September is National Recovery Month, meaning it's time to honor individuals who have overcome their addiction, as well as bring awareness and assistance to those in need.
People become addicted to drugs for many reasons. Some of their motives include trying to overcome another mental disorder, like depression, being influenced by friends, family members or celebrities and accidently misusing prescription medicines. They may also rely on drugs to help fit in, chase the tremendous high they experienced during their last hit and as a way to escape painfully memories.
If you recognize someone on the fringes of becoming an addict, it's important to act quickly. Some symptoms include, neglecting responsibilities, taking on more physical risks or causing problems in relationships.
If you notice these symptoms, take the following five actions to prevent the person from falling deeper into their addictive ways:
Before seeking therapy, it's important to help someone on the verge of becoming an addict realize the type of behavior being displayed is dangerous. Many addicts don't believe what they are doing is wrong. Often, they use drugs as a way to solve a problem, such as the ones described above. Other, they use drugs because it's give them a high.
In order to help someone, they must first accept their drug dependency is a problem. Remember to stay cool, resist the urge to judge and be honest with them. You want them to feel comfortable opening up to you.
2. Seek therapy
There are five stages of drug abuse. People will first begin to experiment with a drug before they regularly use it. Help someone before they become an abuser. First talk with the addict and help them understand that recreational use can turn into dependency. Then, help them recognize that therapy is the best form of treatment.
The type of treatment a person receives depends on their needs and problems. A quality healthcare professional will not only treat underlying problems, but explain the dangers of leisure drug use and that they don't solve mental issues, only manage its symptoms.
3. Maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle
Part of therapy includes helping addicts understand there are alternative ways to solve issues. For example, instead of turning to drugs to manage depression, a professional can help an addict replace drug usage with passions like sports or art. By focusing more on their hobbies, an addict is less likely to jeopardize their life or other's by using illegal substances.
4. Deal with pressure
Along with replacing drug addiction with hobbies, a professional should help eliminate stress. This is important because stress could be not only one of the reasons they became an addict, but also a factor that would cause them to relapse.
Research has indicated that stress often causes the brain to change, similar to changes seen by addictive drugs. This suggests that people who are stressed may be more prone to become drug abusers or relapse. Further, the study proposes addicts are much more sensitive to becoming stressed.
A few ways to help reduce stress include exercising, reading a book, volunteering or taking up a relaxing art like painting.
5. Look into the past
According to a study, 40 to 60 percent of the risk for developing an addiction is due to genetics. Other studies have pointed out that the risk may be higher for strong substances such as nicotine or cocaine. If a close relative, such as a parent, has had drug abuse problems, their son or daughter is also a high risk candidate to develop similar health issues.
If you know a person who is struggling with substance abuse during National Recovery Month, call Fairwinds Treatment Center. Founded 25 years ago by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, our staff of full-time psychiatrist, nursing professionals and licensed therapists uses a Dual Diagnosis method to treat patients with alcoholism and other addictions.
Dual Diagnosis combines clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to identify the underlying reasons for addiction and resolve the psychological triggers to prevent relapse.