• How to Approach and Treat an Opioid Addict

    by Caroline Ryther
    on Jun 6th, 2018

 According to the data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s been a dramatic increase in the use of opioids among young adults since 2009. In fact, the numbers have nearly doubled, spreading throughout all geographic areas, demographics, and genders.

In 2016, opioids were responsible for one in 65 deaths in the United States (which is 28,496 deaths), but today, they are the cause of one in every five deaths among young adults, between the ages of 24 and 35.

The information comes from a new study by JAMA Network Open, which shows that opioid-related deaths in the United States increased overall by almost three-fold between 2001 to 2016 (335,123 deaths in total).

Let’s put these staggering numbers into perspective: that’s more than the number of lives lost on a yearly basis to hypertension, HIV, and pneumonia.

Among all deaths in the US in 2016, opioids caused a stunning 1.5 percent of them, which is why it’s more important than ever to act and try to help those who might have a problem.

How to Approach a Loved One with an Opioid Addiction

Realizing that someone you love is struggling with addiction and is using opiates is never easy. Choosing the right attitude towards them is challenging, but what you need to remember is that in those times what they need the most are your unconditional love and support.

No matter what, you need to put judgement aside, be patient while talking to them, and encourage them whenever you can to enter treatment. Under no circumstances should you enable them, no matter how much they might insist.

Like we said, picking the right course of action in these situations is extremely difficult, especially if it’s the person in question is really close to you. However, try to put aside your emotions and remember that they are the ones who need your help.

The first step towards helping an opioid-addicted family member is trying to learn more about this disease. Becoming more informed about not only addiction, but also recovery can help you gain a better understanding of what the addict is going through, what they’re thinking and feeling.

Once you’re familiar with what you’re dealing with, you can organize an intervention—make sure to plan it well and only include those who can offer loving support and concern for the addicted individual. Do not include people who cannot contain their judgment or handle their emotions. If needed, you can ask a professional interventionist to help you with organization and implementation.

If your loved one accepts your intervention, the next step is finding the right clinic for them which will help them abstain from opiates and get into a firm recovery. The Neuroscience Center in Chicago and Dr. Steven Best have worked with a number of different cases over the years and can assist you in putting your loved one back on the right track.

You can schedule your consultation via phone or email:




Author Caroline Ryther

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