If you suspect someone you love is dealing with substance use disorder, it can be difficult to confront them. Maybe you don’t know what to say or how you can help. These questions might help you understand the situation and figure out how to start a dialog.
What is Substance Use Disorder?
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) refers to the persistent use of a substance, such as alcohol, opioids, or stimulants, despite its continuous negative consequences on a person’s health or the problems it causes at work, school, or home.
The exact cause is unknown, but several risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing SUD.
- Family history of addiction
- Peer pressure
- Mental illness
- Lack of emotional or psychological support
- Drug use early in life
What Questions Should I Ask Myself or My Loved One About a Substance Use Disorder?
Before you speak to your loved one about addiction, there are some questions you should ask yourself first. Consider whether your question will be best answered by your loved one rather than yourself, as making assumptions may not come across as supportive.
Questions To Ask Yourself
Asking yourself questions can help you figure out what you know, what you need to know, and what your boundaries are.
What brought the issue to your attention?
Sometimes suspicions are triggered by a feeling, but when confronting someone, it’s best to have a concrete understanding of what brought this to your attention rather than explaining your suspicions based on an abstract idea or feeling.
What areas of your loved one’s life are you concerned about?
If you’re concerned about substance use negatively affecting your loved one’s life, think about what areas of life you’re concerned will change because of their drug use. It can help motivate you to have this difficult conversation.
Am I being unfairly judgemental?
To help eliminate unhelpful feelings of judgment, make sure you truly aren’t being judgemental. It’s common for people to judge what they don’t yet understand, so keep an open mind and try to be understanding.
What am I prepared to do to help?
While you want to help your loved one, you must also care for yourself. Decide how far you’re willing to go to help this person before it negatively affects you.
What are my limits?
Just as important as what you’re willing to do, figure out what you’re not willing to do to help. Decide how much is too much.
Questions to ask your loved one
It’s important to maintain an open mind and ready yourself for responses that may surprise you. The purpose of asking these questions isn’t only so that you can get answers. Your loved one may not have all of the answers. Your questions might stimulate self-reflection and help the person arrive at the answers themselves. Here are some questions you could ask:
Have you noticed changes in yourself?
Some people have more self-awareness than others, and it can be difficult to take an honest look at yourself. Before you talk about what changes you’ve noticed, ask if they’ve noticed any changes in themselves, and give them time to answer honestly.
What benefits do you get from using?
If you’re trying to understand the other person’s perspective, asking what they have to gain could help you see things from their perspective. When considering the answer to the question, they might realize that the benefits don’t outweigh the risks and may be more inclined to consider treatment.
What areas of your life might improve if you stopped?
Imagining what life could be like without the weight of a drug or alcohol addiction could motivate them to seek treatment.
Is It Safe In Substance Use Disorder Treatment Centers?
Yes. It is of the utmost importance that these facilities are safe and drug-free so that recovery is possible.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Substance Use Disorder?
Substance use disorder recovery is different for everyone, so how long it takes to recover varies from person to person. A program lasting a minimum of three months gives most people the time they need to get sober and create a plan for staying sober once they leave the facility.
What Treatments Can I Find To Help Me or My Loved One With Recovery From Substance Abuse?
People with substance use disorder often struggle with other mental health issues, which can trigger the desire to drink or do drugs. Treatment centers for SUD also offer therapy for people to overcome the problems that can make daily life more challenging and contribute to the risk of relapse.
Mental health conditions common with substance use disorder include depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, dissociative disorders, and phobias. A treatment center can present a diagnosis if needed.
Treatments for substance use disorder and mental health conditions:
Self Management and Recovery Training (SMART): A system that helps people learn to control their impulses and make thoughtful decisions. It gives them tools to live a drug-free life and skills that are useful in other areas of life.
Refuge Recovery: A type of therapy that helps people with mindfulness and empowerment. It helps people claim their personal power by providing insights into multiple areas of their life.
Individual and Group Therapy: Talking about difficulties with drugs and other areas of life can be helpful for people in recovery by helping people realize they aren’t alone and they have support from people who understand what they’re going through.
Family and Couples Therapy: Substance use disorder doesn’t only affect an individual. It also affects relationships. This therapy promotes healing and helps people forgive each other and move on.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): An effective form of therapy that helps people understand the relationship between thoughts and actions. It teaches people how to break destructive thought habits that can influence emotions and behavior.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): A new and effective type of treatment that shows promise in overcoming substance use and past trauma.
What Treatment Center Will Help Me or My Loved One With Recovery From a Substance Abuse Problem?
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder and seeking rehab admissions in California, contact Faith Recovery Center In Beverly Hills, California. They’re here to help people with mental health and substance use issues learn helpful skills to break free from drugs and alcohol and start living a better life.