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How to Help Someone Suffering from Addiction

Man learning how to help someone with addiction

Addiction can have a profound effect on someone struggling with substance abuse and their loved ones. Knowing how to help someone suffering from addiction isn’t always easy. It’s important to realize their experience is their own. Addiction treatment programs provide a wide range of tools for loved ones to help support family and friends throughout recovery.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, call NuLife Behavioral Health today for the support you need. Our dual diagnosis addiction treatment programs provide family-friendly outpatient treatment for young adults and young professionals across Massachusetts and beyond. Whether you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or co-occurring disorders, our comprehensive programs can help. Call us now at 888.568.2057 to learn more about how our programs can help you help someone struggling with addiction.

Recognizing the Signs of Drug Addiction

The first step towards helping a loved one with addiction recovery is understanding how addiction works. Addiction occurs when the brain becomes dependent on a substance for certain chemical processes. In many cases, this is a dependence on dopamine, the “pleasure chemical.” Most habit-forming drugs release high levels of dopamine, creating a dopamine-reward effect. In short, the brain makes less dopamine naturally and relies on substances for intense amounts of the chemical. This keeps a person’s brain craving more dopamine from various substances.

Addiction is treatable and often affected by unprocessed trauma, a lack of mental health resources, mood disorders, and prolonged stress. Whether someone is taking medication as prescribed or abusing prescription or illicit drugs, their brain can become dependent on the drug quickly. Signs of addiction include:

  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Acting intoxicated
  • Increased drinking
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Erratic behavior
  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Changes in work or school performance

While drugs every person differently, many signs of substance abuse and addiction are similar. Both stimulants and depressants will affect sleep, mood, and daily behaviors. Both can lead to irrational thoughts and reactionary behavior. Recognizing drug use isn’t always easy. Contrary to popular belief, people can maintain relatively normal lives during substance abuse and addiction.

Helping Someone Struggling with Addiction

It’s hard to know how to help someone with recovery. Whether they’ve discussed drug use and dependence, here are some ways to approach helping someone you love through recovery:

  • Create a safe, drug-free home environment
  • Support sober activities through participation and encouragement
  • Attend family therapy together
  • Attend individual therapy to support yourself
  • Hold your loved one accountable with honest, non-judgemental conversation
  • Educate yourself about relapse prevention and the effects of addiction

Education and empathy are two keys to helping someone through recovery. Working with your own therapist and family therapy can help you develop the tools you need to support your loved one and yourself throughout each phase of addiction recovery.

Learn More About Addiction Treatment Options in Massachusetts Today at NuLife Behavioral Health

Finding the right addiction treatment programs can be overwhelming. If you and your loved ones are struggling, know you are not alone. The team at NuLife Behavioral Health is here to help. At NuLife Behavioral Health, we know how hard it can be to help loved ones through recovery. Our family-focused programs can help loved ones reconnect and hold each other accountable through each stage of addiction treatment. With a range of outpatient treatment programs for mental health, depression, anxiety, and addiction, we have the program for you and your loved ones. If you’re ready to learn more about how our team can help you and your loved ones thrive in our Massachusetts addiction treatment center, call us now at 888.568.2057 to get started.