How To Help a Loved One Suffering from Substance Abuse

Posted on: November 27, 2020 by in Addiction
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If someone close to you struggles with substance abuse, they are going to face physical symptoms and likely mental health issues directly related to their substance abuse. Both of these symptoms can be long term. It is also possible these symptoms will spill over into other areas of their life and cause suffering to family and/or friends.


For those who know someone facing this struggle, it is crucial to bear in mind that you need to notice signs of substance abuse in order to learn how to help them. Before talking to your loved one about their substance abuse treatment options, begin with a careful approach to the problem:

  • Try not to confront them or start an argument.
  • Changes in behavior from aggressive to depressed can be a common occurrence, so start your approach with utmost care and sensitivity.
  • It is normal to find it difficult to start a discussion about this topic. Approach the conversation cautiously in an environment where you can both be comfortable.
  • Lead with empathy and kindly ask them if they willing to consider getting professional help.
  • Remember that as much as you want to help your loved one get the help they need, they also have to want it for themselves. Be patient with them.

There are two common types of treatment for substance abuse: inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation. You will work with a team of doctors to decide which will be the best course of treatment for you or your loved one.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Treatment

Inpatient treatment is found in special clinics where the patient stays for an extended period of time while getting therapy at the dedicated times throughout day. Inpatient treatment may be a good choice in the following situations:

  • For people who have already tried outpatient rehabilitation program, but it did not work.
  • For people who have a dual diagnosis.
  • For someone who does not have an outpatient treatment facility near their home.
  • For those who find it difficult to stay away from substances in their normal environment.

Depending on the recovery process, the patient typically stays between one or six weeks at an inpatient rehabilitation facility for treatment. Often, patients follow inpatient therapy with an outpatient treatment program for group therapy.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Treatment

The outpatient approach happens in hospital clinics, health clinics, counselors' offices, etc. But in this course of treatment, the patient does not stay overnight. One of the greatest challenges outpatient rehab patients face is dealing with negative influences in their normal environment. Standard outpatient treatments consist of one or two group therapy sessions a week.

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