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Someone suffering from chemical dependency cannot stop using drugs or alcohol on his or her own. The addict may realize that the situation has spun out of control, but will not be able to change their ways by themselves. Addiction is a disease that needs medical treatment and a strong support system. You can help someone get to that treatment and be a part their support system.

What is a cry for help?

A cry for help can look like many things. A DUI, marital problems, employment troubles, destructive behaviors, or any type of crisis can be a signal for help. The person in the situation may directly or indirectly ask for you to come to his or her aid. Addiction prevents the person from properly dealing with the consequences of drugs or alcohol use, and he or she must turn to someone else to put the pieces of a shattered life back together.

What do you to do when a person with addiction needs help?

Do not help the person fix the crisis (unless it requires immediate medical attention). By bailing an addict out, literally or metaphorically, you are signaling to him or her that there is no need for change. They must fully feel the consequences of their actions in order to assess their habits and lives. Instead of solving this single problem, which will be one of many, solve the larger problem by helping the addict get into recovery. This will likely involve an intervention and a consultation at a chemical dependency treatment center.

How do you get an addict to treatment?

This can be one of the hardest steps in the recovery process. If the person has already admitted he or she has a problem with substance use, than most of the battle is won. A person who is still in full or partial denial is not hopeless however. In any case, you can do several things to help the person get into treatment.

First and foremost, maintain a compassionate and caring attitude towards the person with the addiction. By maintaining a positive attitude towards the individual, you value the health of the person and that gives them something to work towards. In addiction, such positivity paints treatment as a way out of addiction rather than a negative consequence of their behavior. This will not only encourage them throughout the treatment processes, but will separate the real consequences of drugs and alcohol from the perceived ones. Second, do not downplay or remove the consequences of not seeking treatment. Addiction is a powerful disease. Even the smallest allowance can send a person aware of their addiction back into the chaos of drugs and alcohol. Third, contact a treatment center. The person with the addiction needs strength outside of themselves to get help. If an addict’s life is already in crisis, they are unlikely to have the capacity to find a treatment program for themselves, and if they do they may not have the courage to follow through. Encourage them to call a treatment center by giving them the number, staying with them through the call if they want you to, or making the call for them. Be that strength and support they need now, and in the future.

You can work with the treatment center to set up a consultation for the person with an addiction. Together with the addict, you can discuss treatment options that will better ensure a sustained recovery. If you need help getting the addict to even a consultation, ask the treatment center if they have intervention services.The important thing is to help the person make those first steps towards recovery. Once at the treatment center, experienced professionals will take over the healing process.

Hearing a patient’s cry for help before it’s too late is essential for achieving success in recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. Don’t wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom. Recognize cries for help and take action. Show that you care, allow consequences to happen, and contact a treatment center. Bradford Health Services’ ultimate goal is to help people struggling with addiction and their loved ones to live free from the chaos of chemical dependency. We understand the decision-making and rationale of people with addiction often throws them and their loved ones into crisis. You don’t need to live from one crisis to the next. Call us today.

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