How Opiate Addiction Affects Families
Opiate addiction is a touchy subject for millions of Americans. Families and friends often don’t know what to say or how to handle the addiction of a loved one. But ignoring the problem can only make it worse.
It’s important to know that you cannot force someone into opiate treatment. Words alone won’t convince most people they need to get help. This is because the nature of opiate addiction is such that most people are so compelled to remain addicted because they fear withdrawal.
Coming off opiates such as oxycodone, hydrocodone or heroin is no easy feat. Sadly, some people take years to get clean. Others never make it out. This is because opiate addiction spirals quickly, jeopardizing health, safety and freedom. Opiate overdose is an unfortunate threat for these people. Addiction’s close association with crime means that many people will end up in jail for theft, robbery, domestic violence, fraud or other offenses.
What You Need To Know To Help You Through This Tough Time
Despite these negatives, it’s never too late for someone to seek help. No one is ever too far gone. If you have a loved one who is spiraling into opiate addiction, there are some things you should know:
- Physical opiate withdrawal can be the most difficult part for many people, but appropriate treatment (detox) can ease some symptoms.
- The passing of physical withdrawal is a welcome blessing, but this doesn’t mean the worst is over. There is more work to be done, and psychological effects of the addiction can linger much longer.
- No amount of guilt, blame or shame can persuade most people to seek help for opiate addiction.
- Opiate detox can help people to overcome even the direst addiction, but the person who is suffering is the only one who can make this choice.
Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself Too
It’s important to offer emotional support for your loved one. This is not always easy. You have likely been let down by this person. Perhaps he or she lied to you or stole money or possessions. Giving your loved one money is almost always a bad idea. He or she will be compelled to use it on drugs. Offer to pay a bill or provide food or shelter.
Helping your loved one means helping yourself too. Don’t neglect yourself in the process. You’ve been impacted by the addiction, whether you believe it or not. Having someone to talk to can help – especially if that person has been through it too. You aren’t to blame for what’s happened to your loved one. Therapists, counselors and group meetings can provide the support you need at this time to heal.