Addictive drugs have always been a problem and have ruined and ended countless lives. But it was never a full-fledged epidemic until 1999, when doctors began prescribing opioids as prescription pain killers and their patients became addicted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though overdose deaths rose, the prescriptions kept flowing, so the numbers kept climbing for more than a decade. Then, many addicts who needed something stronger turned to heroin, which led to a new phase of the epidemic and even more fatalities.
In 2013, fentanyl, a synthetic opiate 100 times more powerful than morphine, became the next-level drug. Between 2016-2017, fentanyl overdose deaths rose 46%, killing 28,400 people that year.
The CDC and many other organizations are working hard to combat this tragedy by tracking trends, educating consumers, and collaborating with public safety officials.
And here at Alpha Care Medical, we’re doing everything we can, as well, to help patients throughout Delaware overcome addiction to opioids. If you have a loved one who is addicted to opioids, we can help.
Helping a loved one battle addiction
Addiction is a mind-altering disease, and the treatment and recovery process rarely follows a straight line. Here are some ways you can help your loved one navigate the journey.
Learn about opioid addiction
The more you know about the opioid epidemic, the more effective you’ll be as a support. Keep in mind that everyone handles addiction differently, so there’s no single way to approach it.
Learn how to spot the signs ― such as mood swings, lack of motivation, and ignoring responsibilities ― which may occur even years after recovery. Be prepared to be disappointed, and resolve yourself to keep trying other methods and motivators.
Consider an intervention
Presented compassionately and carefully, an intervention — when a few friends and family members gather to speak to the addict about how their behavior is affecting others and to encourage treatment — can be a very powerful incentive for an addict to seek help.
Done poorly, it could have the opposite effect. Make sure the people in the room have the best interests of the addict in mind and that they will not be angry or confrontational.
Set personal boundaries
Opioid abusers are under the control of highly potent chemicals that make their brain and body crave them desperately. They will do and say almost anything to get more. As a loved one, you may believe that giving them money to pay for rent, or a car so they can get to work are supportive actions. However, sometimes enabling an addict can make the matter worse. Decide what your limits are and commit to them.
Stay supportive and positive
People addicted to opioids often do and say things that hurt the people they care about. As their loved one, you need to constantly remind yourself that it’s not personal, it’s the disease. If you don’t prepare yourself, you may begin to resent your loved one, and then you won’t be able to help.
Try to refrain from criticizing them for their behavior. Remember, addiction is a strong, powerful force that compels them to do what they do. You should think of your loved one as a sick person who needs medical help. And that’s where we come in.
Getting a loved one treatment
At Alpha Care Medical, we offer comprehensive care ― including medication-assisted treatment ― to those with opioid dependency. Don’t worry, this is not simply replacing one medication for another. It’s a clinically proven, FDA-approved way to wean your loved one off of dangerous opioids.
We come alongside your loved one and supervise the treatment every step of the way. The medications we use are safe, not habit forming, and can help relieve the symptoms and reduce the cravings. We combine the medical treatment with psychological treatment, so we can care for the entire person, both body and mind.
If you’re looking for a specialized, discreet, and medically proven way to help your loved one battle opioid addiction, book an appointment over the phone with Alpha Care Medical today.