Posts Tagged Drug Abuse Treatment
It could really be a difficult challenge for people to accept that the people they love are using drugs. It does not matter whether it is your child, your spouse, a sibling, or a very close friend of yours—once you find out that they are into drugs, this will probably make you feel that you were not able to do your job to give them adequate support and guidance.
Self-blaming does not result to a positive outcome. What you need to do is try your very best to help them put their attention to new things.
Here is a rundown of the things that you can do in case a person you care about is apparently into drugs:
Address the problem
In any kind of problem, you need to confront the issue and accept that it happened. When you do not put in the effort to talk things out with the person using drugs, you are allowing the person to stay in the dark moment of his or her life.
However, it is also expected that this step will be very difficult because there is no single approach that can be effective for all. As a result, you really have to think about the right approach that you will use so that the intervention will be easier or more comfortable for both parties.
It is also important to remember that communication is a two-way street, so make sure that you give them your full attention when they start speaking. Listen attentively and just let them talk about the things they wish to share.
It may also be probably helpful to ask about their future plans and offer your time and assistance. This way, they will have hope that they can achieve their plans, especially if there are ways for them to get over their addiction.
A very large percentage of drug addicts rely on illegal drugs because they are depressed, or because they are suffering from other mental illnesses. In this case, you may ask the person concerned if it is alright for them to visit a specialist who can help him/her in the process. Assure him/her that they are not alone in this.
Be someone’s companion in the process
Some addicts resort to drug abuse because they feel that nobody cares for them. Some addicts consider the temporary happiness that drugs can give them as an escape from the painful past or the troubled present.
One strategy that may work to help recovering addicts forget about their dark moments is through hobbies and new activities. If the person concerned is a family member, you may want to ask for the person’s close friend to help you in determining what possible activities may work best.
Once you have confronted and talked to the person, you may now exert your best effort to become the best companion there is. You have the power to distract the person from bad habits, by being that person who opens doors for new adventures for them to engage in.
You may ask the person if any of these sound exciting for him/her: traveling, art lessons, foreign language classes, or sports. Any new activity or a forgotten hobby may probably sound exciting, especially if he/she does it with your company.
The main idea is that you have to make the person feel that you are available. Time is the key.
Encourage the person to ‘sweat out’ the addiction
While cooking and baking may sound like a good choice to deflect a person’s attention from doing drugs, sweating out the urge of using drugs is also a very reliable strategy.
Breaking sweat triggers the body to produce higher levels of happy hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These hormones make someone feel happier and contented, and therefore prevent a person from thinking negative thoughts. Music therapy, when partnered with regular exercise, is a good way to deal with almost any type of addiction.
Once a person you love has acknowledge that he/she needs therapy before any type of intervention from experts, it may probably be a good idea to go put exercise as part of the daily routine.
Getting support from family members
There is no greater rock to rely on than family. Problems and struggles are easier when you go through them with family.
Once you find out that a family member of yours is doing drugs, it would be best to privately discuss the problem with the person first. Afterwards, the both of you may consult other family members on what possible solutions can be done. You have to assure the person that he/she is loved no matter what, and that the family is not going to judge the bad decisions he/she made.
Dealing with a close friend’s drug addiction is another story. If you are the first one to find out, you have to respect the person’s decision if he/she wants to discuss it with his/her family. Although it is a given that the family should know, all you can do from here is to advice your friend to ask from his/her family’s help whenever he/she is ready.
Once your friend agrees, try your best to offer your full support in the next steps he/she plans to take. After all, you are essentially your friend’s family too!
Getting support from self-help groups
Some recovering drug addicts attend self-help groups to make them understand their situation better through varying perspectives. You probably have an idea how the drill works in self-help groups: people who share similar circumstance are brought together to discuss how they successfully went through the challenges.
Encouraging a loved one of yours who is into drugs to attend self-help groups will probably help the person in the long run. Perspectives from members of these groups will give the person a better understanding of his/her situation using other lenses.
Discuss treatment options with the person
If the person acknowledges that he/she cannot get over drug addiction without the help of a specialist, you need to be ready to offer other treatment options.
However, make sure that the decision is an outcome of the person’s thorough self-assessment so that the process will be easier. The treatment will be more worth it for the person because it is his/her own decision, and he/she is aware that it is a need to make his/her life better.
Help the person set attainable and meaningful goals
A vital part of the process of helping someone going through drug addiction is making him/her feel that the plans he/she sets are important. While these goals are personally set by the recovering addict, you need to make the person feel that he/she is not alone in the scheme of things.
If, for instance, the person sets a timeline of his/her plans after getting treatment or therapy, you have to ask help from others on how you can all put in efforts to make the treatment plans work.
The abovementioned strategies may be helpful for people to get away from their drug addiction. However, there is also a need to know the root causes why people use drugs in the first place. Knowing the reasons behind drug addiction can also make things easier for people to accept their loved one’s drug addiction. As said earlier, self-blaming is never part of the solution.
Read on the following common reasons why people resort to using drugs:
1. Stress reliever
The body has a natural response to stress, but the way we go through different sources of stress will always vary for every person.
We need to be aware that people have different outlets to relieve stress: some sleep for longer hours, some eat in huge amounts, some go spend large amount of money for shopping, and others do strenuous activities such as sports. However, some people use illegal drugs to relieve their stress, claiming that using drugs is the only thing that gives them a different kind of high.
More often than not, they consider the bad habit as their stress reliever because they become less sensitive of the daily pressures of life caused by work, family conflicts, and failed relationships.
Because of the temporary high that drugs provide, users will rely on them believing that the feeling kills the stress they are going through, even just for a while.
2. Peer pressure
Some drug addiction cases are results of peer pressure and the longing to fit and feel wanted in a group. If the person is in close contact with those who are also into drugs, there is a big chance that the person will be invited and forced to use drugs too.
Peer pressure does not only happen at a young age. In fact, it knows no age, although teenagers are most vulnerable to it.
If a family member of yours is doing drugs as a result of apparent peer pressure, then it would be best to advice the person to limit interactions with these bad influences. If you are a parent of a teenager doing drugs with his/her friends, it may be best to talk to your child and make him/her feel that you understand what peer pressure does to a person. It is a wake-up call for you to spend more time with your family, especially your child who’s undergoing identity crisis.
Boredom is a scary and tricky state that brings about a lot of possibilities. Sadly, one possibility is doing drugs. People using drugs out of boredom have probably very few options on where to dedicate their spare time.
Having said that, it is very important to offer your time to deflect attention by sharing hobbies and interests with people recovering from drug addiction. It does not have to be a grand activity. You may simply download movies and watch it with them, go to the park and have a small picnic with family and common friends, or visit museums that offer free admission.
Most Commonly Abused Substances
One of the reasons why people use drugs is because they find it too available and that it can be easily and readily accessed anytime. Here is a list of commonly used drugs that are considered popular compared to others:
- Cannabis / marijuana
- LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
- Psychedelic Mushrooms
Early intervention is key to addressing drug addiction, and it’s important that you give your time and attention to your loved one who may be addicted to drugs. On a final note, your mindset to help them should not be disciplinary in nature. Rather, it must come from love and concern for the recovering addict.
Studies have shown that adolescents are at higher risk of taking alcohol and drugs, to the point of abuse. This has something to do with the fact that they are at the stage where they become more aware of their sexuality and peer-grouping. For many youth, being surrounded with friends or acquaintances that use drugs and alcohol keeps them under pressure to start experimenting on illegal substances, too.
However, a feature on Addictionpro.com says that teaching adolescents self-regulation is one of the surest way for parents, educators, and doctors to address drug use and dependence among teenagers. MRI studies demonstrate that several development processed in the brain continue throughout adolescence. Therefore, educating teenagers about appropriate self-regulation skills can go a long way in keeping them off the use and dangers of drugs.
The report stressed that while brain maturation cannot be stopped by parents and youth-serving professionals, they can surely influence it. Always considering the possibility that some youth may make the potentially life-altering decision to become involved with drugs, including prescription drugs, one path for parents and treatment providers may be to teach important skills that may be a “weakness” for the adolescent brain. SAMHSA’s NREPP process lists these skills as impulse control; “second” thought processes; social decision-making; dealing with risk situations, and taking healthy risks.
The White House announced last week a new drug control policy that awards $22 million in grants to tackle substance abuse treatment and crime.
Dubbed Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), the grant program will provide Iowa, Arizona, and New Jersey up to $7.5 million over 5 years to screen and treat people with substance abuse disorders in different primary care settings and emergency rooms. The three states were chosen through a competitive grant process. The program will be enforced in areas with high numbers of low-income people and traditionally underinsured who receive care at federally qualified health centers and other clinics.
At a press conference, Pamela Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, said “We know that prevention works, treatment helps, and people get better.”
Officials have been alarmed by the growing trend of substance abuse in the country, especially the skyrocketing cases of people misusing prescription medications. Even more alarming is the fact that many drug users are not getting the treatment they need to overcome their addiction, as well as other health problems related to drug use.
The core principle of SBIRT is to integrate mental and physical health screening and treatment. Patients who test for abusing substances will be given brief counseling, consisting mostly of a 5-to-10-minute educational talk. Law enforcement leaders expressed full support to the policy and are even leading the way. “This program represents the future of drug control policy in our nation,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Henry County’s Court is offering an 18-month intensive program for adult felony drug offenders. Under the supervision of Superior Court Judge Brian Amero, the drug court helps drug users to recover from their addictions through a program which is funded, ironically, by money seized from drug raids and court fees paid by offenders.
Judge Amero says he makes those under the treatment become taxpayers instead of becoming tax burdens and liabilities of the community. He was inspired to undertake such mission when he was faced again and again with drug users who say no one was addressing their problems so they continue with their habits.
It is the third accountability court of the country from among the 3,000 which have been set up in various areas nationwide. They help offenders not by sending them to jail, but through intensive rehabilitation programs that focus on the underlying problems that fuels their addictions. It is also equipped with a DUI court and a mental health court.
John Foller, the Atlanta-based coordinator of the state’s accountability court system says the drug court is considered an investment where more people are treated at the least expense.
An amount of $10,220 is allotted for the duration of a two-month program which includes counseling, screenings, and courtroom costs. Compared to the $85,440 that the state spends to incarcerate a person for five years, the drug court’s budget is significantly lower.
But before other offenders get the wrong idea and think that it’s an easy way out, the program is organized to effectively ensure an individual’s total recovery. Jail time can be suspended but offenders are required to attend counseling sessions of at least nine hours a week, 20 hours of community service weekly, and other activities such as random drug testing and police searches.
Most of the participants say they are learning a lot from the program and that they are kept busy which is a good way of taking their minds off from their addictions. If a person under the program fails to complete and follow all the guidelines set, he will have to serve his initial jail sentence.
“It’s a remarkable savings,” Amero said. “It’s not just a tax saving. You’re also allowing people to reconnect to the community in a positive way.”
When a drug crisis happens in the family, immediate interventions are important. Interventions are done to be able to help and save a family member whose life is being destroyed by his or her addictions. The process will allow drug or alcohol addicts to admit that they are in trouble and that they will have the courage to voluntarily get into treatment facilities.
There are three basic types of intervention: simple, classical, and family system.
Simple intervention happens when a person asks the drug or alcohol addict to simply stop his or her addictions. This type of intervention needs to be done repeatedly, though, to be effective in most cases. You’ll be surprised on what a simple request can do. This type of intervention should be the first to be considered before going into more advanced methods.
Classical intervention has been used for the longest time to help addicts. It happens when the element of a drug and alcohol treatment facility is involved. The goal for this type of intervention is to persuade a troubled individual to seek the help of professionals to control his addictions.
The family system of intervention is usually focused on the family and not only on the addict. The whole family gets involved in helping their troubled family member fight off his addictions. This will require changes in the whole family’s behavior to have a positive influence on the addicted member. These changes will help an addict consider getting help from drug rehabilitation centers to be sober again.
Yet the family’s involvement in the healing process is vital, whether their addicted family member goes into a rehab center or not. This is why proper education and the correct information or knowledge should be shared to the whole family so that each member will know how to deal with the troubled individual.
Treating drug addiction is never easy, and it requires much time and effort for a person to become sober again. When an individual is trapped in his addiction, a lot of factors come into play, and they all contribute in coming up with complex troubles that a drug abuser and the people around him eventually experience.
There are some who prefer to go into alternative types of treatment for drug addiction. Among the methods, the psychedelic substance treatment is one of the promising ways to treat drug addiction, although many will be doubtful of their efficacy at first glance. Psychedelic which means soul-manifesting was first introduced in 1957 by Humphry Osmond, a psychiatrist.
One psychedelic treatment that comes all the way from the Amazon is the Ayahuasca. It is a brew made from a vine and a leaf which has been known to treat problems of the body, mind and spirit. It has unique healing properties, which has been proven by a large congregation in Brazil. The Santo Daime claimed that members of the church who struggled with substance abuse were able to turn their backs on their addictions just by having regular consumption of ayahuasca brew.
The Iboga is another psychedelic plant drug from West Africa which contains the alkaloid ibogaine, known to take away an individual’s addiction to certain substances by fixing the brain chemicals that will control his mental and biological inclinations.
Lastly, the cactus peyote is also a psychedelic drug which can fight drug addiction. In fact, the Native American Church’s religious ceremonies of legally dispensing peyote have been a sought-after rite by those who want to be free of their drug dependency. There has been a number of testimonies made by troubled addicts that this plant has helped them get back on the right track again.