What are Effective Ways to Help Those Suffering with Addiction?

Help to Fight Addiction

What are effective ways to help those suffering with addiction? There is no cure for addiction. There are effective ways of overcoming the factors that contribute to it. What does and does not help an addict seek or accept treatment and stay in recovery?

A Multifaceted Approach

The variety of substances and behaviors that have become so all-consuming that a person neglects himself to death is on the increase. Surviving severe alcohol, drug, food, even Internet addictions requires removing the addict from the triggers and easy access for a period of time and into an intensive, objective setting where a team of trained, experienced professionals can move them safely through the stages of recovery. Unnatural dependence on substances that are habit-forming affects not only the addict; its profound effects on others are far-reaching.

What are Effective Ways to Help Those Suffering with Addiction?

Crime and lost productivity comprised $327 billion of total annual costs reported. (Drugabuse.org)
Healthcare costs for alcohol and drug addictions treated in 2009 consumed another $41 billion.
Of the 23.5 million persons in 2008 aged 12 or older who needed treatment for addiction, 14.8% were ages 25-29. 12-17 year olds accounted for 7.5%. 23% comprised the combined 30-39 age groups.
More than half of the admissions were White. The remainder were comprised mainly of African-Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, American Indian or Alaska Natives, and Asian/Pacific Islanders.
Binge eating disorders are serious and treatable. Compared with their peers, people with anorexia nervosa are 18 times more likely to die early. (The National Institute of Mental Health)
PBS.org has promoted awareness of the seriousness of Internet addictions and how America is responding to the crisis.
Hurting and broken relationships litter their path of addiction.

This is why inpatient treatment is a crucial lifeline to saving the life of an addict and helping the loved ones drowning in a sea of addiction.

How Inpatient Treatment Works

It begins with a comprehensive interview and physical exam to prioritize the most urgent needs. An addiction-specific treatment plan is formed. As the body is healing, destructive behaviors and thought patterns are targeted in a daily routine that may include cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy helps teach better coping skills for the triggers of substance abuse and to exchange destructive habits for reconstructive practices. Once the person is strong enough to attempt a return to independent living, inpatient treatment outlines a realistic, personal aftercare plan into transition upon discharge.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment for Patient

Temporarily removes the suffering addict from the environment that triggers and enables their substance dependence.
A highly qualified, collaborative team of professionals can safely monitor the potentially dangerous withdrawal.
The possibility of co-occurring substance abuse and other disorders such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder can be assessed and addressed more effectively during inpatient treatment.
Emergency room care alone isn’t effective enough. A progressive disease that developed over a period of time cannot be properly treated by temporarily stabilizing the addict only to release them shortly into the same environment that feeds their dependence.
Supportive environment among peers who understand what non-addicts cannot fathom and who treat them with compassion instead of contempt as they face the humbling truth about their addiction.
Develop strategies and a support network that foster independence from the addiction and enable long-term recovery with fewer to no relapses.

Benefits of Inpatient Treatment for Family of Patient

Addresses their immediate concerns without judging them.
Explains how the family member may be contributing to the addiction cycle and how to stop enabling it.
Offers concrete suggestions for changing their approach in helping.
Realistically prepares them for the patient’s eventual discharge.
Provides proven strategies for coping with relapses and supporting long-term recovery

How Loved Ones Can Help

You must stop enabling the addict to indulge their addiction.
Trust your instincts and don’t ignore the problem.
Wait until they’re coherent enough to understand, then speak up about the problem in a non-threatening manner.
Listen when they need to vent, and assure them that they have options when they’re ready to get the help they need.
Don’t gossip or joke about the problem. Discuss things discreetly and in private without intimidating or judging.
Don’t sacrifice someone’s safety. Take away the keys if they’ve had too much.
Realize that you alone cannot save them from self-destruction, and that if they bring their life to a premature end, it will not be your fault.
Many inpatient treatment programs offer family support to help you break your part in their cycle of substance abuse. They can guide you in encouraging the addict to take a serious step out of addiction and how you can support their recovery.

Instead of enabling the addiction, enable the addict to seek the intensive help they need to step out of their vicious cycle of substance dependence and self-destructive habits. Inpatient care can be a powerful step toward that outcome.

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