Tips for Friends and Family of an Opiate Addict

Tips for Friends and Family of an Opiate Addict

With recent statistics showing that the amount of deaths caused by opiate overdose in Massachusetts has increased by 90% within the past 12 years, it’s evident that more needs to be done to prevent drug abuse and get opiate addicts the help they need. Addiction is something that effects not only the person abusing drugs or alcohol, but his or her family and friends as well.

Instinctually, friends and family members of an opiate drug addict want to give their loved one comfort and support in hopes that the addict will sober up on their own. They do this by providing money, shelter or food, which actually does more harm than good for the addict.

The aforementioned actions of friends and family of an opiate addict are considered “negative enabling”. Negative enabling is described as contributions made to an opiate addict, such as money or a place to sleep, that allow the addict to continue using. When friends and family supply money to a loved one with an opiate addiction they are supplying him or her with the ability to buy more drugs. Eventually, the money being given won’t be enough to support the opiate addict’s habits and the addict may turn to theft to get the drugs they crave.

Instead, Massachusetts drug addiction center, Treatment Alternatives, urges friends and family of an opiate addict to participate in positive enabling. Positive enabling is actions taken that encourage an addict to change the course they are taking in abusing drug substances.

To help friends and family of an opiate addict better understand how to positively enable a loved one with an addiction problem, Treatment Alternatives’ drug rehab in Massachusetts has put together a list of tips on how to give the best support.

Tip #1: Get professional help for your loved one. Qualified professionals such as therapists, addiction centers, and support groups have the training and knowledge necessary to help break your loved one’s addiction to opiates. Family and friends of opiate addicts that work with addiction specialists are less likely to return to negative enabling.

Tip #2: Stick to your guns and do not fall back into negative enabling. When you stop giving an opiate addict money, food, or shelter they may try to send you on a guilt trip to change your mind. Stay strong and continue to say ‘no’, knowing that if you give them these resources they will likely fall back into opiate drug abuse.

Tip #3: Make sure that all friends and family members of an opiate addict are on the same page. It’s likely that most friends and family are already aware of the addict’s situation. However, you want to make sure everyone agrees to respond to it in the same manner. Do not allow other friends and family members of an opiate addict to give him or her anything that gives them the means to buy drugs.

Tip #4: Continue positive enabling by offering an opiate addict the opportunity to get drug treatment. This will show your loved one that you care about them and their well-being, and you will no longer be providing resources that allow them to abuse opiates.

For more information on how to support and positively enable a friend or family member with an opiate addiction, contact our drug rehab center, Treatment Alternatives of Massachusetts today.

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