If someone you love has suffered or is suffering from alcoholism, it may be difficult for you to meet halfway in dealing with things. People who suffer from excessive alcohol use are unable to control the amount they drink. You need to approach them with deep understanding and empathy.
You also need to look out for warning signs. “[T]he trouble with warning signs is that we often don’t recognize them at the time we most need to. With something like addiction that takes some time to develop, we may already be steps down the path before we realize we’re even on it,” Peg O’Connor, PhD, wrote. They may seem insignificant at first, “however, if they become more common and routine over a period of time, they warrant further attention.”
Joshua Gowin, PhD, wrote, “[B]ehavioral researchers sought to understand the physiological and psychological effects of drinking. Drinking profoundly alters mood, arousal, behavior, and neuropsychological functioning.”
While it’s true that the fate of an alcoholic is in his own hands, as a loved one, you can still take steps to help them break free from alcoholism. The following may give you ideas on how to help an alcoholic find the way back to sobriety:
As someone close to the alcoholic, you might be mad or sad at the situation. However, do not be careless in communicating with them. Both of you may find striking up a conversation uncomfortable, but voicing out your concern is necessary for them to know that you sincerely want to help. Bringing up their drinking problems carefully in the conversation can help make them understand where your concern is coming from.
Keep in mind that alcoholism is a disorder alcoholics didn’t want. Thus, they need someone who will continuously be on their side to guide them.
Do Not Lecture Them
When you reach out to an alcoholic, do not impose on them. Shaming them and saying they’re at fault will only make them more distant, leading them to rely more on drinking. Outright judgment can also lower their self-esteem.
Be careful in choosing the words you say to them. Avoid harshly condemning them for their behaviors, as it can lead to denial and resistance, which will do more harm. If the situation allows, you can suggest they get professional help. However, you must be extra careful in bringing the topic up as the thought can hit them negatively.
Do Not Be An Enabler
Remember that you’re there to help them, not to tolerate their wrong actions. Being an enabler means letting them get off the hook and continue drinking. If you see signs that you’re already making excuses for their behavior, you might already be enabling them. If they think that they’ll get out bad situations because of their drinking behavior, then they may end up taking advantage of that.
Enabling them is tantamount to allowing their drinking disorder to continue. It can also mean doing things for them which they are capable of accomplishing. If someone keeps on taking on an alcoholic’s responsibilities, they will never learn to get back up on their own.
Offer Assistance In Finding Help
If the alcoholic is ready to receive help, offer your assistance in finding ways to help them. Giving them a starting point in their recovery process will help lessen their worries about it. Review different treatment programs to decide which will be a good fit for the alcoholic. They can enroll in recovery support groups, treatment centers, or therapy sessions. Having these choices ready for them can make the way to sobriety more manageable for them.
Be with them throughout their recovery process. Showing that you care can help put their mindset back on track. Always remember that having people who support them is vital for their continued and long-term rehabilitation.
Alcoholics fall into alcoholism for different reasons. As a loved one, it may be challenging to face the situation. But if you’re in a position to help, it will be worth all the effort once they gain sobriety and get back to society once more.
“Family members easily become codependent with the alcoholic. Without help, that codependency follows the same downward trajectory of alcoholism,” wrote Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT. “There is hope, however, and there is help for the addict and for family members.”
The road to recovery can be a long and challenging journey for people struggling from substance abuse. That is why apart from the necessary interventions, they will need the full support and utmost care from their loved ones.
Family and friends have vital roles in helping recovering drug addicts get back on their feet. However, family member and friends should also know the proper way to approach and reach out to their loved ones who are coping.
Understanding Substance Abuse
Before families and friends can help their loved ones recover from substance abuse, it is best to educate themselves about the addiction. For instance, you may show them BetterHelp articles or videos. That may show them that not every individual who uses drugs immediately falls into substance abuse. However, for those who do, it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when the addiction started.
Various risk factors can cause substance abuse. People with a history of addiction in the family are most likely to inherit the inclination to drugs. Having mental health disorders and traumatic experiences of abuse can lead someone to cope with drugs too. Apart from that, the early use of drugs, primarily through smoking and injection, may be hard to quit with the frequency of use.
Once a person begins to practice drug abuse, there will be manifestations in both the physical and behavioral aspects. Some of the symptoms you want to look out for are as follows:
- Red or glassy eyes and runny or stuffy nose
- Excessive money spending
- Changing sleeping patterns
- Loss of interest in activities
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Mood swings
How To Reach Out To A Loved One
Schedule therapy sessions and connect with treatment programs.
Distant family members and friends are the last things that a recovering person needs. Engaging in support groups and therapy programs can help families and friends reconnect and understand their loved ones. These appointments are a safe space to discuss the condition and the proper ways to cope with it.
“Family-based intervention programs address the whole family as a system, teaching appropriate parenting and family management skills. These programs are the most effective way of preventing or treating adolescent substance abuse and delinquency ,” Joseph Nowinski Ph.D. says.
Spend time together.
It is necessary to spend valuable time with a recovering loved one. Being alone makes a person stressed and lonely, which may encourage them to fall back to their addiction. Staying in touch through activities like cooking, going out, finding new hobbies, or simply hanging out together can go a long way.
Make sure they get regular exercise.
Short exercises every day can have a lot of positive benefits for a person. Working out and engaging in physical activities can reduce levels of anxiety and depression. Exercise can be a healthy outlet for all the stress that an individual is feeling.
Stick to a sleeping schedule.
Sleeping problems can have adverse effects such as depressive moods and high levels of anger, sadness, and exhaustion. By creating and sticking to a sleep schedule, the patient can condition his or her brain to rest at the designated time.
Understand that recovery is an ongoing process.
Coming back from substance addiction is not an easy task. Being a support system means being patient with your loved ones as they make mistakes and adapt to the changes happening to them. Continue being involved in their transitioning, especially as they struggle.
“When it comes to kicking an addiction, the only way that a patient can really change is if they want to modify behavior,” Dr. Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC shares. “Without motivation to take action or seek out treatment, then whatever tactic put into place to solve the addiction will fail over time when the individual relapses,” she added.
Be careful about how you talk to them.
Even in stressful moments, family and friends should make sure that they don’t enable addictive behaviors. Be sensitive with their emotions. It won’t help to argue, threaten, or lecture your loved one.
The best way you can support a loved one with substance abuse problems is by encouraging them throughout their journey. It won’t always be easy, but it will be critical to their recovery.
People who use drugs are people too. Whether you use drugs or know someone who does, harm reduction is an approach you can use to prevent the adverse effects of drug use and misuse. The stigma against people who use drugs remains strong, and providing support for people at their most vulnerable becomes even more critical.
What Is Harm Reduction Exactly?
Harm reduction exists in our everyday lives. Harm reduction involves the implementation of practical ideas and strategies that aim to minimize the negative consequences of a particular behavior. It can include the simplest things, such as seatbelts, hard hats, and sunscreen. All these protect us from harm in everyday situations, such as driving, working in construction sites, and going out in the sun. It stops people from being injured or dying from something preventable.
You may also apply harm reduction to drug use and misuse. Harm reduction focuses on positive change through a range of health and social services and practices. These apply to users of illicit drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine as well as licit substances such as alcohol and tobacco.
How Is Harm Reduction Different?
The most common approach to drug misuse is the punitive response or placing people in jail. Coincidentally, some people who use drugs commit crimes. However, this does not mean all people who use drugs are criminals.
Harm reduction stands in contrast to incarceration measures. It is grounded in the belief in and respect for the rights of people who use drugs. As such, it involves working with people without judgment, coercion, discrimination, or requiring that they stop using drugs altogether before supporting them.
How Can You Practice Harm Reduction?
How does harm reduction proceed in the context of drug and alcohol use? The primary goals of harm reduction are to keep people alive and to encourage positive change in their lives. These approaches are facilitative instead of coercive. On the personal and communal levels, the simplest form of harm reduction is providing people with information on safer-use practices for drugs.
Safer-use practices do not promote drug use. Instead, they advise users on how to reduce the risks associated with drug use, particularly contracting and passing on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Here are some ways to keep safe:
- Choose not to use. If you are not yet dependent, avoid using your drug of choice for more extended periods. Letting your body rest by not using even for a few hours or a few days will help keep you from getting hooked.
- Shoot safer. Pace your dosing according to the strength of the stash. Shooting into the veins in your arms and hands is safer than blindly going for your groin or your neck. Rotate sites and shoot downstream whenever possible. Always use new, clean needles.
- Choose safer ways. Ingesting the drugs by mixing them in food like brownies is safer than smoking. Smoking is safer than shooting.
- Less is more. Decide how much you want to use. Limit yourself to a certain amount. Leave the rest of your money at home. Ask a friend for help to remind you of your use limit. Doing so will keep you accountable and help you avoid overdosing from the drug’s toxic effects.
Harm reduction keeps you safe. Try your best to lessen your use with the help of your support system and a professional.
Aside from the alcoholics, the chain smokers and frequent drug users are perhaps the common types of individuals who seek help from a psychologist in hopes of getting rid of their addiction. After all, most of them have been doing it for years already, and so it is difficult for them to break the habit without professional intervention. The most practical decision, therefore, is to go to a licensed expert who can share as many techniques as possible to get over their problem.
How Vaping Can Make Smokers Live Longer
Smoking, just like any vice out there, is only enjoyable in the beginning. But when you start getting health complications because of it, feeling any remorse about it cannot restore your system quick. It is the ultimate reason why various governments oblige tobacco companies to print images of people suffering from multiple diseases caused by it to encourage more individuals to slow down with their inhalation of cigarette smoke. If you have a hard time stopping though, perhaps you have not tried vaping yet. Below are some ideas regarding how it can make smokers live longer.
1. Inhale Less Nicotine
Nicotine is the active substance in tobacco that causes a lot of damage to a person’s internal organs when inhaled continuously. Those who smoke will get more than yellowed teeth or dark gums after years of doing it. Let’s hope it does not happen, but if it activates your cancer cells and gives you a type of cancer that scientists still do not have a cure for, you will regret not vaping instead.
Since they are electronic, vaping materials do not require the use of tobacco leaves. The manufacturers can obtain high-grade chemicals to create the liquid that turns into vapor, so nicotine may not even be part of the ingredients.
2. Continue The Habit With Fewer Hazards
In connection to what has already been mentioned above, inhaling gas from an electric device demonstrates fewer health hazards compared to cigarettes. With vaping, you know that the main components of it are vegetable glycol and propylene glycerine, which are organic and commonly used by asthmatic patients, respectively. Thus, you can still “smoke” minus the dangers that regular rollups bring.
3. Forget The Taste Of Cigarette
Another reason why many folks cannot seem to take the cigarette out of their system is that they get addicted to its taste and smell. If you remain vaping for some time and try the different flavors that its producers offer, you may no longer remember the taste of cigarettes.
How To Find The Best CBD Oil
Because a lot of individuals are already seeing the adverse effects of taking synthetically crafted drugs in the long run, more and more begin to look for alternative treatments. It can help them stabilize or alleviate their health condition without the fear of the side effects haunting them after some time.
That is the reason behind the conception of cannabidiol (CBD), a medication that has been derived from the cannabis plant, which poses as the potential cure for a wide range of illnesses. Nevertheless, taking the most effective one among the products generated by different brands is still of utmost significance, that’s why below are a few tips on how to find the best CBD oil.
1. Discover Its Effectivity
A reliable manufacturer prints the volume, concentration, and purity of the cannabidiol that is in every bottle of this oil. These kinds of information are necessary because that is how the consumers will be able to tell if the merchandise can offer excellent benefits to them. The idea is that the purer the CBD is, or the higher concentration it has, the better.
2. See The Accessibility Of Lab Results
The leaders in the pharmaceutical companies always make the laboratory certifications for every product that they sell in the market available to their clients. Such examinations can validate that the medication is deprived of harmful chemicals and appease the worries that the patients may be feeling toward the treatment at once.
3. Check The Price
The rule of thumb is that the consumer should be wary if he or she notices that one product has a rate that is almost one-fifth of what the other brands charge for similar merchandise. It is a clear indication that something is off about the former since those who produce top-quality CBD oil usually cost a bit higher.
Vape and CBD oil are two alternative products for the substances that you may be addicted to. Talking about them in a positive light in this blog does not mean that you should use them forever, though. In the end, you should still strive to live without depending on any unnatural substance.