01 Dec Complete Guide on Where and How to Get Help for Addiction
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a complex disease of the brain that alters brain functioning. Rather than being a problem caused by a lack of willpower, it is an illness that needs treatment. This is why it is so difficult for people to get help for addiction and stop the cause, even when they want to. As a result, individuals will exhibit compulsive behaviours to trigger a reward system to achieve the sensation they feel from substances. While it may seem like a reward at the moment, substance use that becomes an addiction can have detrimental effects on the individual and their loved ones. This can be physical, mental, emotional, and/or financial. Therefore, this article will provide information as to what addiction is and resources to help those and their loved ones that may be struggling.
When most people think of help for addiction, it is often associated with physical examples, such as drugs or alcohol. This is because this is often the most talked-about form of addiction. However, there are also behavioural addictions that are persistently repeated behaviours and can be equally as detrimental to individuals and their loved ones. This includes examples such as:
- Gambling addiction
- Food addiction
- Sex addiction
- Internet addiction
Not everyone is going to become addicted, it can vary from person to person. However, there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of addiction.
- Family history of addiction
- Mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences
- Peer pressure
Where to Seek Help for Addiction
An intervention is a structured way to address that a person may be struggling with addiction. While bringing attention to the addiction is the first step, the main goal is for the individual to seek help by receiving treatment. This is achieved by showing support from loved ones and creating a safe and hopefully space that will allow for recovery.
Detox is not for everyone that is struggling with addiction. It can take many forms and will vary based on the severity of the addiction. Often the first stage of addiction help programs, detox is the process of getting addictive substances out of the body often in a medically supervised facility. The goal of detox is to make the individual as comfortable as possible through withdrawal and anxiety.
Short for rehabilitation, rehab is multiple intensive supervised programs that are designed to help individuals overcome their addiction. The length, stay, and type of treatment can vary based on the severity of the addiction. Outpatient treatment allows individuals to live at home and remain working while attending programs. For those who may require more help with addiction or do not have a safe space to recover, inpatient treatments may be a more suitable option. Individuals can live at an inpatient treatment rehab for a few weeks up to a year.
Addiction Help Resources in Canada
BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services: Substance use and mental health services for children to adults across the province.
Here to Help: Provide information to manage mental health and substance use problems while connecting individuals with resources in BC.
Addiction and Mental Health Helpline: A 24/7 hotline that provides help for addiction and confidential service including information, support, and referrals to all Alberta citizens.
Phone: 1-866-332-2322 (Toll-free within Alberta)
ConnexOntario: a 24/7 hotline that offers information and treatment options for issues related to gambling, drugs, mental health, or alcohol.
Phone: 1-866-531-2600 (Toll-free)
Addictions Foundation of Manitoba: Offer a variety of services and programs for youth to adults for those who may be struggling with addiction.
Adult services: 1-855-662-6605
Youth services: 1-877-710-3999
Drugs: Help and Referral (DHR): Provides information, referrals, and support to those who are worried about their or their loved one’s substance use.
Phone: 1-800-265-2626 (Toll-free)
How do you help someone with a drug addiction?
The first step is to try and to calmly talk to them about their addiction. Although this can be difficult, the earlier an addiction is discovered and discussed, the earlier treatment can begin. Furthermore, it is important to listen to the individual. Even though you may not agree with them, listening to them shows that you are supportive and will be there for them during the recovery process. Lastly, offering information such as treatment options or referring them to a doctor will help their recovery begin.
How to help a drug addict recover from a relapse?
Despite best efforts and good intentions, it is very common for recovery to involve relapse. That is why most treatment plans include some sort of aftercare or management plan to help individuals learn how to cope with potential stressors or triggers. If a relapse happens, it’s important to encourage the person to continue their recovery and to support them in the process. Even though it can be challenging, it is important to stay patient as this gives them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and strengthen their recovery.
What to do with a drug addict?
As mentioned prior, it is important to discuss addiction with loved ones and encourage them to seek help for addiction with treatment. However, there are some things that should be avoided. Firstly, remember not to lecture or threaten them as this does not positively encourage them. Next, don’t enable their behaviour by taking over their responsibilities or giving them financial support. Lastly, you should not feel guilty or responsible for their addiction, all you can do is support them.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. Across Canada, there is no shortage of resources and information that is available to help make the process as simple as possible. The information above should be used as a starting point to understand addiction, but other resources should also be used. In addition to the information given above, contact Andy Bhatti Intervention Services for a tailored treatment plan.