It is difficult to watch your loved one struggle with opioid dependence, yet there are many things that you can do to show your support once they have made the decision to end their addiction. Naturally, recovering from opioid dependency will change your family dynamics, and you can increase their chances of success with these tips.
Understand the Cycle of Opioid Addiction
No one starts out using opioids with the hope of becoming addicted. Unfortunately, opioids affect the brain by altering how it produces endorphins until it reaches the point that a person needs the drugs to feel good. Over time, a person's increasing tolerance requires them to use more of the drug to achieve the same effects.
As a person begins to use more heroin or opioid medications to feel good, it is common for them to experience social consequences such as being unable to maintain their job or family relationships. They may also begin to experience physical withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop using on their own.
Withdrawal symptoms can occur after a person has only been using heroin or opioids for a short time, and these can range from cravings to severe nausea or vomiting. Understanding why your loved one cannot just stop on their own puts you in the right mindset to be helpful with their treatment.
Attend Counseling Sessions As Needed
Although the physical effects of opioid addiction are severe, the use of heroin and other substances eventually takes a toll on a person's psychological wellbeing. You might have even experienced this first hand in your relationship when addictive behavior patterns influenced your loved one's interactions.
Attending counseling sessions is an important part of addiction recovery, and your loved one may request you to attend therapy with them. This is a great time to work on repairing your relationship. Make sure to take these counseling sessions seriously so that you and your loved one can learn positive ways of interacting.
Help Reduce Stress At Home
While your loved one works on learning better coping skills in counseling, it is important to avoid exposing them to too much stress at home. Focus on finding ways to promote relaxation such as taking a walk together when things get too tense.
At times, it may not be possible to avoid dealing with a stressful situation. When this happens, make sure to practice the positive communication techniques that you learn in counseling together. This way, you can both use challenges as a way to rebuild your relationship while avoiding triggers for their addiction.
Encourage Participation in Healthy Activities
Now that your loved one has decided to get clean, they need help finding healthy ways to fill the time that used to be spent on opioids. Work together to find a new exercise routine that your loved one can do with you to strengthen their body and promote emotional healing such as hiking or biking.
Prioritize Continuing Care Appointments
Addiction recovery takes time, and you can expect your loved one to need continuous monitoring as they work on stopping their use of opioids. Depending upon your loved one's withdrawal symptoms, they may require dual process treatment that involves medications combined with counseling.
Naturally, a dual process treatment program requires a significant time commitment, yet clearing your schedule is worth it. By making continuing care a priority, your loved one has the best long-term chances for overcoming their addiction.
Your loved one's realization that it is time to end an opioid addiction is the perfect first step toward reclaiming their life. At Cedar Grove Medical Associates, LLC, we encourage family participation in treatment so contact us today to find out more about how to help your loved one