Watching a friend or family member struggle with drug or alcohol addiction is very difficult and can negatively impact your well-being. You may experience feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, guilt, worry, and fear. In general, you will likely feel overwhelmed and confused about how you can help. At times you might feel like giving up or ignoring the issue altogether.
You are not alone. Studies show that nearly half of all Americans have a friend or family member who suffers from addiction. Harmony Hills offers a variety of substance abuse treatment programs that can help your loved one. Call us at 855.494.0357 to learn more about how we can help.
Understanding Substance Abuse and Addiction
There is no end to the reasons that people start using drugs or alcohol. Often, substance abuse begins when a person is self-medicating to cope with trauma, significant loss, or mental health issues. Teenagers may start using drugs out of curiosity, peer pressure to fit in, or because they live with addiction at home. Many people develop a dependency upon prescription pain medications following a severe injury or surgery. Whatever the reason for starting, you can be assured that no one ever intends on developing a substance use disorder.
The terms “substance abuse” and “addiction” are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. Substance abuse starts first and refers to a pattern of drug or alcohol use that can cause problems in daily life. Substance abuse can lead to addiction, characterized as a physical and psychological dependency that causes significant impairment and disruption.
Not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol has a substance use disorder, and it’s not always easy to tell if someone does or doesn’t. If you are unsure, you may want to look out for some of the following signs:
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Mood swings or irritability
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Noticeable changes in appearance
- Problems at work or school
If you suspect your friend or family member is abusing or is addicted to drugs or alcohol, the best thing you can do is express your concerns in a loving and supportive way. Encourage them to seek help from a qualified drug abuse treatment center like Harmony Hills.
You Know Your Loved One Needs Drug Abuse Treatment, Now What?
There are times when it is clear that someone struggles with substance abuse or addiction, but you are unsure what you should do. Every situation is different. However, there are some guidelines you can follow as you plan to present your concerns:
- Educate yourself. The more you know about substance abuse and addiction, the more understanding you will be about what your loved one is going through, and the better you will be able to help.
- Offer support. Many people struggling with drug abuse or addiction feel isolated and unaware of how much they are loved. Let them know that you are willing to support them in recovery if they are willing to seek substance abuse treatment.
- Do not ignore the problem. The sooner someone receives treatment, the better the chances of lasting recovery. It will be difficult, and you may be met with denial, but ignoring the issue will not make it go away.
- Encourage them to get help. Often people want help but do not know where to start. Having a list of available treatment options ready can help get your loved one to agree to go to treatment.
Above all, you need to take care of yourself. Whether you realize it or not, your loved one’s substance abuse or addiction takes a toll on your well-being. Be sure that you are tending to your mental, emotional, and physical health. You can also reach out to support groups like Al-Anon.
Contact Harmony Hills for More Information About Drug Abuse Treatment
At Harmony Hills, we understand that effective substance abuse treatment involves treating the whole family. Contact us today at 855.494.0357 to talk with our team about how we can assist you in finding the best drug abuse treatment for your loved one.