Help and Info for families

Addiction is an issue affecting not just the sufferers themselves, but the family too. If your loved one is an addict, you may feel helpless and lonely in your current circumstances. This is not the case however, and ADUS Healthcareare here to help you through. So that with the right help, you too can conquer this.

Dealing with addiction in the family can be especially difficult to detect, as the feeling of wanting to think the best of them, may just override the suspicions you have about them. These may give the addict free rein to carry on the path of self-destruction, until it’s too late.

It’s important to get the facts and information about the addiction, so that you develop more awareness of what’s going on. However, it really is crucial that you seek help from a professional if you want your loved one to overcome what has been consuming them.

Here at ADUS Healthcare, we frequently receive phone calls from family members’ nationwide seeking help for their loved one. Often they are well informed about a particular form of addiction, however when applied to their current situation, it’s common that they can reach the wrong conclusion, which can be frustrating and damaging to those around them. Hence, why we encourage you to seek the right help.

You may have a number of burning questions about the situation you’re in, such as: ‘how is best to broach the subject of addiction’? ‘Who is best to solve the problem’? Or even ‘What are others going to think’?

Rather than relentlessly trying to solve them, we encourage you to seize the day and make that simple phone call to us, so that together; we can make progress in the right direction. We have helped a huge number of people through the years, with the same issues that you and your family are experiencing. We’re here to listen to you, and help make things easier, after all – we understand!

Addiction is not only limited to substance abuse. It can include addictive behaviour, like gambling, eating disorders, or sex.

Even just knowing somebody very well can be enough to realise when something’s just not right. There are a few identifiable traits in somebody with an addiction that you may be able to recognise in your situation, these include:

  • Sudden changes in the social circle of the individual
  •  Unexplained weight change (may be loss or gain)
  • The individual disappearing for long periods of time.
  • A lack of interest in personal appearance.
  • Severe and random mood swings (regularly)
  • Bizarre changes to the individuals finances
  • Personal property around the home disappearing
  • The individual suddenly becoming secretive over their life.

All of the above are traits that as a family member, you may be able to recognise in your loved one. They may begin to show certain signs and symptoms related to the substance, or activity they are frequently engaging in.

Unfortunately, it is not as straightforward as simply forcing the addict to stop. Addiction runs deeper than that… psychologically, addiction makes an individual believe that it is another circumstance, or person responsible for the unhappiness they are experiencing. They believe that engaging in their vice is the only thing that is keeping them going. From the outside, we can see that this is not the case. However, addicts just need help to help them unravel them from that mindset.

As you may already be aware, there will indefinitely be a period of withdrawal for anyone with an addiction. If the addiction is severe enough, the process of withdrawal could mean a medical emergency; with the worst case scenarios being severe injuries or death. Enforcing detox without correct medical supervision could well be a fatal mistake.

In many cases, the best solution to addiction recovery is an addiction treatment program made obtainable by a residential rehabilitation centre. The thought of vetting and selecting a treatment centre by yourself may be an overwhelming prospect. However, this is where ADUS Healthcare is here to help. We have dealt with many cases, and have the knowledge and experience to put your mind at rest.

Although it may be tempting, we strongly advise that you do not take matters in your own hands when it comes to recovery. You may feel that you are doing them a favour, and believe that it is the right thing to help them realise the error of their ways and adjust accordingly,  however – this is not the case!

There are many physical implications if withdrawal is not supervised by experts. There have been a significant number of cases where physical problems have escalated and even death has occurred.

Common withdrawal symptoms by addicts can include:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Involuntary shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia

Delirium tremens (DT) – a situation where the previously suppressed neurotransmitters in the brain, suddenly become hyper excited. This can lead to excessive agitation, convulsions and grand mal seizures. Needless to say, these are very dangerous.

Again, ADUS Healthcare actively encourages you to seek professional help for the individual. Withdrawal should always be medically supervised, and you should never attempt detox on your own.

Is it sustainable?

If for whatever reason, you do decide to go it alone, and help detox your loved one without medical supervision, you need to consider whether it’s a temporary fix, as opposed to a long term solution. It’s most likely the former, as detox is a lot more than simply a physical concern – it’s deeper than that, both emotionally, and psychologically.

Detox is the first step in recovery; it’s the period at the beginning which allows them a break from whatever substance it is they have been abusing. Following detox, it’s crucial that a complete rehabilitation sees them through. Without the right help and professional treatment in a suitable location, the addict will most likely return to their vices at the first sign of trouble. This, as you can see is not sustainable.

It may be a good idea to consider whether alcohol access is readily available in your area. If it is too easy, it may be the first port of call your family member turns to in stressful times. If it is always there for temptation, without first resolving the psychological reason for the addiction, it may always be there for them as a means of coping. Rehabilitation therapy, however, actually changes the thinking so that the mind will be focused more on avoiding alcohol.

CBT and Intervention

There are two main techniques used by addiction therapists to treat the psychological aspect of addiction. Intervention and CBT.

Cognitive behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an approach to treatment that was developed originally to treat depression, but has since been adapted to improve a number of various mental health illnesses, including addiction.

The key understanding in CBT is that thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all interlinked – and the way that we are influenced and subsequently influence others. Feelings are said to impact your thoughts and behaviours, as well as be impacted by your thoughts and behaviours. This concept gives hope to the individual, by realising this pattern, and therefore improving the relationship between them all.

Intervention is a situation whereby the family members actually confront their loved one with the addiction, and help to motivate and actively encourage them to seek treatment. With the help of a professional, intervention can help the addict to see just how their behaviour is impacting not only their own lives, but on the lives of their loved ones around them. Often, just realising the damage they are doing to their loved ones, is enough to prompt them to get the help they need.

The combination of these two techniques can be enough to completely alter the way an addict thinks. Both can be included in a treatment program to help the addict their way to being addiction free. Without them, however, the road to recovery may quickly descend back into a path of destruction, where relapsing is inevitable.

Warning Signs

After reading the information on this page, you may still be unsure of whether or not your loved one is battling with an addiction. We encourage you to re-read the signs and symptoms of a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol.

You will notice them increasingly as the effects of the drugs or alcohol wears off. When the addict becomes aware of them, is the time they may feel the need to re-engage with the substance. This makes it clear that a physical dependence is present. Please be aware of these signs, as taking action really could save the life and health of your loved one.