Finding a Way Out: Helping Your Loved One Escape Substance Abuse

Supporting someone you love through substance abuse recovery can be a difficult journey. Here are some steps you can take to help your loved one break away from addictive habits and onto the path of recovery.

When someone you love has spiraled deep into the grip of substance abuse, they will likely need help to emerge from that darkness. It takes a committed community of friends, loved ones, and professionals to break the cycle and set the addict on the road to recovery. This process takes both time and effort. Here are some reliable recommendations from The ARGUS to help you support your loved one as they strive to overcome an addictive past, live mindfully in the present, and stride confidently into the future.

Seek Support

No matter how alone your loved one might feel, help them to realize that loneliness is the addiction talking. You are now part of a vital network of friends and family who will support and fight to help pull your loved one out from addiction and into recovery. There are resources available to you as you play your part in this process, but this is not your job alone. Encourage your loved one to talk with a professional counselor or a pastor or priest who will listen compassionately and help them find a way out of their cycle. 

If these are not the right fit, there are many types of support groups that you can explore with your loved one until they find something that is right for them. Finding support can be a challenging first step, but it will establish a strong foundation for your friend or family member’s recovery journey.

Encourage Meditation

Part of recovering from substance abuse is finding a way to break away from the destructive habits that led to such a dark path. One method involves replacing bad habits with good ones. Meditation is one of the best habits your loved one can form to aid in recovery. Meditation can help promote inner peace and calm, increase self-awareness, and help them detach from impulses. In addition, regular meditation provides pain, anxiety, and stress relief while increasing self-control. Here’s a list of meditation resources for recovering addicts that you can share with your friend or family member. While it may seem strange initially, and they might even fall asleep, your recovering addict will soon grow to love how meditation gives them a chance to center themselves and relax even when things feel crazy.

Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 9.2 million adults experienced a co-occurring substance abuse disorder along with a mental health disorder in 2018. This includes things like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, bipolar issues, schizophrenia, and more. Treating these disorders together can be challenging because symptoms of one disorder may contribute to the other disorder. These disorders can be complicated to untangle, and doctors must often make special considerations as they treat the patient. Medications, counseling, therapy, and other treatments must be integrated in the best manner to achieve the best results.

Use Health Insurance

Utilizing the options available from health insurance is a critical step in accessing assistance for addiction recovery. Many health insurance plans, including those offered through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange, cover a range of treatments and services essential for addiction recovery, such as counseling, inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, and medication-assisted treatment. By shopping on the ACA exchange, your loved one can compare different plans and find one that best suits their needs, potentially offering more comprehensive coverage for substance abuse treatment. It’s important to understand the specifics of coverage, including any deductibles and copays, to fully utilize the benefits available. Leveraging health insurance can significantly reduce the financial burden of recovery and provide the necessary support to navigate this challenging journey.

Adopt a Dog

Addiction and depression are a dangerous combination. When you have both, the risk of suicide increase, and depression is the the biggest predictor of alcohol relapse. To help deal with feelings of depression and anxiety, talk to your loved one about possibly adopting a dog. Research has shown that companion animals are effective in treating anxiety and depression. They do so primarily by providing comforting companionship and giving their owners a sense of purpose and motivation to take care of someone besides themselves. They also provide unconditional love, can recognize the signs of a panic attack, and help people stay connected to something bigger than themselves.

Be sure that you have all the necessary supplies to care for your new dog. Consulting veterinarian-recommended product reviews can help. Use these resources to ensure you provide a comfortable home for your dog.

Watching someone you love struggle with addiction is heartbreaking, but there are ways that you can help. Start by simply being there for them. Then, guide them towards other forms of support and positive behaviors that can help give your loved one the tools they will need to persevere. In the end, it may be your involvement that made the difference between relapse and recovery.

For the past 112 years, the ARGUS has established itself as a trusted voice for the diverse Black communities of Missouri— championing voices and stories that might otherwise go unheard.


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