Addiction treatment and recovery can help give new life to those struggling with substance use disorder and other addictions. At Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health in Newport Beach, California, Dr. Hadi Estakhri offers many treatments to help your loved one begin their journey toward recovery.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, you may not know what to say or how you can best help or show support. Just as Dr. Estakhri is part of your loved one’s recovery team, so are you! Your support can help give your loved one strength as they embark on the road to recovery.
In this blog, we focus on you and how you can best support a friend or family member through addiction treatment.
Learn about addiction
Addiction is a disease, not a matter of willpower. This is important to remember as it accounts for why addiction — regardless of whether it’s drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. — is so hard to overcome.
Sometimes just wanting to quit isn’t enough. Certain changes in your brain may intensify your cravings, and to compound the issue, these changes can also impact the areas of your brain that control your judgment, decision-making, and impulse control.
In addition to learning about how addiction affects your brain, you can also learn more about the different types of addiction. This includes:
- Chemical addictions such as alcohol, illicit drugs, prescription drugs
- Behavioral addictions, such as gambling
The takeaway: Addictions aren’t a choice. Because of the complex involvement of brain chemistry, it’s not easy to overcome an addiction on your own.
Learn about addiction treatment
You can also support your loved one by learning more about the treatment they will receive. As part of addiction treatment, Dr. Estakhri begins with a comprehensive evaluation. This is essential to determine if there are any comorbidities, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety, that contributed to the addiction.
If applicable, treatment may also include underlying mental health conditions.
Other treatments available at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health include:
- Outpatient detox from alcohol and opioids.
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with Suboxone®, Vivitrol®, or other similar medications
- Therapy to help manage conditions such as anxiety or depression
- Medications to help manage anxiety, depression, etc. (if applicable)
Dr. Estakhri fully explains all aspects of addiction recovery.
Offer to help
A great way to support a loved one is to offer to drive them to appointments, pick up prescriptions for them, or simply listen as they talk about their progress. Let them know you’re ready to help whenever they need you, even if it’s just a middle-of-the-night phone call when they’re struggling.
Consider offering nutritious foods that promote healing and comfort. Because your loved one may experience withdrawal symptoms like nausea or diarrhea, offer bland foods that won’t further contribute to GI upset.
Join a support group for family members and caregivers
Another great way to support your friend or family member through addiction treatment is to join a support group for caregivers. Not only does this give you a safe space to voice any of your concerns, but you may gain valuable insight from those who’ve been in your shoes.
Take care of yourself too
Taking care of a friend or family member can be stressful and even overwhelming at times. As you become a rock of comfort for your loved one, don’t forget to take care of yourself too. Dedicate time to relax, eat nutritious meals, and address all of your mental and physical needs.
You might feel selfish at first for focusing on yourself, but as the phrase goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Taking care of your needs ensures you’re in a good mental state to care for your loved one.
Questions about addiction treatment? Book an appointment with Dr. Estakhri today by calling us at 949-945-0927 or using our online scheduler.
In the case of a mental health crisis, please call 988 or head to your local emergency room.