If you're wondering just how serious your loved one's addiction to drugs or alcohol is, let us answer it for you: It's critical that he or she receives help as quickly as possible.
"A new report from the Surgeon General describes various areas of drug and alcohol abuse."
A new, groundbreaking study from the Surgeon General, "Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health," describes various drug and alcohol abuse topics ranging from prescription drug misuse to illicit drug abuse. The report covers everything from prevention and treatment to recovery and health systems integration.
We highly recommend that parents looking to become more educated about drug and alcohol abuse take the time to read this report.
In a statement, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy discussed how many addiction cases go untreated despite the devastating role the disease has on the addicts and those around them.
"Alcohol and drug addiction take an enormous toll on individuals, families and communities," said Murthy. "Most Americans know someone who has been touched by an alcohol or a drug use disorder. Yet 90 percent of people with a substance use disorder are not getting treatment. That has to change."
Murthy followed up to say that people (in our case, caregivers) need to look at addiction in a more serious, pronounced light.
"It's time to change how we view addiction," explained Murthy. "Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness that must be treated with skill, urgency and compassion. The way we address this crisis is a test for America."
While we recommend that you read the report in its entirety, we also understand that you may need to act now. If you need immediate advice to help your loved one, here are some suggestions:
"The caretaker must have an open mind and heart when taking care of his or her loved one."
1. Have an open mind and heart
Each addiction case differs, but they're all related in one way: The caretaker must have an open mind and heart when taking care of his or her loved one.
To help treat the patient, you need to first understand what he or she is going through. Offer your support and be willing to talk about the addiction when the addict is ready to do so. If you're willing to peacefully engage, your loved one may feel more comfortable discussing his or her problem. From there, you can discuss and propose treatment options.
2. Don't forget about yourself
Ron Grover tried and failed numerous times to "fix" his son's addiction. He said that after years of unsuccessfully attempting, he realized that he had to look inward and understand how he was responding and acting toward the disease.
While Grover didn't state whether his son recovered, we still agree with his assessment. Not only can self-reflection help loved ones think outside the box and approach addiction from new angles, but it can also prevent addiction from dragging them down as well. And yes, this can happen.
3. Talk to a professional
Reading Murthy's report and this article – and adhering to Grover's advice – is a great start, but it's critical that you meet with a professional who handles addiction cases daily. He or she can steer you in the correct direction and make sure that you're approaching your loved one in the correct way.
If you know someone who is dealing with addiction, call Fairwinds Treatment Center. Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of addiction by using a Dual Diagnosis approach. In using this tactic, Dr. El-Yousef and his staff of full-time psychiatrists, nursing professionals and licensed therapists work to first diagnose the underlying reason behind a person's disorder. Upon understanding the cause, they can then treat the condition and its symptoms.