For a person to simply admit they have an alcohol or drug problem and need help, might feel like a significant breakthrough. However, it is just the first step towards a long and challenging journey. When your loved one starts to experience symptoms of withdrawal, things really get complicated. Luckily, there are many ways for you to support your family member. But it is essential that you understand addiction and what to expect.
Addiction is a type of chronic brain disease. It can be caused when a person abuses drugs or alcohol for a significant amount of time. The more an individual uses these substances, the more their body becomes accustomed to the elements. That means a person’s body will need the drug or alcohol for its normal function. It doesn’t matter if they were using stimulants, opioids, or alcohol, their body will stop producing these essential chemicals naturally and be accustomed to the excess amount created by these substances.
You must understand this as they may go through difficulties during withdrawal, and you will have to bear with them. You should keep in mind, the longer they go without professional treatment, the more permanent damages these substances can cause.
How You Can Support Them
Help Them Fight Cravings
With any drug or alcohol, the abuser will have cravings. You need to be there to help them fight their cravings, especially during the initial stages of their detox. You should understand that desires are a part of detoxification, and it’s really challenging to suppress them. Your family member could relapse in this phase, and then you would have to start all over again.
You can get them busy in any activity of their choice. Take them out to a sports event, festival, retail store, or any place of their choice, you can also try playing sports or exercising. If the withdrawal makes it difficult to leave the house, try playing board games, cards, watch a movie, or anything of their choice.
Show Them That You Care
The early stages are more challenging during withdrawal, as they are more vulnerable to relapse. If possible, you should try to spend as much time as you can with them during these tough times.
As they are going through it, they might often feel dehydrated or hungry. It would be best if you could make sure they get enough liquids during this time and prepare easy to digest foods for them.
One of the most common symptoms of withdrawal is insomnia. Their cravings ruin their sleep. If you can, try to stay up with them through the nights. If not, at least make sure there are enough things in the house to keep them entertained as well as keep enough food by their side to help them fight drug or alcohol cravings.
Get Them Help
The treatment process will vary depending on the type and intensity of the addiction. However, you should make sure they join either inpatient or outpatient rehab centres. You can look into the ARC project, because they have excellent facilities to help addicts.
If their addiction is very severe, enroll them in an inpatient program immediately. The centre will provide accommodation and around the clock care. They will be properly taken care of.
If their addiction is not severe, then you can try to enroll them in an outpatient program. They can go to the centre in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings, according to their choice. It can be crucial in the road to sobriety. You can also ask them to join this program to maintain their sobriety after going through the inpatient program.