It can be heartbreaking to watch somebody that you love, battle with an addiction to prescription drugs, especially as it is usually due to the medication being prescribed to deal with a health-related matter. It is also incredibly common and considered an epidemic with knowing somebody that has struggled with addiction to painkillers. Addiction to these drugs can be extremely dangerous and impact just about every area of an individual’s life and even lead to death. If you know somebody that is addicted but is not getting the treatment that they need, it can be difficult to know what to do.
How To Tell If They Are Addicted
It is important to make sure that they are misusing the drug before approaching the subject – this will involve using a higher dosage than prescribed and/or for longer than prescribed. Additionally, they will attempt to get new prescriptions, purchase the drug on the black market or use an illegal substance as a substitute. There are also a number of red flags to look out for, including changes in mental health, mood swings, constricted pupils, confusion, poor social and professional performance, becoming increasingly secretive and asking to borrow money often.
Addressing The Problem
It can be daunting to bring the subject up as it is such a delicate matter, but you could be saving their life by doing so. Address the problem in private and show compassion as opposed to judging or blaming them. You should encourage them to see a doctor as the first step and reassure them that you will be there to support them throughout.
Dealing With Hostility
Hopefully, this delicate conversation will encourage them to seek help, but it may not, and they may be hostile. In this situation, you might want to think about an arranged by a specialist which will allow those closest to the individual to show the impact of their addiction. These can be emotionally charged and distressing experiences but, ultimately, they can be highly effective and helping people to turn their lives around.
The next stage will involve the individual going to the doctor for an evaluation. It is likely that they will be referred to a rehabilitation center, such as the facility. The treatment that is offered will depend on the individual and could be inpatient or outpatient, but it is likely to include detox, individual therapy and group therapy to help them determine the cause of their addiction and coping strategies.
It is vital that you are there for support not only during the treatment phase but when they are discharged. People often relapse shortly after treatment, so you need to be there to provide support and guidance during this period where they start to rebuild their lives.
Helping someone that is going through an addiction to prescription drugs can be incredibly upsetting and challenging. Although difficult, it is incredibly important, and you could help to save their life. These are the main steps that you will need to go through in order to help an individual fight their addiction and with support and treatment they should be able to go on and build a healthier and happier life.