According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2018 figures showed that the states of West Virginia, Maryland, and New Hampshire led the nation in opioid-related overdose fatalities for every 100,000 individuals at 42.4, 33.7, and 33.1, respectively.
Meanwhile, the National Center for Health Statistics under the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that over 70,000 Americans died due to drug-related overdose back in 2019. These drugs primarily include prescription opioids and illicit drugs, which are two of the most commonly abused substances in the country.
Finally, additional data showed that over 90 percent of individuals who developed an addiction revealed that they began drinking alcohol and taking illicit drugs before reaching the age of 18.
If you have a loved one who is suffering from a form of substance addiction — whether alcohol or illegal drugs — you need to reach out and help in any way you can to prevent the person from self-destructing.
Here are four easy ways to help a loved one overcome substance abuse:
Help them point out the cause of the addiction
When advising someone to ‘change for the better,’ it’s tempting to just volunteer one’s opinion without even getting first a bird’s eye view of the person’s problem. No matter how well-meaning you may be, doing so could only confuse the person if he or she doesn’t even know what led to the addiction in the first place.
As such, the first thing you need to do is to sit down with your loved one and try to work out together the cause of the addiction. It could be a traumatic incident you may or may not know about, a problem your loved one is keeping secret from all of you, or anything that triggered him or her to turn to alcohol or illegal drugs as a way to ‘escape’ from the emotional or psychological effects of the experience.
Once you have identified the root of the problem, then you can formulate logical solutions to it, which you may discuss with your loved one to see if he or she would be willing to try out the solutions you presented. The idea is to first know better details about your loved one’s addiction and then to offer him or her several ways out of it. The decision still lies with your loved one, which means you should never force him or her to accept your advice.
Convince him or her to undergo substance abuse rehab
There are cases of substance abuse that have gone past the consultation phase, to a point where only professional intervention could solve the problem. In such a case, see if you can convince your loved one to consider going to a facility that offers rehab programs for cocaine addiction or any type of addiction that your loved one is battling against.
Inside the rehab facility, your loved one would have professional help from staff in terms of counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other applicable treatment techniques that are customized to suit your loved one’s personality and peculiar rehab needs. There would no better place for someone with substance addiction than in a rehab facility that caters to such cases.
Act quickly and decisively
A lot of portrayals in Holly wood movies or TV shows of people with substance addiction show them only receiving help or professional intervention when they have gone to the lowest point in their lives. While this may be true in some cases, it should not be the prevailing mindset or approach.
The truth is that in cases where substance abuse is already obvious, relatives or friends of the person suffering from addiction should act quickly and decisively. By acting the soonest time you can, you’re essentially giving your loved one a fighting chance against the addiction, since appropriate intervention measures can be administered before things go out of control.
Additionally, if your loved one shows a tendency to act violently or let his or her emotion overcome logic, then acting quick becomes imperative to avoid anyone getting physically hurt.
Establish and maintain open communication
People with substance abuse problems sometimes just need to feel that they’re not alone and someone they know actually cares for them and what they’re going through. As such, be sure to constantly check on your loved one to see if he or she is doing okay or if you need to spend time with him or her. This way, your loved one will feel and see that he or she is not fighting the addiction alone, which could be enough motivation for your loved one to try twice as hard to overcome the situation.
With these tips, getting your loved one out of the addiction pit should be easier for both of you.