Help a Drug Addict

According to rehab centres in US, a significant part of premature mortality has to do with the use of addictive substances. It is in our hands to reduce and entirely eliminate this severe problem, so we must know everything related to addiction and how to help an addict.

What is an addiction?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), addiction is a physical and psycho-emotional disease made up of desires that dominate the feelings and thoughts of the sufferer.

There are 2 types of addiction:

  • Substance addiction (addiction to alcohol or alcoholism, addiction to marijuana, addiction to cocaine etc.)
  • Without substances (addiction to the game, sex, food ...).

Here, we will focus on substance addiction. 

What is being addicted?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, used by psychologists and psychiatrists worldwide, recognizes a series of criteria to diagnose that a person is dependent on substances:
  • A maladaptive pattern that leads to clinically significant deterioration or discomfort in the person, expressed by three or more of the following characteristics:
  • Tolerance, defined by a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve poisoning or the desired effect.
  • Abstinence, defined as the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance or the same substance (or a very similar one) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • The substance is consumed in larger quantities or for a more extended period than initially intended.
  • There is a persistent desire, or unsuccessful efforts are made to control or interrupt the consumption of the substance.
  • A lot of time is spent in activities related to the obtaining of the substance, in the consumption of the substance or in the recovery of its effects.
  • Reduction or abandonment of important social, labour or recreational activities due to substance use.
The substance continues to be consumed despite being aware of persistent psychological or physical problems that appear to be caused or exacerbated by the use of the substance (for example, using cocaine knowing that it causes rebound depression).

How to help an addict?

  • To help an addict, regardless of the substance to which they are addicted, the following steps must be followed:
  • The first and most important is the fact that the addict is aware of his illness. If the addict has not acknowledged as such, it is tough to start treatment for healing. To do this, you must talk to the person and make them understand that you have a problem. Know the characteristics of addiction and the symptoms and signs that it causes in order to know how to distinguish it.
  • Do not blame or judge the patient, just talk with them in a positive way and show them the support and help they deserve.
  • Do not make this subject a taboo and act naturally and calmly. That is, talking with the patient with complete confidence will make them feel more at ease and less judged, which at the same time will change his attitude towards treatment in a positive way.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help. Tell them that you know about some of the best rehabs in US and then search for them (if you don’t know already).
  • Support the patient unconditionally in their significant step. It is challenging for an addict to go to the clinic so we must support them and reinforce the great effort they are making.
  • If he prefers, accompany the patient in his first consultation. This will not only help the patient but also serve the psychologist as a reference figure with which to deal with the matter.
  • Take them to meet someone who is cured with the consultation of any of the rehab centres in US.
The recovery of an addict is very hard, but following these steps with love and unconditional support, we will get that person out of the hole and find them the happiness and fulfilment that they deserve.