How to Help a Family Member Through a Drug Detox

It can be very difficult watching a family member go through the pain of drug addiction. Drug addiction is a long-term illness with complex causes and no easy solutions. It can be devastating for both the sufferers and their closest friends and family. Although it can take years, sometimes even decades, we always hope that a family member suffering from drug addiction will eventually come to the realization that they need help and will start seeking out appropriate treatment. This is only the first step in a long and difficult process. Detoxing from a drug addiction, especially a long-term addiction, is not easy or pleasant.

Detox requires, above all else, a significant amount of willpower and a genuine desire to change. However, it will help enormously if the addict has a family member who is able to support them, offer advice and guidance, and who has some idea of the difficulties that lie ahead. This article is designed to offer family members some advice as to what they can do to help their loved one through one of the most difficult periods of their lives.

Consider Rehab

In most cases, withdrawal and detox are unpleasant but is not in itself dangerous. However, this changes for drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Withdrawal from these substances can cause seizures and are best done at a detox facility. Similarly, withdrawal from opioids often involves a great deal of pain. This isn’t usually dangerous, but it can be in individuals who have weakened hearts.

Remember: This is Just the Beginning

Detox is not a cure for addiction; it is simply the process required to get past the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Drug addiction itself is a complex illness, and even if the addict is not physically dependent upon drugs, they are still susceptible to relapse. The patient will have to work on modifying their behavior and finding healthier ways to cope with any stress in their lives. You both might find some of these drug addiction quotes helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of what lies ahead.

Make Sure They Aren’t Alone

The hardest part of detox is the first few days. This is the period during which both the physical withdrawals and the psychological cravings will be strongest. The length of time that these acute withdrawal symptoms last will depend on a number of factors, including the drug in question, how long it has been abused, and the usual dose that the addict takes. During this time, it is important that they are kept occupied as much as possible so that they aren’t thinking about their cravings or desire to score their drug of choice.

Helping a loved one through their drug detox is not easy. Both of you need to be prepared for the long haul and everything that it entails. In addition to these tips, there are a number of excellent resources online.