Drugs are explained as chemicals or substances that change the way one’s body works by affecting a person’s mental or physical state. People start using drugs for different reasons (e.g., sometimes they are used as prescribed, sometimes illicit substances are used in attempt to self-medicate, for recreational purposes, etc.). Each drug causes different physiological reactions, depending on the type of drug. Some will elicit feelings of relaxation and calmness, while others may cause an individual to feel more awake, alert, and energetic. Some types of drugs may alter one’s perceptions, causing hallucinations, and others may provoke feelings of numbness. Although the type of drug used will influence its effects on an individual, everyone is unique, and each person will react distinctly when foreign substances are introduced into his or her system. Whatever the reason, using drugs may lead to unwanted and wide-ranging short- and long-term consequences. Knowing some of the potential adverse effects of drug use and discovering that your friend is experimenting with drugs or struggling with substance abuse can elicit feelings of helplessness and concern. Fortunately, there are ways you can help, including the following suggestions, provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
- Share information: in a gentle, non-accusatory way, discuss the potential harm your friend’s drug of choice may cause, include empirical evidence regarding increased risk for adverse physiological outcomes.
- Encourage professional guidance: ask your friend to talk to their family doctor or primary care physician about their drug use, as they may be more open to listening to the recommendations of a professional.
- Help them break down barriers to treatment: give your friend the opportunity to voice his or her objections and fears about treatment and address them together.
- Research treatment options: investigate treatment options, and be sure to consider factors such as location, cost, and amenities to try to find options that will most appeal to your friend.
As a friend it is important to be aware of your own limitations and recognize that your friend may be dealing with substance abuse issues that require more support than you can provide. Early intervention, a robust support network, and professional assistance can be invaluable to your friend’s wellbeing.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at email@example.com.