In America, nearly 21 million people have at least one addiction, and only 10% of them receive treatment. Substance addiction is a mental disorder that caused over 700,000 deaths from 1999 to 2017. What's worse, 90% of people with addiction started alcohol or substance use before the age of 18. It is also revealed that Americans aged 18-25 years old are the ones most vulnerable to drug addiction.
This disease continues to impact many lives, including the loved ones of drug-dependents. Lives are lost, families are destroyed, relationships are broken, and so on. It's wearying to deal with an addicted loved one on a daily basis, and that's probably why so many of them are left untreated.
However, despite being emotionally and mentally draining, they should be encouraged to seek treatment. No matter how bad their conditions are, they aren't hopeless. Rehabilitation centers in Pocatello and other areas can help your loved one recover and start a new life without drugs.
Why Do People Use Drugs?
For young people, it usually starts with wanting to change something in their lives. They may want to fit in, escape something, relieve their boredom, feel grown-up, rebel, or experiment. These simple desires will turn dangerous once they use hazardous means such as drugs to fulfil them.
A small amount of drug will stimulate their senses, making them more energized, while larger amounts can slow them down like a sedative. When they take it in excessive amounts, it can be fatal.
Drug abuse has an effect on the mind that compels users to take more. Their perception of their surroundings would change, causing them to act irrational, odd, inappropriate, and even destructive. Their alertness and thinking would be affected as well because drugs block off all sensations.
Drugs can deceive its users with their initial effects of happiness. However, after the effect wears off, the user would only experience a worse crash. When this happens repeatedly, their skills and talents would also be affected. Creativity will be destroyed, ruining one's jobs or education.
How to Help a Drug-Dependent Seek Treatment
Forcing a substance-addicted loved one to seek treatment will not work. Addiction is a compulsion, so users are unable to control their impulses to use illegal repeatedly. Even if they agree to receive treatment, they may fail in their attempt to recover, so a different approach is needed to help them.
As a loved one of a drug-addicted person, you hold a lot of influence in their life. To help them seek treatment, you should show them love and support, and not anger and frustration. Avoid blaming them for their condition, because, as stated, addiction is a disease that is out of their control.
Together with more loved ones of the drug-addicted person, make a plan focused on helping them. Gather together and talk to your addicted loved one calmly and clearly about your concerns. Offer social support and information about rehabilitation centers so they would be encouraged, and not forced, to finally seek treatment.
Rehabilitation programs consist of in-depth medical and psychological evaluations, detox services, diagnosis, a peaceful setting away from temptations of relapsing, nutritional therapy, group therapies and family sessions, and a supportive transition into sober living and outpatient treatment. There are misconceptions about rehab not being effective, but in reality, many substance-addicted and alcoholic individuals have recovered from various rehab programs.
Like other conditions, substance addiction is also prone to relapsing. If your loved one shows signs of relapsing after a while of completing the rehab program, show them support like how you did when they were at the peak of their condition. Ask the rehabilitation center on how they handle relapses and encourage your loved one to seek treatment once again.
Love and support are our greatest weapons to combat substance addiction. Judgement and resentment will not do them any good, so even if it's difficult and exhausting, we must continue to be their supportive pillars. However, remember to set boundaries and don't indulge them with more prohibited substances to satiate them. If you truly care for them, you'll encourage them to seek professional help and look after them as they recover and start new lives.