Addiction can impact a person’s life in a wide variety of ways, as it can affect both a person’s brain and behavior. Almost anyone can develop a substance abuse problem, which could potentially destroy their career, relationships, and general health.
If addiction has touched your life in some shape or form, you might want to support others to overcome the disease successfully. Find out how to help people living with an addiction.
Understand the Cause of Addiction
If you want to help people living with an addiction, you must understand how the disease can develop over time. While many people turn to drugs or alcohol for fun, because their friends are using them, to enhance their athletic performance or to numb their emotions, there is often a reason why it turns from casual use to an addiction.
There are various risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing an addiction, such as:
· A family history of addiction
· A mental health disorder (e.g., depression or anxiety)
· The method of drug administration
· An early use of drugs
· A traumatic experience, such as abuse or neglect
By understanding the cause of addiction, you will be able to display greater empathy toward people living with the disease and direct them to the appropriate support and therapy options.
Avoid Enabling the Disease
If a family member or friend is living with addiction, you could be supporting the disease without realizing it. For example, you could be handing over money, which they might use to pay for drugs or alcohol. This is known as enabling, which is why you must avoid providing them with financial support, as it could be supporting their substance abuse.
Train to Become a Mental Health Counselor
If you are passionate about helping others to get on the path to recovery, you should consider training to become a mental health counselor. For example, you could gain an understanding of various counseling practices, such as crisis and addiction counseling, so you can help people in need of emotional support and make a positive difference in their lives. If you would like to become a licensed counselor, you should find out more about earning a mental health counseling masters online.
Spot the Signs of Addiction
Drug addiction can manifest in different ways. While some people might be addicted to class A drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, it’s also possible they might be struggling with an addiction to alcohol, opioid painkillers, and anabolic steroids.
To identify if someone is struggling with an addiction, you should familiarize yourself with the various signs, such as:
· Spending time alone
· A lack of self-care
· Stealing and lying
· Embarking on dangerous activities (such as dangerous driving or making impulsive decisions)
· Mood changes
· Bloodshot eyes
· A loss of appetite
· Enlarged pupils
If you can spot the signs of a drug or alcohol addiction, you will be able to identify if a loved one or patient is struggling with the disease or has relapsed.