Illness is synonymous with mankind. While some occur naturally others are self induced. Drug addiction is one of the examples of self induced illnesses, which turns an individual into a slave. Whether it is alcohol, hard drug such as morphine derivative or over the counter (OTC) medication, addiction to any of these brings suffering for the addict and his/her family and friends.
It pains to see your dear one sink to the bottomless pit of self destruction. A thought which always pops up inside the head of family members and friends of the addict is “How did it happen?” Addiction could occur unknowingly too. Whether it is alcohol or drugs, it always begins with “Innocent” and “Fun” elements attached to it which gradually turns into “Serious” disorder. It simply means that person is no longer in control of his/her actions. The dependence on illicit drugs or alcohol forces addicts to do horrible things; steal, abuse, indulge in illegal activities, etc. just to satisfy his/her urge.
In such a scenario you as a family member or a friend need to make sure that your dear one is treated for this illness quickly. Mentioned below are typical scenarios you might face before that person is successfully cured.
Drug Addicts and Denials –
Drug addiction is considered a stigma, a taboo which no person would like to get associated with. In such a scenario a drug addict when confronted instantly turns violent and denies the fact.
So what is the solution? You need to ascertain the fact first. Check the addict’s background. Is he/she emotionally or financially in a spot of bother? Sometimes by just solving these issues or finding the reason/s can change the addict’s dependence on these substances. However, it could also happen that this person, who could be a friend or a family member, has sunk so deep into the drug sinkhole that no matter what you say or promise it has little impact or effect on this person’s bearing.
If such a situation arises you should have one-on-one chat. However, make sure you do not threaten that person with your actions or words. Remember, drugs offer insidious pleasures which are not easy to give up.
Denial is common amongst drug addicts. This calls for intervention which could be someone with whom the abuser feels comfortable talking to. It could be a family member, friend or a group of people who are either gifted with great convincing power or close to the addict. The purpose and the goal of this intervention are to make sure the addict acknowledges that he/she is hooked to alcohol/drugs and needs immediate treatment.
The best time to chat with an addict is when he/she is not under the influence of any abusive substance. It makes the task of convincing a little more comfortable. Secondly, you need to make sure that during the intervention unwanted and even necessary arguments are avoided. Addicts typically turn hostile when they are cornered or made aware of their illness.
Before actually talking about the illness, family and friends should first build trust. Through love and understanding the offensive stance of an addict can be mellowed down. Always remember, convincing an addict that he/she requires help is difficult. You may have to pull back every kind of support. This typically means no financial help of any form. It is a difficult proposition to see your dear one suffer but it is the only way to make him/her aware.
Intervention may or may not result in an admission. However, you need to cajole, console and convince your dear one that he/she has a problem and needs to come out clean about it. In case of admission your next step would be to discuss the issue more openly and harness your energies and focus towards finding a solution. In rarest of rare cases will the addict shun the habit of drug abuse and that too without any treatment. It requires sheer will power which is at its lowest in any hardcore addict. Offer options, let him/her participate and suggest the time and the way he/she would want to undergo the treatment.
Hold private meetings and if the need arises invite a professional who specialises in offering the right course of action depending on the mental and physical state of the addict. These certified counsellors are trained to handle sensitive cases such as drug and alcohol addiction, offering ways and means to treat such individuals both in terms of available options and the way to handle them.
The counsellor not only analyses the problem but also finds out the reason, the trigger for addiction. And based on this analysis this counsellor will recommend an appropriate treatment program.
Rehab Center –
Once the treatment option is chosen you need to make to sure that your dear one is immediately sent to a rehab center. This is crucial because addicts often waiver or go back on their promise which means convincing him/her once again. In short there should be absolutely no delay in treating such an individual.
These centers use various procedures based on clinical, psychological and physiological metrics. This typically means specialised and customized treatment to cure addicts in a phased manner, also called detoxification. Sudden pullback may turn the patient hostile and aggressive. Therefore the idea is to pull back the addictive substance over a definite timeline along with regular counselling. Admitting an abuser in a rehabilitation establishment also means finding out the cause or the reason for addiction.
Post Rehab Precautions –
Post treatment or cure it is advisable to change the environment of that person. A new habitat and new friends would allow your dear one to forget the past and the traumatic times associated with it. Cutting off links or disconnecting that person from “drug friends” would mean reduced chance of relapse. Remember, the cure is not guaranteed or permanent during the initial period. Even a slight trigger could push your dear one into the same dreaded sinkhole. You also need to maintain a healthy relationship and keep a close watch during post rehab period.