How You Can Help Someone Addicted to Pills
When you see a friend who needs help to buy some groceries or a loved one asking to watch their children while they work, it’s easy to say “no problem”. But, when you watch a person you care about fall into the spiral of an addiction, knowing what to do or say can leave you fumbled and confused.
An addiction is considered to be a chronic disease with a direct effect on the brains rewards system, neuron connectors and memory. This dysfunction leads to physical, psychological, biological, social and even spiritual issues or consequences in the individual. As the addiction to pills or other substances progresses, the pursuit of the drug and the reward for the brain is alleviated by using and its associated behaviors.
One of the biggest differences in the disease of addiction is that it not only has a direct effect on the user, but also those around them. Arguments, physical harm, emotional upheavals, financial troubles, theft, being put in risky situations or relationship woes are all things that you may be faced with. It’s understandable that when trying to help someone addicted to pills, the road to sobriety and recovery may seem grim.
An Addiction is Powerful but Can Be Beat
An addiction to pills results in changes in the brain. Opioids, CNS depressants, benzodiazepines and other legal highs can be extremely powerful. Once this addiction has developed, breaking free can be difficult. Fortunately, there are proven treatment methods which can help people who abuse pills. These include medications like naloxone, naltrexone and buprenorphine as well as counselling, 12 step meetings, group sessions and journal writing. With time, dedication and support, a person with a pill addiction can get on the right path.
You may be wondering what you can do in the meantime; after all, you won’t ever be able to force someone to go to a rehab. Here are a few pointers:
Address the Situation at Hand
It’s common for loved ones of addicts to ignore the problem, turn a blind eye or automatically assume they cannot help the person. Although this can be the easiest way to escape unwanted emotions, it’s not healthy for you or the addict. If you saw someone choking and could save their life with the Heimlich maneuver, would you do it or sit back and watch them suffer? Most likely you would run to help them.
In the case of someone with a pill addiction, you can do something similar and that is merely talking to them. Not in a judgmental, cynical way, but rather in a compassionate supportive manner. As sensitive an issue as it is, it could be the thing that encourages them to go to a rehab for a pill addiction.
Before you engage in this conversation keep a few things in mind:
- Avoid bringing up the subject when the person is on pills or other drugs. Most likely they will not fully comprehend what you are saying and become defensive, upset and impatient.
- Make sure you are completely sober.
- Set a time when you and your loved one can talk about their medication abuse. Make sure it’s not going to be interrupted or cut short.
- Listen to what they have to say, even if you don’t agree. Remind them you care and that your concern for their wellbeing is why you are doing this.
- Use open ended dialogue so it creates back and forth conversation.
- If the person says there is no problem. Stay true to what you believe and remind them you are here.
- Finally, don’t speculate or explore motives and understand that there will likely not be an immediate major shift in behavior or action.
If you think the above is too much to handle or out of your capacity, it may be a good idea to consider a prescription or OTC addiction intervention. This will be guided by a professional interventionist and/or addiction specialist. As a scheduled meeting, it will attempt to get the individual to admit they have a problem and need help.
Education is Key
Whatever happens during the time of helping a person with an addiction to pills, it’s important you continue to educate yourself. Learn about behaviors, emotions and mental disorders which are related to addiction. Find out how you can help yourself. Look for meetings and read online addiction blogs. It’s never a bad idea to learn about the types of treatment available and do research on rehabs which could have ideal programs that suit your needs and budget.
When It’s Time to Go to Rehab
Once your loved one has decided to get help for a pill addiction at a rehab, it’s crucial you maintain your concern and support. Keep in touch while they are there, if deemed appropriate by the rehab staff. Remember rehab is only the beginning. The recovery process is long and will come with many more battles, but with each hurdle you and the individual will have the chance to become stronger and healthier - body and mind.
OTC and Prescription Medication Rehab Programs in Thailand
If you would like to know more about our cost affordable addiction programs for opiates, CNS depressants, benzodiazepines, stimulants and more, please contact Serenity Chiang Rai.