather than later (or worse, when it is too late).
Focus On Their Health and Welfare
The last thing you want to do is make them feel as if you are angry at them. They are already beating themselves up. You will just hand them another stick by showing you are upset. It is easy to shut down in the face of anger. Ignoring genuine concern is not easy so chances are high that they will respond well to your it. So mention health issues they are suffering from because of their addiction and how they have affected their quality of life. By staying focused on their wellbeing, you can ensure they don’t feel ashamed because of their addiction.
Opioid addicts will do almost anything to get their next hit. They can’t help it. Their entire brain chemistry is altered to the point that they crave opioids desperately even if they know that they are bad for their mental and physical health.
Enabling an addict is the last thing you want to do. As someone who cares for them, you may think that supporting them by saying giving them a place to stay or giving them access to your car, is helping them, but you are doing more harm than good. At this point, you need to set boundaries.
Contact Mat Texas for Opioid Addiction Recovery
Opioid addiction can be devastating not only for addicts, but also their loved ones. While every case is unique, by signing them up for a recovery program at Mat Texas, you can help them get on the road to full recovery. We understand that everyone deals with addiction differently and can help them establish a healthy base for a healthier future.
Our counselors and physicians are fully committed when it comes to Methadone or Suboxone treatment, and will make it as easy as possible. We know that seeking treatment for addiction is one of the bravest things anyone can do and will ensure your loved one has all of the tools and resources they need to get better and stay better. We offer admissions all week and work with patients to understand the approach we should take.