If you have a family member who is suffering from an opioid addiction, your first priority is to make sure that they are getting professional help and treatment at a local Colubus rehab center or facility. You probably already know that the United States is currently facing an epidemic of people who are dealing with an addiction to opiates, including painkillers and other prescription medication. In fact, you may have already seen on the news that the President of the United States has had an Opioid Epidemic Declared in the U.S. due to the prevalence of the problem. It’s good to know that you’re not alone, but now that you know that, do you know how to best help your loved one deal with their difficulties?
The first step, as previously mentioned, is to help your loved one to get professional help at a well-respected treatment center or facility. While you may want to help them to quit cold turkey or simply wave a magic wand and make their problems disappear, the hard truth is that only a professional with experience can really help. An addiction to opiates is too difficult to quit on your own without any help, no matter how much willpower you might have. Instead, find doctors, therapists, nurses, counselors, and other talented and educated individuals who can help your loved one through the process and increase their chances for success. In some cases, this will involve medication and ongoing treatment, while in others it may involve therapy, meetings, and outpatient care. Only a professional can tell you what is best for your loved one’s unique circumstances.
Next, it’s important that you support your loved one through the first days and weeks of their recovery. It is likely that they will be suffering from physical pain and discomfort for a while, even when they are being treated by medical professionals. Don’t simply drop your loved one off for treatment and walk away, expecting that you can come back in a few weeks and have them magically cured. Opiate addiction is too challenging for such a casual attitude. Instead, be ready to support your friend or family member while they go through these difficult days of detoxing and discomfort. Visit regularly whenever the staff at the treatment center says that it is appropriate. Keep a positive attitude at these visits and avoid talking about subjects that will depress or frustrate your loved one.
When you visit, talk about neutral or positive subjects that your loved one will enjoy and benefit from. Do not talk about the past, either in a dismissive way, which may hurt their feelings or serve to minimize their suffering, or in a positive or humorous way, which may make them nostalgic for their previous drug use. In fact, try to avoid talking about the past at all. Instead, focus on the future that your loved one has in front of him or her. Think about hobbies, interests, and activities that they enjoyed in the past, especially those which they may have given up while in the throes of addiction. Talk about upcoming events that they may be able to look forward to, as long as it’s enough in the future that they’ll be out of rehabilitation before they occur. Stay cheerful when you’re talking to your loved one and don’t dwell on any of the unhappy repercussions that come with addiction.
After they have gone through the first days and weeks of rehab, your loved one will be looking forward to the future and planning for the days ahead. At this time, it’s important that you not let your loved one get too ahead of them. Keep in mind that they will certainly need ongoing therapy, support, and counseling, even after they have left rehab. Help them make realistic, short-term plans for getting back on their feet and repairing any damage that they have done while under the influence of drugs. Talk about practical plans for improving their daily life and setting longer-term goals for the future.
When your loved one is home from rehab, continue to support them by encouraging good choices and behavior. Don’t allow your loved one to be tempted by the people, places, and things that will remind them of their past use. Instead, help them focus on uplifting, healthy activities and habits. Be a positive influence in their life, and you can make a difference in their recovery.