WAYS TO HELP AN ADDICT GET BACK ON THEIR FEET

Addiction is an inability to stop using a substance or engaging in a behavior even though it is causing psychological and physical harm. Addicts most times want to be free from the addiction, but don’t have the mental will and strength to do so. The following are ways to help addicted persons get back on their feet again.

  • Gain Trust and Confidence

This is the first and most important part of helping an addict. They need someone they can trust, someone they can share their secrets and ‘dark parts’ of themselves with. Such a person is supposed to assist in monitoring their progress and guide them through the path of freedom.

When you gain their trust, refrain from nagging, harsh criticism, and use of threats on them as it could further drag them into the addiction.

  • Therapy

Seeking professional help is another important strategy in helping an addict stay free from addiction. It could range from getting an appointment with a medical doctor(in the case of substance abuse), a psychotherapist, or any qualified professional.

  • Support Groups

Support groups are a group of people facing similar cases of addiction, who come together to share their experiences and encourage one another. Support groups have proven to be very effective in overcoming addictions.

  • Right Company

For some people, their addiction was a result of peer pressure and the type of company they were around. To start the process of freedom from the addiction, they must sever ties with the relationships that brought the addiction in the first place.

  • Deliberate Disposal of Addiction Triggers

This is the part where the addict takes a deliberate step against their addiction. If they’re addicted to alcohol, for example, they could stay away from social gatherings that could trigger their cravings for it or even dispose of the bottles of alcohol they have at home.

We should understand that addiction takes time to be free from and sometimes, relapses could happen. This would help us not to expect immediate change from an addict but rather help them grow and become free, with time.

Reasons Why People Get Addicted to Drugs

Drug abuse is recognized as one of the highest forms of abuse in the world. Many pick it up consciously or unconsciously, due to curiosity or a medical condition. However, they realize only too late that they have become addicts.

The knowledge that drug abuse is addictive and destructive doesn’t have any impact on the numbers as they keep rising. Sometimes we wonder why people get addicted to drugs, here’s why;

1. To Suppress Negative Feelings

Most people indulge in drug abuse to suppress feelings of sadness and depression. They get addicted after many trials and realization that consuming such substances can numb their negative feelings temporarily.

2. Escape from Realities of Life

An individual can decide to consume drugs just to escape or avoid certain situations and circumstances they are going through at the moment.

3. Rejection

People tend to indulge in drug abuse because of rejection from family, friends, and loved ones. They conclude or assume that they are not loved by anyone and thus go into the consumption of different substances.

4. Lack of Proper Guide and Prescription

In some cases, people get addicted to drugs if they do not have proper guidance on how the drugs should be used. Another case is if such drugs are used without the prescription of a medical practitioner.

5. Failure

Failure is a common reason why people get addicted to drugs, especially young adults. The moment they feel they are not meeting up to expectations or that they are failing in certain areas of their life, they dive into the consumption of substances. 

Drug addiction can be cured with intentionality and consciousness as well as seeking medical attention. However, it is better to prevent its occurrence than having to cure it.

Watch out for these reasons in yourself and those around you. Also, make sure to not aid these reasons but help those going through them to solve them.

SIGNS TO RECOGNIZE AN ADDICT

The term “addiction” does not only refer to dependence on drug substances such as cocaine. It could also mean the inability to stop partaking in activities such as gambling, eating, working, social media, sex, and many others.

As humans, we have activities we do daily and consistently. However, where do we draw the line and term something an addiction or call someone an addict? 

  • Inability to stop:

You would notice such a person cannot stop engaging in the activity even though it may be causing health problems or personal problems. Such problems could include poor performance at work, declining grades at school, and financial issues. They are unable to control their urges for that behavior; this is the first flag for terming something an addiction.

  • Physical changes and restlessness:

You would also notice changes in mood, appetite, and even sleep whenever they are unable to take the substance or do that activity. They could experience severe episodes of restlessness or emotional turmoil until they are finally able to engage in it.

  • Preoccupation with and constant thoughts of the behavior:

When an individual cannot do without that act and neglects other important activities, it is a sign of addiction. They are addicted if that behavior occupies their thoughts every time too. They would usually show a noticeable lack of energy in other daily activities.

  • Denial:

They become defensive when asked about being addicted to what they are doing. Instead of admitting to being addicted, they’ll find ways to justify and continue the behavior.

  • Relationship and social problems:

While trying to defend their addiction, they tend to make enemies with whoever attempts to point them to their addiction. They could react, using physical or verbal aggression, or total withdrawal from such person.

The signs of addiction differ from one person to another, depending on the type of addiction they have. But these are the general symptoms of an addict.

Signs that an individual is addicted to drugs

Drug addiction does not usually start as an addiction. It is formed over time and then becomes a habit. In most cases, it starts as a coping mechanism.

Drug addicts exhibit some signs which you can notice by observation. If your family member or friend is an addict, these signs will inform you and help you identify the problem.

1.) Blame Shifting

They never take responsibility for their actions and nothing they do is their fault. An addict is always a victim in their own eyes. Addiction feels like a shameful act, and that shame fuels the blame game. They believe that if they can blame those around them, they can avoid getting the real help that they need.

2.) Criminal Activities

Addicts can lie to, steal from, or trick people close to them because of their need for drugs, especially when they want to refuel. It is like a survival instinctive act. Their brains have gotten so used to drugs that they can do just about anything to get their hands on the next pack or syringe.

3.) Financial Problems

The need to always have drugs, which are usually expensive, drives addicts to financial problems. The high that they get from the drugs removes every rational thinking, making them take unwise financial decisions.

4.) Always absent, missing appointments

Addicts never meet up with appointments and are usually absentminded. They forget or just don’t care at that moment. Socially, they are withdrawn from any emotional attachment.

5.) Dilated pupils, slurred speech, sleepy eyes:

People who are addicted suffer from insomnia and restlessness after the drug has worn off so they always have tired and sleepy eyes. Most of the drugs that they consume affect the sympathetic nervous system which causes irregular pupil dilation.

Sometimes the above signs, if observed in an individual may not be as a result of drug addiction, they might be as a result of stress and anxiety or sometimes hunger. However, when persistent over a long time, they may be as a result of drug addiction.

TIPS ON HOW TO REDUCE DRUG ABUSE

Reducing drug abuse is one of the most difficult actions to accomplish. For people who are in this situation, it is like telling them to desist from their most loved and regular routine.

Some people treat drug abuse as food, they give it utmost attention and they fuel it in any way they can.

One of the unknown facts about drug abuse is, an individual who is addicted would have most likely incorporated this abuse into his or her lifestyle. So, reducing this act is like a punishment to them. This is one of the reasons why they frown at any act of persuading them to desist from drug abuse.

What makes it worse is, even in the light of detrimental health effects springing up as a result of their abuse, they seem to ignore it. They have fully focused on their abuse and they would not stop satisfying themselves.

Helping people who abuse drugs is tantamount to saving their lives because in the long run, if they do not stop, they can lose their lives in the process. One of the best ways to do this is to approach constructively instead of destructively. Do not condemn their abuse outright, rather start from a loving angle.

Usually, people who reduce and eventually stop drug abuse are those who were motivated by people that did not condemn their addiction.

People who abuse drugs usually imagine the type of life they would live once they are back on track. It often looks strange to them so they would have no part of it.

After you have been able to talk to these people and make them see reasons why they should reduce drug abuse, the next step is seeing a counselor.

A counselor is a professional who is adept at making people see reasons why they should quit their abuse, in this case.

Next, the counselor would draw up a personalized treatment scheme and transfer the individual to the therapist for full treatment.

THE DANGERS OF HARD DRUGS TO THE BODY

Hard drugs are substances that all individuals should avoid. The reason for saying this is based on the fact that they do not have any beneficial effect to the body. It would interest you to know that, the faux benefits that come with hard-drugs are usually short-lived.

When the effects wear off, the individual would have to seek more of these drugs and an addiction is developed in the process.

They are various variants of hard drugs and they have one common danger, this is adverse effect on the human body. There is no one who takes hard drugs frequently that remains the same. The effects of the drug can usually be felt on the person’s face, hair, hands and a host of others.

Now, you will be surprised to hear that the dangers that come with hard drugs are not instantly visible.

These signs develop overtime, and you will be surprised to see these effects just emerging on the body of someone who has been taking hard drugs for a long while.

The only obvious signs is their behavioral actions. Individuals who take hard drugs would smoothly show it in their behavior without them being aware.

Eventually, their relationship with good friends and family is often affected because of their new behavior.

People who use hard drugs become unattractive over time. It becomes worse when these people do not take nutritious meals, they take on the form of individuals who have not had anything to eat for months.

When this appearance is notice, it becomes safe to say that the individual needs to seek help from a healthcare professional.

For men specifically, those who take hard drugs might find it difficult to father a child. Hard drugs have a way when taken in the long term can make a man infertile. A good number of men who take hard drugs are not aware and the earlier they are, the better.

Reducing the intake of hard drugs is not an easy one but once it is achieved, the advantages are always obvious.  

Rehabilitation: Inpatient vs. Outpatient Programs

Have you decided that it is time to quit your addiction? Whether it be drugs or alcohol, you have decided that it is time to get some help.

That is great! After all, the first step to addiction recovery is deciding that you need help and that it is time to make a change. Next, comes the decision of where to go.

First, you must consider the type of program you want: inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.

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But, assuming that you have never been to rehab before, how do you know which one will work best for you?

The main differences between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities are:

  1. Duration of the program.

    Based on your needs, the total length of the process will vary. However, most people spend about 28-30 days starting out in an inpatient rehab. But, a more severe case can take anywhere from 90 days to a year, or longer.

    On the other hand, outpatient care does not require you to stay at the treatment facility at all, but it does require regular attendance to counseling sessions which are typically offered weekly or even daily. On average, someone in an outpatient rehab program continues participation for 12-16 weeks. However, it could last for several months or even years based on individual need.

  2. The cost of the treatment.

    Obviously, inpatient treatment will be more expensive as housing costs are included. An inpatient treatment program will include room and board, intensive daily treatment and more.

    Whereas, outpatient treatment just requires payment for the treatment services such as counseling, but patients live on their own outside of the facility.

  3. Your place of residence during treatment.

    As mentioned before, inpatient means you live there. So, the biggest difference between the two – inpatient and outpatient – is if you live at the treatment facility or not.

    With outpatient rehabs, you have greater freedom and can continue with your daily activities, however, with inpatient treatment you must become fully devoted to the program.

  4. The detox processes.

    Detoxification is required for both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, however, inpatient rehabs do detox on site. If you choose to go with an outpatient program you might try finding a clinical setting for a medical detox.

The type of program you choose is entirely based off your needs – do you need more structure or do you have enough willpower to complete the program while living in the outside world?

Each treatment type offers its own benefits. Ensure you do extensive research before making your selection.

Heroin: How it Effects the Body

Heroin is an opiate commonly used as a recreational drug due to its euphoric effects on its users. Users can experience its effects almost immediately – within a few minutes – and the addiction liability is high.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 669,000 Americans reported using heroin at some point in 2011 – a number that has been on the rise since 2011.

While it is obvious that most drugs have negative side effects, oftentimes, users do not actually know the true effects that heroin is having on their body…

Heroin and the Brain

Heroin quickly reaches the brain upon being administered and it goes on to bind with the opioid receptors. These receptors are what is involved in the perception of pain and pleasure. Therefore, this is why a person using heroin might show signs of euphoria and will also feel relief of physical pain.

However, it can also increase the feelings of pleasure by altering the activity in the limbic system, which is partially responsible for creating a physical addiction. Heroin alters the brain in such a way that the person becomes physically addicted to and dependent on it.

Heroin and the Heart

Also associated with heroin use is a decrease in heart function, which in more serious cases can actually lead to an infection of the heart lining and valves which could lead to serious long-term health consequences.

However, if users decide to mix heroin with alcohol then even more risks arise. Heroin and alcohol both cause a considerable slowdown of the heart rate on their own, so when combined it can cause the heart rate to be slowed down to a life-threatening speed.

Heroin and the Immune System

As a result of poor nutrition and neglect, heroin users risk considerable damage to their immune system. In addition, heroin users often expose themselves to a variety of diseases which can wreak havoc on their body when combined with their other health complications.

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Heroin and Behavior

While there is no direct correlation between heroin users and personality pattern changes, there are a few noticeable differences that are commonly seen among heroin users:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Loss of interest in other activities
  • Disorientation
  • Lying
  • Unstable mood
  • Secrecy

Heroin not only effects a person’s mental state but it affects their physical state as well. Abuse of drugs – such as heroin – can take a toll on the body and cause great mental and physical issues which could potentially be life-threatening or lifelong conditions.

The risk is not worth the high.

Oxycodone: A Look into the Addiction

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a prescription medication derived from the poppy plant, which is typically prescribed for pain relief from moderate to severe pain.

Visually, it is a white, odorless crystalline power that is usually seen in the form of a small pill.

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Why do people take Oxycodone?

While it is often prescribed for those in pain, it is also frequently abused

If prescribed by a doctor and taken according to their instructions, Oxycodone can be a great relief from pain from those suffering from acute or chronic pain and can greatly improve their quality of life.

However, when abused, it is often used because it triggers a “high”, or euphoric effect. It can be ingested in a variety of ways:

  • Intravenously
  • Rectally
  • Orally
  • Transdermally

…and more. Especially once it has become an addiction, individuals will consume it in any way possible.

What are the effects of oxycodone?

The side effects of oxycodone can range from nausea and constipation to difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, and severe rashes. In addition to those symptoms, long-term users might also experience:

  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Respiratory distress
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Physical dependence

…and more.

Just like most other drugs, Oxycodone is not intended to be used for a prolonged period of time in a way such as that in which it is used by addicts.

Oxycodone is classified as having a moderate to high dependence liability. Similar to other opiates and opioids, the continuous use of this drug can result in an increased tolerance to the effects of it.

Users can easily become addicted to this drug and become dependent on it – both physically and mentally.

It becomes a crutch and something they use to feel different.

Sadly, just because something is a prescription medicine does not mean it is not addictive.

While Oxycodone is not technically a gateway drug – meaning it leads the user to experimenting with other drugs – it does have that same effect. It might not be the first drug someone experiments with, but unfortunately, it probably will not be the last either.

Oftentimes, once the high of a specific drug is over, the user will not only continue to increase their usage as a means to continue getting high but will go out looking for something else to fill the void. Something else to offer that same sense of euphoria.

The opioid epidemic is real and is one that is killing millions of people around the world. Don’t let yourself, or someone you love, be next.

4 Tips on How to Cut Back on Your Alcohol Consumption

Do you find yourself questioning if your drinking has gotten out of hand?

Maybe you have overdone it just a few times too many lately, or maybe it has started to affect other areas of your life such as your work life or your relationships…

Drinking can go from an occasional, casual indulgence to a full-blown problem in a short period of time.

So, if you have found yourself questioning if you might be developing a problem, it might be time to work on cutting back on your drinking.

The Benefits of Cutting Back

Of course, if you feel you are at risk of developing an alcohol addiction, that is reason enough to cut back. However, there are several other health benefits to cutting back on your alcohol consumption including:

  • Feeling better mentally and physically
  • Looking better – more awake, in better shape, etc.
  • Saving money by buying less alcohol
  • Sleeping better
  • Reducing your risk of heart problems
  • Improving relationships and work performance

Isn’t your health worth it?

4 Tips for Cutting Back

Now that you know why you should do it, here are some tips for how:

  1. Set limits.

    Set limits both for the financial aspect and the actual alcohol limit. Have a set limit that you can spend on alcohol and don’t exceed it. Next, set a limit for either the strength of your drinks and/or the number of drinks you consume. Self-discipline will have a positive influence in your life.

  2. Inform your family and friends.

    It is much easier to stick to a goal when you have someone holding you accountable. So, let your friends and family know what you are doing. They might be able to offer you additional advice and definitely some support. It always helps to have someone looking out for you and ensuring that you don’t slip up.

    Also, if they were already worried about you then it will give them a peace of mind that you are making a difference.

  3. Have alcohol-free days.

    You don’t have to drink every day – or even every week. If you drink daily, take a day or a few days off. Or, if you drink every weekend then take a weekend off. It will show you just how much better you can feel if you skip out on that beer every once in a while, and will also help reduce the amount of alcohol you are consuming.

    Just a few sober days in a row can help the body reset itself, especially the liver.

  4. Explore other activities.

    It is no secret that drinking is an activity, and usually a social one. It gives you something to do, eases your mind, and can help make other not so fun things just a little bit more fun.

    However, there are plenty of other activity options, you don’t have to settle for a night of drinking. Try out something more active like swimming or Frisbee. Whatever it is that sounds good to you, try something new. Pick up a new hobby that does not involve drinking.

    It is much easier to cut back on drinking when you are focused on something else.

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