Below is what you might hear from an addicted loved one if you could get through to them and if they could speak honestly
How to help a loved one who is addicted
By an anonymous recovered drug addict
What most people don't understand about addiction is that the person needs to be ready to receive help before help can be effective. Anyone who's tried to help someone knows its incredibly frustrating to see someone consistently making the wrong decisions despite good advice to the contrary. It seams incomprehensible that the person doesn't feel ready when anyone looking in can see these poor decisions are ruining their lives. It's normal to want to help. Understanding the brain disease of addiction will help.
Friends and family try to show examples of how drugs have ruined their lives. The addicts know this!! Stop telling addicts drugs are bad we know first hand or we're not ready and will not listenand will shut out all the good advice. The only time anyone can help with someone elses drug problem is before they take drugs, the prevention stage, and once they are ready to quit, between those times, it's like talking to a wall.
People think counseling is about convincing the person that they should not take drugs. That can not be further from the truth. Counseling is about giving the addict the tools to rebuild their lives. Counseling assumes the addict dose not want to be an addict anymore. Counseling is only effective when the person is ready to quit. Once they are ready, they know better then anyone that they would be better off without drugs. Unfortunately, if they are immature and just want to party, you will not be able to help them yet. Just hope they stick with marijuana. This is where parents go wrong. They spend their energy trying to convince their addicted child that they should not do drugs, they become frustrated, and give up before the child is actually ready for help. By the time they are ready for your help you have given up on helping. Its no surprise, you dont want to enable or condone, but you want to let them know that when they are ready there is help and you will help them, and hope they get ready before they are in jail or worse.
What makes someone ready? Thats the question; its different for everyone. You hear people have to hit "rock bottom", that's the point when the addict is ready and that's the time someone can help. You help by providing the information and helping the addicted get help. Go on the web learn about treatments then help them make appointments, drive them to the appointments. Remember the addict is fighting cravings, pain and depression they need your help at this point, but not to tell them drugs are bad. They need help with rebuilding what they have destroyed throughout their addiction. They need help in executing the recovery plan.
What makes them ready is defeat. When they have been defeated by the drugs, the defeat is total. Not only have they given up on drugs but most likely everything else as well. This is when you can help. Let them know there is a way to get back to normal and you can help them get there. At this point they are not concerned with pride, shame , embarrassment, money, or anything else. They are making the choice to continue with life, that's their only concern. You can help them choose to live and help them get the medical treatment they need to get back to normal. At this point counseling can give them the tools to build their lives back. This usually starts with self esteem.
Quitting without medical help is difficult; one of the symptoms of withdrawal is depression. Depression can be a very real and debilitating disease. It requires constant effort to overcome. I once heard it described as;" you feel so hopeless that if there was a magic wand across the room, that would make all of your problems go away, and all you had to do was go over and pick it up, the depression is so strong that you feel it isn't worth the bother" Now imagine someone in that state of mind fighting strong biological cravings, while feeling physically sick. It only takes 1 short moment of weakness to ruin weeks of sobriety. These moments come at you constantly and you have to be strong every minute. Well, no one is strong every minute, eventually the depression overwhelms you and you cannot fight anymore, you need a break from the fight, it's beyond reason, you know it's not the right decision, you just dont care about the future or any point beyond right now. You just want a break from this tiring struggle, and then continue with tomorrow.It's no mystery why only 2% of people who quit cold turkey stay clean long term.
Buprenorphine immediately and completely eliminates the symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. It allows the addict to listen to counseling and begin to work on rebuilding without the constant distractions of withdrawal pain.
Learn about addiction and be there to help when your loved one is ready to receive that help. Below are some suggested places to start.