How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction
What is surprising to hear and learn is that the love for a substance is only half the battle; the other half is the lifestyle surrounding the drug. At first, a new substance makes you very excited; its discovery and introduction into your life brings you joy and floods your mind with anticipatory “high” sessions full of fun and excitement.
Until you become hooked. You have been chasing that first high which felt so great but never attainable again. You believed that with repetitive use, that first great high would be experienced again. You soon come to an acceptance that achieving that first great high will never happen again, but now you are confronted with a new problem: withdrawal.
Many users report that the lifestyle surrounding a drug is what they enjoy: getting the natural rush when heading towards “the spot” to obtain the drug, the paraphernalia of the drug, meeting with other users to share the drug, enjoying certain activities while high on the drug, etc.
When helping someone suffering from a drug addiction, you have to understand that their lifestyle has been hijacked from them:
- They may no longer have money
- They may no longer have family support or friends
- They may be suffering from a physical or mental illness
- They may have lost all hope and drive to better themselves
- They may be on the verge of becoming homeless
- They may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms, preventing them from obtaining a job (their job becomes preventing future withdrawals)
We have a tendency to become irritable and distasteful towards drug addicts. But we must remember one crucial point: we are all humans battling a different type of struggle. We must not look at each other as being better or worse; rather, we need to try to understand each other’s struggles and difficulties.
Listen to a drug addict’s stories, concerns, struggles and pain! Make suggestions and give advice at appropriate times, but in a calm and supportive manner. Expect relapses! They are part of the recovery process. Most importantly, use your heart and imagine being in their shoes! Do not put on your bias lenses which prevent you from understanding where they are coming from.
And lastly, never give up hope on someone suffering from a drug addiction! If they see you giving up on them, what bit of energy is left for them to not give up on themselves? Sometimes, you may be their last hope and if they lose that as well, what else is there to live for? That is when suicide becomes a viable option in the mind of a drug addict with poor judgement and a distorted reality.
Help prevent suicide, mental illness and suffering by being kind, listening and offering help to people suffering from a drug addiction!
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)