Chemical addictions present a severe problem in the modern day world. Sadly, it’s estimated that over six million children in America live with at least one parent addicted to some drug. Also, figures show that employers lose $122 billion in productivity every year due to addiction. These are devastating statistics, but when addiction affects someone’s loved ones, the reality of the problem becomes apparent. This is why everyone should know how to help an addicted loved one find treatment for addiction if necessary.
Recognizing the Addiction
The most important thing in helping an addicted loved one find a way to overcome their addiction is first to realize whether they have one or not. While there’s no doubt that an addicted person may not recognize their addiction, the likelihood also exists that their loved one won’t correctly recognize it. Everyone should realize that there is help for those addicted to any drug. In fact, statistics show which substances that those who seek treatment are addicted to, and these drugs go across the spectrum:
- Alcohol – 23 percent
- Alcohol in combination with other drugs – 18.3 percent
- Marijuana – 17 percent
- Heroin – 14.1 percent
- Crack cocaine – 8.1 percent
- Methamphetamine – 6.1 percent
- Cocaine – 3.2 percent
- Other drugs – 10.2 percent
The good news is that, regardless of which drug a person is addicted to, there is hope for them. Unfortunately, recognizing addiction may not always be that easy. It’s imperative to take note of neglected responsibilities such as missing work or school. Additionally, symptoms such as irritability, hygienic deterioration and even new hangouts and friends can point towards possible addictive behavior.
Sadly, some symptoms are even worse than those already mentioned. DUI, disorderly conduct, and drug arrests all point towards a possible addiction problem. Those who experience hallucinations or paranoia could also be facing addiction issues. Needing to borrow or, even worse, steal money consistently is another telltale sign. Recognizing these potential symptoms is imperative before one can start to help their loved one.
Bringing Up the Issue
If someone is destroying their lives through addiction, it’s imperative to breach the subject with them and ensure that they know what’s going on. This conversation should never be attempted when the individual is drunk, high or otherwise affected by their substance of choice. Speaking with an addict while he or she is high is pointless, and in reality, it can even make things worse.
Once it’s possible for a person to speak to their family member or friend sober, the topic should be brought up in a manner that doesn’t seem threatening in any way. It’s important to address all of the concerns that a person has calmly. It’s possible that the addict will deny that their behavior is affecting anyone other than themselves, and they may see this as a legitimate excuse. This is why it’s imperative to bring up instances where their behavior has affected others.
Examples of how a person’s addiction is affecting those around them can be something as simple as “I had to lie to our boss again for you last week, and if he finds out the truth, I’m liable to be fired.” Even those who aren’t related to the addict, however, need to understand that the addiction may very likely destroy their family. The statistics pertaining to addiction within the family are excessively disheartening:
- Studies have found that 72 percent of battered women report alcohol addiction in their husbands
- 90 percent of men will leave a relationship with a woman who’s addicted to something
- In women with children, 90 percent will stay with a husband who’s an addict
- Nearly 80 percent of child welfare professionals cite substance abuse as a contributing factor in at least 50 percent of all child maltreatment cases
While the statistics mentioned above are damning, it’s important to realize that these instances may not be occurring in every family where addition happens. This means that none of these facts should be presented in an accusatory way. It’s important to use discretion about the issue and make sure that they understand how their addiction is negatively affecting them and others.
Finding Help for an Addicted Loved One
Helping an addicted loved one find help for their addiction is essential. It’s necessary to recognize that there are as many types of treatment as there are drug addictions; and while each of these treatment options has their advantages, only a specific one will be the best for a loved one who needs help. The treatment that best fits a person’s needs will be able to give them the most benefit while having the ability to adapt into their lifetime.
It’s necessary to do a little research to see what types of programs will fit the criteria as mentioned above. Does a person need to work during the day and then spend time with their loved ones at night? Some treatments can help. Will an individual need continuous checkups to maintain sobriety? There are programs for that as well. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) even has a number that can be contacted that provides referrals to treatment programs.
It also never hurts for a person to ask their addicted loved one if they’d be more comfortable with support at their side during the treatment process. Whether they’re undergoing outpatient therapy or merely attending a support group, it’s imperative to be there if a loved one needs it. Additionally, this will give an individual the chance to see the type of treatment that will be provided. This is a great way to ensure that an addict is getting the absolute best care possible.
Addiction is a severe problem in the world, and sadly, those who face it alone often come out on the losing side of the battle. Fortunately, for those who have loved ones that care about them, there is already a support group in place to help them in their struggle for sobriety. Kicking an addiction is never going to be an easy decision or process, but it’s one that’s well worth it. If in the end, an individual can help their addicted loved one find help to overcome their problem, then they’ve done a service that can likely never be repaid.