If you are worried a loved one may be struggling, you will do everything in your power to help them through their difficult time.
When it comes to friends or family members, most people are willing to look for the early warning signs that something isn’t right. It is always much easier to spot changes in behaviour or mood in people you know the best.
Once you realise something isn’t right, you may be tempted to act, especially if you uncover that they struggle with drug or alcohol dependency.
There is a misconception that the best way to lead a friend or family member to long-term recovery is by pushing them towards a drug and alcohol rehab centre as soon as possible. They need to start making progress now; otherwise, they will only get worse.
First of all, you need to take a deep breath. This will be a very difficult time in their life, and what they will need more than anything else is support and compassion from the people in their lives that they love and support.
To best help your loved one, you need to understand that the only way for them to achieve long-term recovery is through wanting to do it. At the end of the day, any drug and alcohol rehab centre is a place that teaches people how to achieve long-term recovery.
If your loved one is not willing to put in the work, and if they refuse to try to work towards long-term recovery, then you can’t force them. We know it is hard, but all you can do is be there and make sure they know that should they decide to seek help for their drug or alcohol dependency, you will be there to support them every step of the way.
You need a gentle approach and keep in mind that substance abuse is not something that just happens, especially when it can develop into a full-blown drug or alcohol dependency.
It is very likely that there is more going on than a series of bad decisions leading to a habit of prolonged substance abuse.
What is the cause of addiction?
A drug or alcohol dependency is a very complicated medical condition that can have a number of causes that are unique to each individual. Some people begin abusing substances due to serious and untreated mental health conditions, and they are attempting to self-medicate.
It has been found that trauma is the leading cause of substance abuse in the first place. This to due to the fact that when a person experiences a traumatic event such as a car crash, assault, illness or even homelessness, it changes the way their brain is able to respond to stress.
Trauma causes something known as hypervigilance which is when your brain and your body is in a constant state of alert. It causes your fight or flight response to always be ready to go so that you can keep yourself safe.
Living in this constant state of survival mode can be incredibly mentally and physically draining as your brain is unable to respond to different stresses appropriately. It can see a missing set of keys and is dangerous as a break-in.
Many people use substance abuse as a way to numb these responses so that they are able to work and socialise as anyone else can. Your loved one may also be living with an undiagnosed mental illness such as anxiety or depression.
It is not uncommon for people to use drugs or alcohol as a way to try and regulate their own moods. Substance abuse is about achieving normality, and the only way they will be able to do this is through the services of a drug and alcohol rehab centre.
Suppose you are aware that the loved one you are worried about has struggled with their mental health in the past. In that case, the best thing you can do is sit them down and tell them the facts about substance abuse and what it can do to your mental health.
You need to gently tell them that any benefits they may feel from drugs or alcohol are only short-term. Tell them that substance abuse will only make their mental health worse and that the only way to improve it is through hard work in therapy.
We wish we could say there is a simple answer to all mental health problems, but there aren’t any. Improving your mental health is like training for a marathon.
It takes time to build up your endurance and strength so that obstacles that once seemed impossible are conquered. But, most importantly, it requires someone who has the experience and the right training to show you how to do it safely.
The drug and alcohol rehab centres in Tiverton offer therapy as part of their core treatment plans, and they can help your loved one achieve long-term recovery.
Genetics and addiction
Another cause of drug or alcohol dependency is a genetic factor.
Suppose your loved one has a family history of substance abuse. In that case, there is a higher likelihood that they would have developed one too. This can be for a number of reasons.
First of all, if they were exposed to drugs or alcohol from a young age, this behaviour may have been normalised, and the warning signs were missed. Second, many people who grew up around substance abuse mistakenly believe they simply have a high tolerance.
Secondly, drug or alcohol dependency is caused by your brain getting used to the extra rush of dopamine that the substance abuse causes. As dopamine is the feel-good chemical, your brain craves more and more of it so you can keep experiencing the rush.
Many times the genetic factor is due to a dopamine deficiency being passed down through the family line. Substance abuse raises dopamine levels to a healthy amount, and your brain latches on to what produces it.
These require specialised treatment in a drug and alcohol rehab centre in Tiverton to overcome. It is important that you carefully bring up with your loved one that once a dependency has developed, it will take more and more drugs or alcohol to keep the dopamine levels up.
Withdrawal symptoms are incredibly uncomfortable and even dangerous under the right circumstances. The only time they should be experienced is when your loved one is in a drug and alcohol rehab centre in the Tiverton area as part of the detox treatment.
There they can be monitored day and night by a team of fully trained medical professionals who are there to keep your loved one as safe and as comfortable as possible. They are also able to administer medication to relieve the withdrawal symptoms should they prove too much for your loved one’s body to handle.
Peer pressure and addiction
Peer pressure doesn’t just go away once a person leaves high school or university. It is something that follows us through our everyday lives, often without us even realising it.
The UK has a very big drinking culture, and it is easy for your loved one to get swept up in the pressure to socialise. Especially if your loved one already believes they have a high tolerance, excessive substance abuse can go unnoticed by many people in their life.
It is important to let your loved ones know that they always have a choice and that they don’t have to give in to the pressure to join in with others. A drug and alcohol rehab centre in the Tiverton area gives people the opportunity to work on themselves away from the pressures that come along with everyday life.
They will be given the tools to avoid temptation and learn that they can be sociable without substance abuse.
How we can help
We are OK Rehab, and we have years of experience helping people find the perfect drug and alcohol rehab centre in the Tiverton area.
Suppose you believe your loved one is ready to begin their journey to long-term recovery. In that case, we are here to provide the information and support they will need.
We simply ask that they give us a call at 0800 326 5559 so that we can talk them through our free initial assessment. We will then be able to create a profile on them detailing their specific needs so a referral to a local drug and alcohol rehab centre can be made.
We understand you want to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life, but you have to know that this won’t be an easy time for them. All you can do is make sure they know that you are there to support them through this.
Like us at OK Rehab, you are there to support them so that they can achieve long-term recovery one day.