For many people out there, substance addiction was an uninvited guest that barged into their lives and refused to leave. We have witnessed people working hard to make sense of the reasons that led them to substance addiction and how they can avoid it from disturbing their lives again.
Unfortunately, even in this modern era, there are many myths and misconceptions associated with the word “addiction,” which keeps people from coming forward and sharing their stories and problems with society to help save the rest. Another issue is the social stigma that surrounds the topic of addiction. Individuals do not tell their loved ones about their addiction due to the fear of abandonment.
The ideal thing you can do for an individual recovering from an addiction is to stand alongside them as they continue to take small, steady steps towards recovery.
Recovery seems impossible when done alone. A person recovering from an addiction needs constant support from their loved ones. Also, the friends and family need to know the problems their loved one must endure. They must work hand in hand to motivate their loved one to stick to the recovery plan.
What Individuals in Recovery Wish to Tell You?
Becoming an addict was not their choice
No one chooses to be an addict. In most cases, addiction starts with drugs prescribed by the doctor to cure a medical illness. Gradually, these prescription drugs alter the way a brain function. The individual might continue taking those pills as prescribed to feel “okay” and function properly, but in no time, he becomes addicted to them and starts craving for high dosages.
Addiction does not always develop over time. Sometimes all it takes is a single experiment with a substance capable of causing instant addiction, such as Hallucinogenic drugs and methamphetamines. One dosage of these drugs can cause a lifetime problem of addiction.
Each one of us is vulnerable to addiction
The media has shed a negative light on the topic of addiction and addicts. The truth is that anyone can develop substance addiction at any time of their life irrespective of their background, financial status, class, age, ethnicity, or race.
However, research indicated a few factors that make a person more vulnerable to addiction. For instance, an individual with a family history of addiction has a higher chance of becoming an addict. Similarly, the consumption of drugs or alcohol at a young age can increase the probability of developing substance addiction as an adult.
There are many contributing factors as to why they started abusing alcohols or drugs
There is rarely a single reason as to why an otherwise healthy individual started abusing drugs. In most cases, addiction develops to suppress unwanted and painful feelings and emotions. These feelings generally have their roots in family or relationship issues, and the constant attempts to repress them leads a person towards addiction. In many cases, substance abuse is comorbid with certain psychological conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression.
Fortunately, today’s rehabilitation centres help people deal with all the underlying issues that lead them towards substance addiction. Treatment centres use strategies that do not only focus on the problem at hand but eliminates the root cause too.
Refrain from talking about their past while they are trying to shape their future
Choosing to go to a rehabilitation centre is a tough choice. It takes a lot of courage and strength to make such a decision- particularly for someone in recovery.
Being reminded of the past and their mistakes can be disruptive for someone on the path to recovery. They might not be in a good position mentally; their sole focus should be on a better and healthy life that they are building for themselves. The best way you can support them is by encouraging them as they take small steps towards recovery.
They did not want to disappoint you
A person will never start addiction if they know the consequences. Most of the individuals suffering from addiction are unaware of the extreme repercussions that they would have to face. Their problem is usually the result of an attempt to feel different and okay. They never had the intention to trouble or hurt their loved ones.
It’s only natural for the friends and family of a person suffering from addiction to feel betrayed as they are the ones who must endure the erratic behaviour and temper tantrums of the person. Luckily, many rehabilitation centres and support groups now offer counselling and therapies to the family of individuals suffering from substance addiction to help mend the damages that have been done by substance abuse.
Underneath the mask of addiction, they are still the same person as they used to be
Addiction has a powerful effect on the physical and mental capabilities of a person. It alters the brain functioning by changing the hierarchy of the needs and desires of an individual. They do not seek pleasure from things that used to be enjoyable for them. Everything becomes secondary to satisfying their craving for alcohol or drugs.
Despite this constant struggle they must face, they are still the same person they used to be. They need your unconditional love and support to overcome their sickness and addiction. Just help them stick to their treatment plan, and you will soon see your loved one shining like they used to.
They need your support
There are thousands of people globally suffering from substance abuse but unable to get adequate treatment, which indicates the pervasive nature of the problem and the utter ignorance to treat it. But your constant support can bring about a positive change. With your encouragement, your loved one will be able to get the necessary treatment that was once difficult for them.
Ways to Support the Person in Recovery
A few of the ways to support your loved one in their recovery are.
Become an Example for Them
Show them how recovery is possible by establishing and maintaining good and positive habits like exercising or eating healthy food.
Establish a Substance-Free Environment
Do not allow the temptations and triggers to invade your house.
Lend Them an Ear
Sometimes, all a person suffering from difficulty needs is someone who can listen to them.
Join Support Group with Your Loved Ones
People tend to recover faster when they know they have someone beside them.
Patience is Important
Recovery takes a lot of time, commitment, and discipline.
Chances of Relapse
There are always chances of relapse, and it is essential to know the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ to avoid them. If you see someone in recovery falling back, report it immediately.
For certain people, the treatment feels like they have fallen into a dark fit. But in truth, it is the beginning of a new bright life.