If your loved one has an opioid addiction, you want to help them any way you can. Many people may not understand how a family can help someone with an opioid addiction because of conflicting advice. However, support and compassion are two big ways to help, and here are three ways you can accomplish this.
1. Stay Supportive and Give Encouragement
Social support has a critical role to play in opioid use disorder recovery. Common advice suggests a approach where the family member avoids enabling their loved one by helping them at all costs. Other conventional wisdom might suggest an intervention where the family confronts the person with an addiction. However, researchers have no evidence showing that those kinds of interventions are always the best option. Refusing to support your loved one could potentially worsen a situation as everyone reacts differently. Consider these alternative ways to help:
- Encourage them to see a doctor: If your loved one doesn’t want to get treatment, you can ask if they will at least see their doctor. They may listen to a doctor’s opinion over yours because of the doctor’s professional training.
- Recommend treatment centers to them: Some people with opioid addiction can feel overwhelmed by the idea of treatment. If you find a treatment center that might appeal to your loved one, it may help them take the first step.
- Draw healthy and compassionate boundaries: As you support your loved one, you can still take care of yourself. You can provide emotional support while maintaining your finances and well-being.
As Dr. Peter Grinspoon writes on the Harvard Health Blog, “we suffer alone, but we recover together.”
2. Understand Your Loved One’s Situation
When trying to help a loved one with an opioid addiction, understanding their situation can help you assist them. Keep these factors in mind when learning about their disorder:
- Mental health conditions: Some people with opioid addiction develop their disorder as a way to “self-medicate” a mental health condition. Addressing the underlying condition can help them recover from addiction.
- Social and financial problems: Social isolation, unemployment, financial problems and other circumstances can raise a person’s risk of addiction. Supporting your loved one through these issues makes it easier for them to focus on recovery.
- Addiction and brain chemistry: When someone becomes addicted to opioids, their brain chemistry changes. Remember that addiction happens as a physical change as well as a behavioral change.
Understanding these possible underlying factors can help you give your loved one better support.
3. Help Them Find a Community
Opioid addiction can make someone feel like they have nobody who understands their situation. If your loved one doesn’t already go to a support group, consider recommending one to them. Group counseling and other types of support groups can help someone with an opioid addiction feel accepted and less alone.
Let MedMark Treatment Centers Support You or a Loved One
MedMark Treatment Centers helps people with opioid addictions and their loved ones across the United States. For more information about opioid addiction or to begin treatment, contact us online today.