Tips to Help Your Loved One During the Recovery Process

Addiction is a terrible disease and it can take a tremendous toll on not only the addict but the rest of the family as well. When someone first agrees to get help for drug abuse and addiction, they often think that detox is the only step during the recovery process. People who are addicted to alcohol might even come out of the detox process and think they can drink socially. This is not the case. Sobriety represents a lifelong commitment and people need to embrace this commitment every day. Having support from friends or family is one of the main factors that keep a recovering addict determined and disciplined. It’s a great idea for friends and family members to familiarize themselves with ways they can help an addict through the recovery process.

How to Tell if Addiction is Taking Hold of a Loved One?

In order to be able to support someone throughout the recovery process, you’ll need to be able to spot the signs of addiction. There are a few key signs that someone is suffering from addiction: 

  • Defensive behavior: Addicts tend to become defensive during their addiction. If you start to ask them why they don’t have money or why they’re losing weight, they’ll get angry and most likely try to turn the conversation around on you. Although this can be hurtful, remember that they aren’t doing this maliciously. 
  • Hiding their use: People drug and alcohol abuse are generally not socially acceptable, addicts hide their use. An addict may stash alcohol or drugs in their car so no one can find them. They’ll often lie about what they’re doing as well to hide their use. If you ask an addict to come over for dinner, it’s common for them to make up an excuse because they want to get high. 
  • Mood swings: Drug and alcohol use can cause unstable moods. Someone using a stimulant will be down one minute, then up the next. Someone who is addicted to alcohol may start their day out feeling happy and normal, but the more they drink, the more depressed they can become.
  • Financial problems: Sustaining an addiction can become very expensive. If you suspect someone is struggling with substance abuse, and they ask to borrow money, they might have a problem. If you find someone going through your personal belongings to steal money, they most likely have a problem. 

When is it Time for Help?

It’s never too soon to get help. Once you recognize that someone you love is suffering from substance abuse, it’s time for help. Addiction is a progressive disease, the longer it manifests, the worse it gets.  It is critical to stop addiction in its tracks as early as possible to limit the collateral damage that might result.

How To Help Someone with Addiction

It may feel hard at first to try to help someone who is suffering from addiction. It’s normal to feel angry, or sad, or confused, especially if someone’s addiction has impacted you directly. The most important thing to remember is your loved one is sick. If they did something to hurt you, it wasn’t purposefully. It’s important to approach someone who is suffering from addiction with care and compassion. If they feel like they’re being attacked or misunderstood, they may resist getting help. 

There are different ways to approach someone about their addiction. Because everyone is different and every addiction is different, it can be hard to determine what is the right thing to do. If your loved one is struggling and is an introvert, try having a private conversation with them. They may get overwhelmed if too many people confront them at once. If your loved one gets agitated easily, you may want to confront them with someone else present. 

After you confront the addict, the most important thing to do is let them know you’re here to help them. You can offer to help them with researching different treatment options and even help by calling different facilities to learn more about their program. 

The best thing to do when helping someone during the recovery process is to not judge them and lend a shoulder to cry on. You’d be surprised at how much it can mean to someone by just saying “I’m here for you if you ever need to talk”. 

Let Us Help You With Your Addiction Treatment

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a complete, dual-diagnosis enhanced addiction treatment program, designed specifically for women, by women. This program provides a variety of levels of outpatient services, which include a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), a traditional Outpatient Program (OP), and long-term recovery monitoring. Our goal is to help women overcome addiction and mental health disorders. If you are interested in learning more about how our professionals can help you overcome the bonds of addiction, please contact us today!

How Are Women Impacted Differently by Addiction?

Addiction is a disease. It does not discriminate against anyone based on gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or occupation. It has the potential to impact anyone at any time. For the longest time, the vast majority of research was focused solely on drug abuse and alcohol addiction in men. This was because the trend was to use only men in medical studies. This exclusionary bias that women faced started to emerge in the 1990s. Many organizations in the United States noticed that women were also impacted by addiction, yet they were not receiving the same level of attention and treatment as their male counterparts. This led to a push to study addiction in women to a greater degree with the hope that medical professionals would be able to reach them more effectively during treatment sessions.

The Impact of Addiction in Women

As a whole, men are more likely than women to suffer from drug abuse and addiction. Between 11 and 12 percent of men over the age of 12 suffer from some form of substance abuse disorder. Just over 6 percent of women over the age of 12 suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Although the number of women suffering from addiction is lower than men, women are more likely to suffer fatal consequences from a substance abuse disorder. Women are more likely to end up in the emergency room or overdose due to substance abuse. For this reason, we want to raise awareness and spread information on the importance of getting the correct treatment. 

How are Women More Susceptible to the Dangers of Addiction?

Two ways in which men and women are impacted differently by addiction are biological and sociological.  Society expects different things from men and women and these sociological pressures impact how both genders respond to addiction. Differences in body size, composition, and hormone levels also impact how men and women respond to addiction.

Women are far more likely to transition from substance to substance when they suffer from addiction than their male counterparts. This means that women may use alcohol, then opioids, then stimulants. Even though men are more likely to become addicts as a whole, women are more likely to engage in self-medication with certain substances. 

Women are more likely to suffer end-organ damage from the effects of substance abuse and overdoses. This includes damage to the liver and kidneys depending on the type of drug. 

Finally, women are also more likely to experience cravings during the recovery process. This means that women are also more likely to relapse while they are in addiction treatment programs. 

How to Find Treatment for Addiction

When seeking treatment, people have the option to choose from an array of programs. There are mixed gender treatment centers, gender-specific, adolescent focused treatment, etc. While it’s great to have options, it’s important to seek the right kind of treatment. For instance, some women will feel particularly vulnerable when going to treatment and feel safe around other women. If this sounds like you, then an all women’s treatment center is the right choice. 

All treatment centers have the same end goal in mind, the only difference between mixed gender and gender-specific is the gender aspect. Often, people start the treatment process by trying to break free from addiction on their own. Sadly, this is not effective. People are bound to relapse. Therefore, it is important for everyone to reach out to professionals for assistance.

There are plenty of programs out there for individuals who are looking to treat addiction effectively. For example, many people start in an inpatient program so they can get through withdrawal and detox under the supervision of trained professionals. From there, individuals often transition to an outpatient program. This might include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). There are programs out there for everyone. People simply need to know where to turn for help.

Let Us Help You!

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced program that has been created by women to help other women recover addiction. We offer various levels of outpatient services including Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Outpatient Program (OP), and long-term rehab and recovery monitoring. If you would like to learn more about our addiction treatment options, then please contact us today! We would be honored to help you and your family with the recovery process.

How Domestic Abuse Can Cause Substance Abuse For Women

There are many issues in society that people simply aren’t comfortable discussing. Sadly, many of these issues tend to go hand in hand. This is exactly the case when it comes to domestic violence and substance abuse. These are almost always found together. When someone abuses drugs or alcohol, they tend to lose control of themselves. Substance abuse has the potential to destroy relationships with loved ones. When someone surrenders control of themselves to the cycle of addiction, they tend to lash out at loved ones. This can lead to domestic violence.

At the same time, the inverse is also true. When someone is the victim of domestic violence, this can drive someone to the bonds of addiction as well. For this reason, many women who end up in the world of substance abuse are also victims of domestic violence. It is critical for everyone to know how the two are related. That way, they can get help if they need it.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is any pattern of behavior in a relationship that is exercised to gain or maintain power over someone else. Domestic violence is a major problem in society and many people feel that the exact figures are under-reported. Domestic violence can take many forms. While many people feel that domestic violence is limited to physical abuse, this is not the case. This type of behavior can also include verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and even sexual abuse.

Domestic violence, like addiction, has the potential to cause collateral damage as well. In households where there are children involved, they can end up getting caught in the middle. This can lead to severe trauma for children, tearing a family apart. Finally, women who are victims of domestic violence are far more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol down the road.

Addiction and Domestic Violence are Related

What many people don’t realize is that addiction and domestic violence are related. The actions of domestic violence come out of someone’s desire to control someone else. When someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are going to lose control of their own inhibitions. When someone is under the influence, they are far more likely to engage in abusive behavior. Furthermore, research has shown that the vast majority of domestic violence crimes are related to the use of drugs.

Drugs have the ability to change how the neurotransmitters in the brain flow back and forth. The brain develops a need for these drugs and will do anything to force the person to find them. As a result, significant others who get in the way of this addiction will cause someone to lash out. This will lead to domestic violence. There are a few major characteristics that addiction and domestic violence share. Both activities can cause someone to lose control over the actions, engage in dangerous behaviors despite the negative consequences, will get worse over time, and can lead to both denial and shame. In many cases of domestic violence, both the abuser and the victim have a substance abuse disorder. This only complicates things further. If there are children involved, the situation only becomes even direr.

The Effects of Addiction and Domestic Violence

The effects of these two dangerous activities can lead to serious issues. When someone is the victim of domestic violence, they are far more likely to experience other mental health disorders. While substance abuse is a mental health disorder unto itself, there are numerous other complications that might result as well. Some of the problems that might arise following addiction and domestic violence include:

  • The development of other dependencies including designer drugs and alcohol
  • The development of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder can also start to manifest
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is becoming more common

These are only a few of the many mental health issues that might result when someone is the victim of domestic violence. Addiction is bad enough; however, when it is coupled with domestic violence, the consequences can be particularly severe. That is why it is important for everyone to rely on trained professionals to help address addiction and substance abuse. Nobody should have to face these problems alone.

Rely on the Professionals at Anchored Tides Recovery

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are drug abuse and addiction treatment program designed by women because we believe that women deserve to have a dedicated cadre of professionals who know and understand them. We know that drug abuse and domestic violence go hand in hand. That is why we tailor our addiction treatment plans to meet your individual needs. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today.