One of the most challenging things for a family member to face is the drug addiction of their son or daughter, husband, or wife. This extends to close relatives and includes friends of the family. How do you deal with a person with suffering from substance misuse ? Most addiction does not happen overnight; it’s not that a person would have a line of coke on Friday, and you are now suddenly faced with drug addiction. Most opiates will cause dependency fairly rapidly. Whereas with some others like marijuana, it may take several months, even years, for addiction to set in.
In recent years, more families face the drug addiction of a loved one due to an earlier physical condition. The pain from an accident or operation usually followed by prescription medication given to cut off the pain receptors for a while to bring about healing.
The result of this practice is that often the pain tends to linger longer than the prescription suggested, and the person can no longer get a prescription renewal for their medication, thus resorting to the “black market.” OxyContin and Percocet, even Fentanyl, can be found on the street for those suffering from physical pain and discomfort.
Sometimes certain people have a low tolerance for opiate type pain medications and rapidly become addicted. However, the situation develops in your family member or friend; the result is often tough to address.
This difficulty lies in a lack of understanding of addiction and the substances themselves. Most family members have no clue how to help and what to do about their loved one’s addiction. Here are a few tips to help deal with an addict;
First off, do not enable their habits with their demands; it will only fuel their abuse.
This means, for example, if asked for money to pay their hydro bill, ask for the bill and pay it for them, do not give money freely.
Secondly, always face the problem head-on.
Without being challenging when suspecting addiction, questions it. If the person denies it, don’t alienate their answer. Simply ask again until you get the truth. Their denial is merely a protection mechanism.
The other thing to know about dealing with a drug addict is that no one wants to be addicted. But the pain of withdrawal (either mental or physical) is too much to bear, so they continue to use. When talking with an addict, you need to be reassuring, understanding, and above all, helpful to get them professional addiction counselling for their condition.
In the end, there is a real and proven method in dealing with this person. Encourage and coax them again and again to seek addiction treatment. Professional counsellors experienced on the subject of substance abuse is the only way out, and there are many affordable private rehabs in Canada.
The person who is abusing is not quite your loved one, relative, or friend, but a personality brought on because of his or her substance abuse. You need to be patient and persistent and show care, not be accusative or blame them.
Stay focused and know that you can always call a professional referral and consultation counsellor for guidance if you need to get help with any form of substance abuse.