How To Explain Addiction

How To Explain Addiction to Loved Ones

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Family therapy and counseling options could better explain addiction to loved ones

When struggling to explain addiction to loved ones, trust they’ll see more than your shortcomings, and offer support even if they don’t understand. 

Recovering addicts often say that drugs or alcohol were their best friend until it became their worst enemy. Many complex factors are involved with drug addiction, and there is still some ambiguity as to why it affects some more than others. Research points to causes such as genetics, environment, stress and other influences, but understanding exactly why it occurs in every single person is difficult.

Statistics do reveal, however, that rehabilitation treatment can benefit addicts substantially. Knowing what to expect is helpful if you are considering entering a treatment program or if you can help someone else understand the facts. Sometimes the hardest part is explaining an addiction to a loved one. Below are some questions we can help you answer.

Why Can’t You Stop Using?

A simple answer to why someone cannot stop using drugs is that they are more powerful than you are. Drug addiction can affect your body and your brain in ways that you cannot control, and your desire to use them is extremely powerful. In an athletic contest, it is easy to see that the stronger competitor has an advantage that is usually impossible to overcome. A team has a better chance of evening the odds, and drug treatment programs use a team approach to provide you the strength that you need to defeat your opponent. Facing a force that has superior power is a fruitless effort, and knowing that it is almost impossible to succeed alone can help you decide to get the help that you need. A dual diagnosis treatment center like Ocean Hills Recovery is a great option.

Can You Get Help?

Help is absolutely available for you in a drug treatment facility. The first step is the most difficult when you decide to regain control of your mind and body. The addictive substances that are in your body increase your need to constantly provide a supply, and getting rid of them starts the recovery process. Detoxifying your body under medical supervision cleanses it of toxins and any remaining traces of drugs so that it can start to repair itself.

When your mind is clear, it will be easier to explain this step to loved ones, while professional rehab therapists develop a customized program that meets your physical and emotional needs for a continued healthy life. An individualized program that addresses your specific addiction offers you the best chance for recovery. Group and individual counseling sessions help you address the underlying causes of your addiction, giving you the opportunity to regain a healthy and productive lifestyle.

You can explain to your loved ones though, that you need a loving and positive support system from them in order to encourage you on your road to sobriety. While the length your stay in a drug or alcohol recovery program can vary, it can be made much more fulfilling with a support system of loved ones.

How Long Will Your Treatment Program(s) Last?

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You may explain to others that the detox phase of drug rehab may require only a few days, but weeks or months are required for a program to offer you effective help, and then efforts to live healthy day to day will come for the rest of your life. Counselors can recommend the amount of time that you need to spend in treatment, and options include a short-term residency of 30 to 90 days in a drug free environment.

When you are a resident at a treatment facility, none of the influences that contribute to your dependency on drugs are present. You have no access to drugs, making it impossible for you to continue use unless you drop out. It takes time for your body to adjust to the absence of addictive substances, reversing the damage from years of use. Give your mind and body a chance to recover by setting aside a period of time that you can devote to getting well.

Outpatient programs are an option that works for some suffering from addiction, and they may last as long as you need them. Your progress may proceed at a slower pace if you choose outpatient treatment while you continue to work and live in the same environment that may have lead to drug abuse or alcohol abuse to begin with. At Ocean Hills Recovery, like many other rehab facilities in California, you have access to the effective treatments and consultations that are available to you as a resident, but you have an additional responsibility to stay free of drugs while you have the chance to use them.

How Can I Help?

The most important thing that a loved one can do to help you is encourage you to enroll in a drug treatment program. Acknowledging that you have a problem is a big step that puts you on the road to recovery. While in treatment, take advantage of opportunities to work with your counselors and therapists who are trained to help you stop using drugs. Also make sure you keep in touch with your loved ones and encourage them to send you positive letters, updating you and not closing you our from the world outside of rehab, while staying in the limits of healthy conversation and positivity needed during b and addiction recovery.

Many addiction treatment programs offer classes and educational programs that introduce you to new activities that may interest you. In addition, you may explain to your loved ones that you have access to counseling sessions, workshops, art classes, yoga and exercise, anger management discussions, dietetics and nutrition classes, meditation or many other engaging activities that will help you through it. Take the opportunity to invest in your future health and happiness by getting into a treatment program like Ocean Hills Recovery offers that can change your life.

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About the author:

Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.

Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.

Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.