There have been a fair few celebrities in the press that have come forward and spoken about their addictions. But it remains a fairly taboo subject in social circles. Often this is because there is a stigma attached to addiction (let’s help to eradicate this). But it’s also because it is pretty darn difficult to confront someone who has an addiction. Whether it is you, a family member or a relative, most who are addicted to something don’t actually think they have a problem. Or if they think they do, they also believe they can sort it out themselves one day, when they feel like it. Unfortunately, addictions to everything from substance abuse to online shopping, and gambling to physically abusive relationships can all have detrimental effects on health. Here are a few pointers on what to do, if you think you or someone you know has an addiction.
The First Steps
Addiction can take hold of anyone and everyone no matter what their background. And many people can hide it for years. But if you feel you or a close friend is using a substance or behavior to avoid the realities of life then it may be that they are showing signs of addiction. The first steps you can take are to gently ask someone if they think they may have an issue with addiction. Don’t make this conversation confrontational because they’ll back away faster than a mouse running from a cat. And it may cause them to retreat even further. Ask if they would be willing to look through the resources available online. Also ask if they will consider visiting a health professional, to help them start to take the first steps towards getting help. Emphasize to them that it takes courage to admit there is a problem. And remind them that people do recover every day. You are likely to be met with anger and denial to start with but persevere. And always show that you care.
Professional help for addiction can come in many forms. Dual diagnosis addiction rehab offers a safe and secure environment where mental health care and substance abuse are treated hand in hand. There are also many day centers, support groups and one-to-one counseling on offer. A health professional may also prescribe certain medications for withdrawal depending on what you may be addicted to. No matter what type of professional help someone chooses to receive, always remember to be there as an added support for them. Recovery programs work really well. But addicts still require ongoing support once they leave these programs.
The Next Steps
After a recovery program, the recuperation doesn’t just stop there. Many addicts need more than one recovery program to help them along the way. It is a huge challenge to recover from addiction as it a life-changing event. Out of recovery, never enable a friend or provide excuses for them if they want to revert to their old ways. But at the same time don’t judge them or name call. The best thing you can do for a recovering addict is to provide a sober environment. And fill their days with the wonderful things that a new way of life can bring. And if they fall? Be there to pick them up. And always make sure they have a mentor to call for when times get tough. Addiction is a chronic disease that can take a long time to recover from. So always let an addict know of the potential they can achieve once they can get over this rocky part of the road.