Whether you have a family member struggling with substance abuse or you’re an addict yourself, finding help at the right time can be crucial for recovery. While it’s not possible to force someone to stop using drugs or alcohol, you can make a difference by offering your support and encouraging them to seek treatment.
The first step in getting help is recognizing that you have a problem with substances, which is generally easiest to do when you’re young. This can be done by talking to a trusted friend or family member, a health care professional, or a teacher or counselor.
Next, contact a local 211 helpline or go online to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to find services near you. These helplines can connect you with a mental health counselor, addiction specialist or other support professional who can answer your questions and help you find treatment.
There are many different types of treatment for drug and alcohol use disorders, each of which is tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Typically, treatment involves non-pharmacological therapies such as counseling and psychotherapy and, sometimes, medication, followed by rehabilitation and ongoing support to keep patients sober and prevent relapse.
A person can start a treatment program in a residential facility or in an outpatient setting, depending on the severity of their condition. They may begin with a detoxification program, which removes the drugs or alcohol from the body. This is often a life-saving step, as it prevents withdrawal symptoms and medical complications.
After a person has completed detox, he or she will usually enter rehab treatment, where the focus is on overcoming the addictive behaviors. This help with substance abuse type of treatment addresses a person’s motivation to change, helps them identify triggers and teaches them how to cope without turning to alcohol or drugs.
During treatment, patients will be able to work with a licensed professional in a variety of settings and formats, including group therapy, individual sessions and family counseling. During this time, they can learn new coping skills and discover underlying issues that contributed to their substance use disorder.
Once they’ve overcome their addiction, they can continue their sobriety with ongoing support in the form of mutual help groups or individual counseling and therapy. Often, medications are also prescribed to help manage cravings and other relapse-inducing behaviors.
If you’re worried about a loved one’s substance use, you can call or visit your doctor for a screening. These tests can detect signs of an addiction, such as a high tolerance for a substance, withdrawal symptoms and other warnings.
You can also request an intervention with a health professional, who will provide feedback about the person’s substance use and encourage them to lower their consumption. The intervention is often a brief and supportive session, but it’s also a chance to set a goal of lower consumption.
While the decision to seek help is difficult, it’s an important one that will lead to a healthier and happier life. It will allow you to restore your own emotional stability and bring new direction to your life. It will also give you the tools to better support your loved one in their journey.