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The stress and anxiety felt by friends and family of someone suffering with addiction can often be overwhelming. For many, friends and family are a powerful motivation that can drive many to make an independent choice to seek treatment so they can regain their lives. However, its important to remember that in addiction, alterations in brain chemistry have occurred that make it very difficult, if not impossible for some to make this decision on their own.

Many people who use drugs go into treatment because the police, a judge, their job, or family members make them do it. It might take a while for them to understand that they have a problem and want to stop using drugs. But treatment can work even when someone doesn't want it. In many cases, replacement therapies such as buprenorphine can allow patients to be free of both the drugs and withdrawal symptoms that have been driving their behavior. This gives them the first opportunity for clarity of thought and has been shown to improve engagement in recovery programs.

If your loved one is resistant to help a professional intervention may be the answer. Please email or call us and we can refer you to someone who can help.

How can friends and family help?

There are many things you can do to help someone in recovery:
  • Help them with transportation to treatment and support groups.
  • Remind them to take any medicine their doctor gives them.
  • Help them find employment and a place to live if needed.
  • Enjoy activities with them that will help distract them from their craving/withdrawal.
  • Help and encourage them to avoid places and people that might tempt them to use again.
  • Establish a relationship and environment that is open and free from judgement
  • Be patient and understanding if they do relapse. As many as 80% of patients relapse following treatment. This high rate is not due to lack of willpower or effort by any of these patients, it is because modern medicine has not yet developed the capability to 'cure' addiction. Not unlike most other chronic diseases. 

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