Skip to content

Ways of Helping Someone with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

It can be hard to look after a loved one suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. It is possible that you are wondering how to support them in their addiction. You might think they are ready to stop using drugs and want to know where to get help. There are many ways to help a drug addict. We will discuss the signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse disorders, how to help your loved one, and how you can handle the challenges of helping them.
How to help a drug addict

First, you should know that stopping substance abuse is difficult. The brain’s ability to control self-control is affected by using drugs and alcohol. These brain functions are affected if an individual continues to use drugs or alcohol. This makes it more difficult to control or stop compulsive substance abuse. You cannot make someone quit using drugs by yourself. Drug addicts’ loved ones can support their desire to quit using drugs and help them overcome addiction. Encourage your loved one to seek professional help for their drug addiction. This can set them on the road to sobriety. Recovery is possible regardless of whether you have an addiction to heroin, marijuana, or amphetamines.

Signs that you need help and symptoms of drug or alcohol addiction

You should look out for signs and symptoms that may indicate that your loved one is suffering from a substance abuse disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Edition) outlines the criteria for diagnosing someone with a substance abuse disorder. Your loved one may be eligible to be diagnosed as having a substance abuse disorder if they meet at least two of the following criteria in the past 12 months.

The individual consumes more of the substance that was originally intended.
High-risk situations such as driving can lead to the use of substances.
This person is more likely to have interpersonal conflicts as a result of their use of drugs.
Because of the use of substances, the person neglects their responsibilities at work or at home.
A person stops engaging in hobbies and other interests to get involved with substances.
The individual tries unsuccessfully stop using substances or reduce their use.
This person invests considerable time and resources in finding the substance and then using it.
The individual continues to take the drug, even though they know it can cause harm to their mental or physical health.
The individual has a strong desire to use the substance.
A person may develop a tolerance to the substance. This means that they need more to feel the desired effects.
When they stop using the substance or reduce their usage, the person may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Another sign that someone is struggling with substance abuse is being secretive, lying about their use or stealing money. A prescription drug that is being misused can be misused by someone who has multiple prescriptions. They might also try to fill them before their refill dates or use the medication in another way than what was prescribed.

How can addiction be successfully treated?

Addiction is a long-term condition that can cause significant changes in brain function and behavior. Addiction is defined as compulsive use of a substance even though it can have serious negative consequences. You can treat addiction with evidence-based behavioral therapies or medication.

When a person misuses or uses substances, addiction occurs. The individual then loses the ability to control its use. This can negatively affect their home, family, and work life. The body’s adaptation to regular exposure to a substance is often what causes this loss of control: tolerance and physical dependence.

Tolerance can be described as the need to consume more drug, or at higher doses, to feel the desired effects. Withdrawal symptoms occur when the drug is removed (or the dosage significantly reduced). This happens because the body adjusts to the absence of the drug. It can cause strong cravings for the drug to alleviate distressing withdrawal symptoms. This may lead to an individual having difficulty quitting and returning to substance abuse.

It is important that you note that even if the medication is being taken according to instructions, a person may develop tolerance or physical dependence. This is normal, and it does not necessarily indicate that a person has a drug and substance addiction. An addiction is a condition where an individual uses compulsive substances and has a tendency to use them even though they are not able to pay their school, work, or home obligations.

The treatment of drug and alcohol addiction focuses on the management of the disorder. This is similar to the management of other chronic diseases such as asthma or heart disease.

It is possible that you are wondering how long treatment programs can last. Treatment length depends on many factors, including the severity and duration of the individual’s addiction. Most treatment consists of both behavioral therapy and medication. A comprehensive and individualized treatment program for substance abuse disorders is created to address the many areas of the person’s life that are affected, such as employment and family relationships.