When you suspect a loved one in your home is struggling from addiction to drugs and alcohol, many people have a natural instinct to solve it. They feel they are capable of helping that person overcome. In some cases, this may be true, but many times, it is merely a dangerous prolonging of the inevitable. It’s hard to face – especially if it is a child or sibling that you are accustomed to taking care of yourself. It is difficult to face the fact that their addiction may extend beyond your capabilities to heal them.
First of all, detox from drugs and alcohol is very dangerous at home. When the body forms an addiction to substances, it will violently react if it does not have those chemicals. Over time, your body changes the way it functions to require that substance to operate properly. This includes mental symptoms such as hallucinations, depression and violent thoughts. The physical symptoms are dangerous too and can include reactions such as seizures, vomiting or even heart attack. This is especially true if your loved one is struggling with addiction to multiple substances simultaneously, they may need medically-assisted detox to heal their body.
Another aspect of attempting addiction rehabilitation at home is that typically with the same environment comes the same result. With the same stressors and triggers constantly surrounding your loved one, they will have a hard time getting in a recovery and sobriety state of mind. If they are constantly seeing reminders of times they used or even just sitting in a chair they used to use in – they are more likely to fall into the drugs and alcohol again. It is not just in their physical surroundings – it is in the people they are surrounded with also. To get clean, your loved one has to be separated from the people that may have pressured them to misuse drugs and alcohol in the first place. Friends, boyfriends or girlfriends and sometimes even a family member may be a trigger for addiction. While it seems harsh, they have to completely separate themselves if they ever have a chance at sobriety.
This is really hard for some people to accept, but many times there is something else going on that predisposes your loved one to misuse drugs and alcohol. Unless you have extensive education regarding mental and psychological diseases that may accompany addiction, you may not fully be able to diagnose and treat your loved one. I know this is hard, but try talking to someone at a rehabilitation center. They will be able to give you counsel on the best step for your loved one. Also, as we always say, the best method for recovery comes from their personal choice of sobriety. You never want to force someone into rehabilitation – but give them their options and your support.