This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.
There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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What if you want to help someone who is addicted to drugs, but you don’t know how? There are many misconceptions about how to help a person who has an addiction. You cannot make a person conquer an addiction, and you can’t do the work for him. Your focus will be on offering support in various and creative ways. In order to help a person with an addiction one must understand that addiction is complex. You cannot fix the person; and above all else a person with an addiction is a person first and not just a drug addict as the title of this article indicates. The person’s battle with addiction will certainly be hard-fought, but your supportive action will positively contribute to the person’s journey.
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Jacobs Stock Photography Ltd / DigitalVision / Getty Images
If you have a friend or relative who is living with addiction, you might be wondering how you can help. It’s not always easy to make the decision to try to help someone who has an addiction, but your loved one will have a greater chance of overcoming addiction with your support.
While every situation is unique, there are some general guidelines that can help.
Focus on building trust
Expect immediate change
There are many reasons why it can be difficult to help someone you care about who has an addiction. Your loved one:
- May not agree they have a problem
- May not want to change what they are doing
- May fear consequences (e.g., losing their job or going to prison)
- May feel embarrassed and not want to discuss their addiction with you (or anyone else)
- May feel awkward about discussing their personal issues with a professional, such as a doctor or counselor
- May engage in their addiction as a way to avoid dealing with another problem (such as mental illness)
There is no fast and easy way to help a person with an addiction. Overcoming addiction requires great willpower and determination. If someone does not want to change their behavior, trying to persuade them to get help is unlikely to work.
What you can do is take steps to help your loved one make changes in the long term. It’s also important that you get the support you need to cope with a loved one who has an addiction.
Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is an evidence-based method for helping families get help for addicted loved ones.
CRAFT has replaced traditional interventions as the preferred method of helping people with addiction get the help they need, such as therapy.
If an addicted person has already betrayed your trust, regaining and maintaining it can be tough. However, establishing trust both ways is an important first step in helping someone with addiction think about change.
Avoid These Trust-Destroyers:
- Nagging, criticizing, and lecturing the addicted person.
- Yelling, name-calling, and exaggerating (even when you are stressed yourself).
- Engaging in addictive behaviors yourself, even in moderation (they will think you are a hypocrite).
Trust is easily undermined, even when you are trying to help. There are a few things to keep in mind as you are thinking about talking to your loved one about their addiction.
- Different perspectives. While you may only want to help your loved one, they might think you are trying to control them. These feelings can lead a person with addiction to engage in their addiction even more.
- Stress can make things worse. Your loved one likely uses their addictive behavior (at least partly) as a way to control stress. If the atmosphere between the two of you is stressful, they will want to do the addictive behavior more, not less.
- Trust goes both ways. Building trust is a two-way process. Trust is not established when you continue to put up with unwanted behavior. (If you currently have no trust for your loved one and do not feel that it can be established, move ahead to Step 2).
- Understand the role of consequences. People with addiction rarely change until the addictive behavior begins to have consequences. While you might want to protect your loved one, resist the urge to try to protect someone with addiction from the consequences of their own actions.
The exception to allowing for consequences is if your loved one is doing something that could be harmful to themselves or others—for example, drinking and driving.
Get Help for Yourself First
Being in a relationship with a person who has an addiction is often stressful. It’s important that you accept that what you are going through is difficult and seek support. You also need to develop stress management strategies—an important step in helping your loved one as well as yourself.
You might want to consider participating in support groups, such as Al-Anon or Naranon. Children and teens can get support from Alateen.
You might be more than ready to let your loved one know how you feel about the issues their addiction has caused and feel a strong urge to get them to change.
While it can be frustrating, remember that the decision to change is theirs. A person with an addiction is much more likely to be open to thinking about change if you communicate honestly and without being threatening.
If you want them to change, you will probably have to change too, even if you don’t have an addiction. If you show you are willing to try, your loved one will be more likely to try as well.
Identify Treatment Options
The process of treating addiction varies depending on the type of treatment that a person receives. If you are involved in your loved one’s treatment:
- Keep working on establishing trust. It might be helpful to re-read Step 1 before going to counseling with your loved one.
- Be honest about your feelings. Tell your loved one what their addiction has been like for you and be honest about what you want to happen next.
- Do not blame, criticize or humiliate your loved one in counseling. Simply say what it has been like for you.
- Be prepared for blame. Do not be surprised if your loved one expresses things you have done or said are contributing to their addiction. Stay calm and listen with an open heart and mind.
If your loved one chooses to pursue treatment on their own:
- Respect their privacy in everyday life. Do not inform friends, family or others about your loved one’s treatment.
- Respect their privacy in therapy. If they don’t want to talk about it, don’t push for them to tell you what happened.
- Practice patience. There are many approaches to addiction treatment, but no change happens overnight.
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
8 tips for coping with a loved one’s substance use disorder.
- What Is Addiction?
- Find a therapist to overcome addiction
The pathway to healing and recovery is often a journey that can progress over multiple years. Addiction not only involves the individual suffering from the substance use disorder, but their partner, their family, and their friends as well.
When supporting a partner or family member who is in active addiction to alcohol or other drugs, it’s critically important that you also take care of your well-being. It is a balancing act of offering support to your partner (or friend or family member) in navigating the treatment and recovery options available, while at the same time not losing sight of what you need to be happy and healthy.
Find 8 tips below for how to balance supporting the positive health behaviors of your partner, while also taking care of yourself.
1. Set Boundaries
It is important to set ground rules for your relationship, especially when you believe your partner may be developing or actively suffering from a substance use disorder. Boundaries are clearly outlined expectations or rules set forth so that both partners know what behaviors are acceptable.
This avoids the potential for unwittingly positively reinforcing substance use, and can help to avoid feeling constantly frustrated or angry with your significant other’s behavior—angry at being taken advantage of financially, manipulated emotionally, or helpless in the face of the substance use disorder.
Setting boundaries protects your personal health and well-being, is more likely to help your addicted loved one, and can help ensure that you’ll be satisfied with the relationship as well.
Some examples of common boundaries (that can be agreed upon through discussion with your addicted loved one) include:
- No alcohol and other drugs allowed in the house
- Not allowed in the house when intoxicated
- No alcohol or other drug-using friends allowed in the house
- No personal communication when intoxicated (i.e., no calls, texts, etc.)
- No asking to borrow things (e.g. money, car, cell phone, etc.)
2. Practice Self-Care
“Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.” You won’t be able to help your partner if you can’t help yourself. Try to maintain your own self-care routines as much as possible. This will build resiliency.
3. Educate Yourself.
An important first step in helping your partner is understanding their substance use. Educate yourself on substance use disorders and available resources. By doing this, you are not only empowering yourself to make well-informed decisions, but you are also ready and equipped with information when your partner decides they are ready to seek help.
Some starter research points include:
- Know the signs of an overdose and enroll in a Narcan (opioid overdose reversal medication) training course.
- Learn about the biological (e.g., substances’ effects on brain changes) and environmental (triggers, peer influences, substance availability, etc.) underpinnings of addiction and the many different and varied pathways to recovery.
- Stay up to date on the latest research in treating addiction and helping people recover.
- Familiarize yourself with the proper terms and language (which avoids stigmatizing language) to better communicate and address your partner’s condition in an objective and constructive way.
- What Is Addiction?
- Find a therapist to overcome addiction
4. Get Outside Input
With the shame and stigma that goes along with alcohol or other drug addiction, it is easy for affected loved ones to become increasingly secretive and isolated. Seek help and outside advice early and often. Talk to friends, people and family members in recovery who have the lived experience of what you’re going through, and seek the help of addiction specialists.
When asking for and seeking help, there are several different options available:
Help with drug addiction was sought by almost one-in-ten people in 2009, 1 yet many don’t know where or how to get drug addiction help. Often it isn’t until an addict ends up in an emergency room that help with drug addiction becomes a reality. However, there is no need to let addiction progress to this point. There are several ways of getting and providing drug addiction help for yourself or someone else.
Drug Addiction Help – How to Get Help with Drug Addiction
Drug addiction help should be accessed medically through a clinic, emergency room or doctor. When getting help for yourself or someone else, it’s important to start with medical personnel as they will rule out any additional health problems that may interfere with the treatment process.
Once initial medical help with drug addiction is given, referral to a treatment program or other resources is critical. The referral must be followed up and any medications ordered by the doctor must be taken as prescribed.
Then help for drug addiction will come from the treatment program itself. Treatment programs typically include access to medical personnel, as well as counselors and other addiction treatment specialists to further provide help with drug addiction.
How to Help a Drug Addict
It is hard to know how to help a drug addict. Drug addiction help may not be wanted by the drug addict, even if it is needed. For this article, we’ll consider two types of situations – emergency treatment and long-term treatment for drug addiction.
How to Help a Drug Addict in an Emergency
In an emergency, help with a drug addiction should always be given by a medical professional. No home care is appropriate in an emergency. Any time an overdose is suspected or the person loses consciousness, has seizures or drastic changes in vital signs, help with drug addiction means calling 9-1-1 immediately. Other emergencies that require immediate, medical help with drug addiction include: 2
- Thoughts of self-harm or harm to others
- Chest pain, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness
- Confusion or ongoing hallucinations
- Difficulty speaking, numbness, weakness, severe headache, visual changes, or trouble keeping balance
- Severe pain at a drug injection site (possibly with redness, swelling and fever)
- Dark colored urine
- Any suspicion of sexual assault
More detailed information on effects of drug addiction.
How to Help a Drug Addict Get Treatment
When the drug addict adamantly chooses to use drugs in a non-emergency situation, there is little that can be done. However, once the person chooses to get drug addiction help, you should know how to help a drug addict get drug addiction treatment.
The following are suggestions on how to help a drug addict who has decided to quit using drugs:
- Help for drug addiction needs to start with a medical assessment. Make an appointment and drive the addict to and from the doctor, or take the addict to a clinic or emergency room. Make sure the addict is referred to a drug treatment program.
- The period right after quitting drug use can be the most difficult. Offer drug addiction help by letting the addict stay with you or make them meals and visit them.
- If the addict is entering a paid treatment program, make sure the paperwork is done and filed with the insurance company.
- If the addict is given medication to ease withdrawal, ensure the medication schedule is followed.
- Offer drug addiction help by taking the addict to and from future treatment appointments.
- When offering drug addiction help, be supportive and ask the addict what they need.
Read more information on drug rehab centers.
Preventing and Treating Drug Abuse
Drug abuse can be a painful experience—for the person who has the problem, and for family and friends who may feel helpless in the face of the disease. But there are things you can do if you know or suspect that someone close to you has a drug problem.
Certain drugs can change the structure and inner workings of the brain. With repeated use, they affect a person’s self-control and interfere with the ability to resist the urge to take the drug. Not being able to stop taking a drug even though you know it’s harmful is the hallmark of addiction.
A drug doesn’t have to be illegal to cause this effect. People can become addicted to alcohol, nicotine, or even prescription drugs when they use them in ways other than prescribed or use someone else’s prescription.
People are particularly vulnerable to using drugs when going through major life transitions. For adults, this might mean during a divorce or after losing a job. For children and teens, this can mean changing schools or other major upheavals in their lives.
But kids may experiment with drug use for many different reasons. “It could be a greater availability of drugs in a school with older students, or it could be that social activities are changing, or that they are trying to deal with stress,” says Dr. Bethany Deeds, an NIH expert on drug abuse prevention. Parents may need to pay more attention to their children during these periods.
The teenage years are a critical time to prevent drug use. Trying drugs as a teenager increases your chance of developing substance use disorders. The earlier the age of first use, the higher the risk of later addiction. But addiction also happens to adults. Adults are at increased risk of addiction when they encounter prescription pain-relieving drugs after a surgery or because of a chronic pain problem. People with a history of addiction should be particularly careful with opioid pain relievers and make sure to tell their doctors about past drug use.
There are many signs that may indicate a loved one is having a problem with drugs. They might lose interest in things that they used to enjoy or start to isolate themselves. Teens’ grades may drop. They may start skipping classes.
“They may violate curfew or appear irritable, sedated, or disheveled,” says child psychiatrist Dr. Geetha Subramaniam, an NIH expert on substance use. Parents may also come across drug paraphernalia, such as water pipes or needles, or notice a strange smell.
“Once drug use progresses, it becomes less of a social thing and more of a compulsive thing—which means the person spends a lot of time using drugs,” Subramaniam says.
If a loved one is using drugs, encourage them to talk to their primary care doctor. It can be easier to have this conversation with a doctor than a family member. Not all drug treatment requires long stays in residential treatment centers. For someone in the early stages of a substance use problem, a conversation with a doctor or another professional may be enough to get them the help they need. Doctors can help the person think about their drug use, understand the risk for addiction, and come up with a plan for change.
Substance use disorder can often be treated on an outpatient basis. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to treat. Substance use disorder is a complicated disease. Drugs can cause changes in the brain that make it extremely difficult to quit without medical help.
For certain substances, it can be dangerous to stop the drug without medical intervention. Some people may need to be in a hospital for a short time for detoxification, when the drug leaves their body. This can help keep them as safe and comfortable as possible. Patients should talk with their doctors about medications that treat addiction to alcohol or opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers.
Recovering from a substance use disorder requires retraining the brain. A person who’s been addicted to drugs will have to relearn all sorts of things, from what to do when they’re bored to who to hang out with. NIH has developed a customizable wallet card to help people identify and learn to avoid their triggers, the things that make them feel like using drugs. You can order the card for free at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brain-wallet-card.
“You have to learn ways to deal with triggers, learn about negative peers, learn about relapse, [and] learn coping skills,” Subramaniam says.
NIH-funded scientists are studying ways to stop addiction long before it starts—in childhood. Dr. Daniel Shaw at the University of Pittsburgh is looking at whether teaching healthy caregiving strategies to parents can help promote self-regulation skills in children and prevent substance abuse later on.
Starting when children are two years old, Shaw’s study enrolls families at risk of substance use problems in a program called the Family Check-Up. It’s one of several parenting programs that have been studied by NIH-funded researchers.
During the program, a parenting consultant visits the home to observe the parents’ relationship with their child. Parents complete several questionnaires about their own and their family’s well-being. This includes any behavior problems they are experiencing with their child. Parents learn which of their children’s problem behaviors might lead to more serious issues, such as substance abuse, down the road. The consultant also talks with the parents about possible ways to change how they interact with their child. Many parents then meet with the consultants for follow-up sessions about how to improve their parenting skills.
Children whose parents are in the program have fewer behavioral problems and do better when they get to school. Shaw and his colleagues are now following these children through their teenage years to see how the program affects their chances of developing a substance abuse problem. You can find video clips explaining different ways parents can respond to their teens on the NIH Family Checkup website at www.drugabuse.gov/family-checkup.
Even if their teen has already started using drugs, parents can still step in. They can keep closer tabs on who their children’s friends are and what they’re doing. Parents can also help by finding new activities that will introduce their children to new friends and fill up the after-school hours—prime time for getting into trouble. “They don’t like it at first,” Shaw says. But finding other teens with similar interests can help teens form new habits and put them on a healthier path.
A substance use problem is a chronic disease that requires lifestyle adjustments and long-term treatment, like diabetes or high blood pressure. Even relapse can be a normal part of the process—not a sign of failure, but a sign that the treatment needs to be adjusted. With good care, people who have substance use disorders can live healthy, productive lives.
Find mental health services, including treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Get help for veterans and family members to deal with mental health issues.
On This Page
- Get Help for Substance Abuse
- Find Mental Health Services
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Help for Veterans
Get Help for Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is the misuse of alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter medications, and the use of illegal drugs. Find treatment and recovery services for substance abuse and learn how to prevent drug and alcohol problems.
Recognize the Signs and Effects of Substance Abuse
Alcohol and drug addiction can happen to anyone at any age. Learn the signs of someone with a drug or alcohol problem, the effect of drugs, and how to prevent substance abuse:
Find Treatment for Substance Abuse
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers these services to help with drug and alcohol abuse:
Call SAMHSA’s national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357). This treatment referral and information service is confidential, free, and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in English and Spanish. It’s for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
Search for a treatment facility near you. Get help with problems related to substance abuse, addiction, or mental health issues.
The Alcohol Treatment Navigator explains how different treatment options work, how to choose a quality program, and how to get support for yourself or for a loved one through the recovery process.
Get medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This involves using medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. It can be used for opioid addictions, such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates, and to help prevent an opioid overdose.
Find Substance Abuse Treatment Programs for Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers veterans and their families a wide range of support services for substance abuse:
Find a VA treatment center. Search for a local VA substance use disorder (SUD) treatment program or a VA medical center with mental health specialists.
Contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, chat online with a VA responder, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Find Local Help Centers for Alcohol and Drug Addiction
Get help from local support groups and other services in your community:
Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) helps people with problems controlling how much alcohol they drink, and who wish to stop drinking. Locate a meeting center or an online support group.
Al-Anon supports people affected by alcoholic family members or friends. Find a meeting in your area.
Alateen is part of the Al-Anon safe group and offers help for teens dealing with a parent’s alcohol abuse.
Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.) assists people who want to stop abusing prescription or illegal drugs. Find a meeting center or online support group by searching for the local helpline or website for the area where the meeting is located.
NAR-Anon supports people affected by someone using and abusing drugs. Search for a meeting in your area.
SMART Recovery assists young people and adults with alcohol or other addictions through group therapy sessions. Go to a SMART Recovery meeting in person or attend an online meeting.
Find Mental Health Services
Mental health is as important as physical health. It includes your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental illnesses are serious disorders that can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior. Many factors can contribute to these disorders. These factors can include genes, family history, and life experiences.
These government services can help you find someone to talk to, treatment options, and information on a wide range of mental health issues.
Talk to Someone About Depression and Other Mental Health Issues
If you don’t have access to a health care professional, call for help with mental health problems.
- For emergency help – Call 911.
- For suicidal thoughts and behavior – Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
- For mental health issues after a disaster – Contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
- For veterans experiencing a crisis – Contact the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, and press 1.
- For substance abuse treatment and mental health referrals – Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Get Treatment for Mental Health Disorders
Health centers and behavioral health treatment facilities can provide services that can help.
- Locate a health center near you to make an appointment for mental health services.
- Find a behavioral health treatment facility. These facilities offer help with mental health issues or substance abuse problems.
- The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) conducts research and clinical trials on many mental health issues. NIMH is a part of the National Institutes of Health. Learn how to participate in a clinical trial.
- Find mental health services for veterans and their family members. These services can help with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other issues.
Find Mental Health Information
Learn the warning signs of a mental health problem and how to talk about these issues with others.
- Learn how to talk about mental health—the facts, myths, and typical treatments—at MentalHealth.gov.
- Order mental health publications for help with a wide range of mental health issues, conditions, and disorders.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Help for Veterans
If you or someone you know needs help now, contact the Veterans Crisis Line. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can:
Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1
Send a text message to 838255
Veterans’ caregivers can find help through the VA Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274.
Articles On Drug Addiction
- What Is Drug Abuse?
- Signs of Drug Addiction
- Drug Overdose Symptoms
- Overdose Medication
- Substance Abuse Recovery
The physical aspects of opioid dependency improve after detox. But psychological addiction, temptation, and craving can last for years, even a lifetime. The truth is, most people will relapse on their way to full recovery from prescription drug addiction.
Staying on the path to health takes patience, loving relationships, and emotional resilience. People in drug abuse recovery need all the help they can get. Fortunately, tools and resources are available to help someone stay straight and to pick them up if they stumble.В Learn more about life after addiction.
Stress and Prescription Drug Addiction
Understanding the deep connections between stress and drug addiction is essential to drug abuse recovery. People who experienced stress, such as child abuse, early in life are more likely to become addicted to drugs. Stressful mental health conditions like depression and anxiety also increase the risk for opioid addiction. People with a prescription drug addiction often say stress was a reason they began abusing pain pills.
Making the situation worse, opioid addiction itself causes lasting changes in the parts of the brain that deal with stress. People with opioid addiction have a persistent overactive response to stress, even years after completing detox.
Stress is a major stimulus for drug craving, according to people with opioid addiction. Not surprisingly, life stress is one of the main reasons people give for relapsing into prescription drug abuse. For all these reasons, learning methods to better cope with stress are an essential part of drug abuse recovery.
Family, Friends, and Addiction Recovery
One of the primary causes of relapse in pain pill addiction is an inability to develop intimate relationships. It’s almost impossible to recoverВ from prescription drug addiction alone.В Learn what to do when someone you love relapses.
Rebuilding close connections with family and friends is essential to successful drug abuse recovery. This often requires the addicted person to recognize and make amends for the damage caused by past behavior.В Learn how to talk to children about addiction.
At the same time, the addicted person’s family will be going through its own recovery process. Re-establishing trust and mutual respect can take months or even years. Nothing can replace the healing properties of time spent together with loved ones.
Addiction Recovery Support Groups
Experts believe group therapy is superior to individual therapy for people recovering from prescription drug abuse. The group setting allows peers to both support and challenge each other, and creates a sense of shared community.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is an international network of community-based meetings for those recovering from drug addiction. Modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), NA is an abstinence-based 12-step program with a defined process for overcoming addiction. More than 58,000 NA meetings take place every week worldwide.
Methadone Anonymous is a similar 12-step program that acknowledges the value of maintenance therapy with methadone or Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) for recovery.
Family members often have their own emotional problems that come from coping with their loved one’s addiction. They can often benefit from attending their own support group, sharing their stories and experiences with other families. Nar-Anon, an offshoot of Narcotics Anonymous, is the most well-known.
Exercise and Addiction Recovery
Drug addiction takes a toll on the body, along with the mind and soul. Exercise hasn’t been studied for drug abuse recovery. However, exercise releases natural endorphins, feel-good chemicals that relax the brain and body and reduce stress.
Besides improving overall health, exercise improves mood and builds self-esteem, key areas in drug abuse recovery. Thirty minutes of daily physical activity, like brisk walking, will bring overall health benefits. Exercising with a group will also enhance interpersonal relationships and help develop connections outside the world of addiction.
Meditation During Addiction Recovery
The central principle of all forms of meditation is to focus attention on the present moment, the “now.” Some experts believe addictions result in part from an attempt to escape psychological pain. Meditation can help an addict face painful feelings and understand how these feelings contribute to craving. This can potentially help the person discover healthy ways of coping with bad feelings, without using drugs.
Spirituality, Service, and Addiction Treatment
Many people in drug abuse recovery say their spirituality is important in staying clean and sober. Attending religious services, regular community service, and daily prayer are examples of activities that have helped many who believe a higher power is essential to their continued recovery. Reaching out to a local church ministry, or contacting the United Way in your area, can get you started.
There are different kinds of drugs manufactured (legally or illegally) for various uses known to mankind. While legal drugs are often pharmaceutical drugs, used for the treatment of various illnesses, illegal drugs are substances which, via inhalation, absorption or taken in any form affects the nervous system of the said individual and influences the brain of the said individual. The nature of these drugs is such that they make the user addicted to them, therefore proving to be extremely harmful for people. These drugs have the capability of altering mind functions, so a person getting addicted to them completely loses control of one and gradually falls into a pit of loneliness and self destruction.
Drug addiction is a serious problem in the whole world, particularly in the third world countries. The governments of various countries and different health organizations are trying their best to treat this problem. We, at Parenting Healthy babies, would like to contribute in our own way by listing 15 home remedies for this grave problem.
1. Kutzu root powder
Kudzu root powder is a highly effective way to deal with alcoholism specifically. There is a widespread use of this concoction in Eastern cultures for many centuries, and it has been shown to curb the intake and even desire for alcohol quite significantly. Studies are now being carried out to see whether this powder is as effective in dealing with other kinds of drug addictions as well.
2. Gingko Biloba
Going back to Eastern medicine, and this time, more specifically to China, the leaves of the ginkgo biloba tree, also known as the maidenhair tree, have proven to be an exceptionally potent way of curing several kinds of disorders, including drug addiction. There are various herbal supplements of ginkgo available, of course, but the leaves themselves, in all their natural glory, are the best remedy.
While caffeine is typically seen as a harmful substance, and rightly so, yet it has to be understood that it is significantly less harmful than other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. Caffeine is helpful in lessening the impact of drug withdrawals from the body. It provides with an adrenaline rush and an increase in brain energy that can be identifiable with what drugs such as cocaine provide. However, caution should be exercised in its use.
4. Passion flower plant
Speaking of reducing the effects of drug withdrawals, herbs of the passionflower plant is very effective. Especially when used with clonidine, a drug used to decrease high blood pressure, ADHD, and headaches associated with withdrawals, is a great combination to mitigate the effects of drug withdrawal substantially.
5. Protein Intake
It is important to increase one’s protein intake during the period of recovery from drug addiction. As the body goes through a considerable degree of damage, the cells as well as neural transmitters in the nervous system need to be suitably repaired and restored to their original state. To accomplish this, fatty fish serves as a highly beneficial resource, as it is not just a protein-rich food item but also because it contains omega-3 fatty acids that alleviate the amount of stress on the body during the period of recovery.
6. Milk thistle
Liver is an extremely beneficial organ in our body. It filters our blood to get rid of unwanted substances. Ironically, these addictive substances travel through blood to affect our liver, which is why, any kind of drug addiction affects our liver the most. In such a case, it is important to get the liver cleansed while getting rid of this addiction. Milk thistle is an herb with hepato-protective properties, and can help the liver in fighting cirrhosis, hepatitis or any other form of liver disease resulting from drug addiction.
While going through drug withdrawal, some of the common things that patients experience are insomnia, headaches or even depression. Skullcap is an herb which can prove to be extremely handy in this case. It is a powerful nervine agent that helps in making the initial days of withdrawal less painful.
8. Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are to be consumed more often in such cases, as they are known to reduce the craving for the drugs and enhance the immune system of the body.
9. Diet Control
It’s amazing how the food you do and do not eat can affect your health in so many different ways. Changing your diet is a great home remedy to promote healing from a drug addiction. Eat foods high in antioxidants, such as colorful fruits and vegetables like citrus fruits, berries, spinach and other leafy greens, and colorful peppers. Foods high in vitamin B6 are also beneficial, such as whole grains, beans, leafy greens, nuts and tofu.
A few reports have aid that acupuncture might be a cure for drug addiction and for reducing the symptoms of drug withdrawal. So, you can consult your physician and try this out.
Yoga has been known as an ancient cure for numerous diseases, as well as for exercises that help in soothing the mind and nervous system of the individual practicing it. It can therefore, prove to be an extremely effective and completely harmless remedy for drug addiction. Just make sure to practice yoga under the guidance of an expert.
12. Art Therapy
Many experts have suggested that art therapy could prove to be really effective while dealing with drug addiction. More often than not, individuals suffering from drug addiction suffer from low self-esteem, lack of confidence and a feeling of absolute worthlessness. Indulging in art could be a pathway of self-expression for them, and it can prove to be really cathartic, thus making them less dependent on drugs.
13. Pet Therapy
Pets can be great companions for people of all age groups. Unlike human beings, pets have a high sense of loyalty and are capable of providing unconditional love to their human companions. People suffering from drug addiction can derive great joy and comfort in the company of pets, which might reduce the number of reasons behind them being dependant on drugs.
14. Horticulture Therapy
Just like pet therapy, taking care of plants could bring significant changes in these people and decrease their levels of stress, insomnia, depression and other negative feelings.
Meditation can be the simplest, yet the most effective and powerful home remedy out of these all remedies. Practicing meditation on a daily basis can gradually cure a person out of drug addiction.
If you are suffering from drug addiction and finding ways to end it, then congratulations! You have already taken the right step towards a successful life. That being said, if the problem still persists, then it is always advisable to go to a proper rehabilitation centre, and get yourself cured. After all, it is a matter of your entire life.