The Importance of Language in Discussing Addiction
When discussing addiction with a loved one, it is important to remember that they are suffering from a disease the same way one suffers from illnesses like asthma or diabetes. Some doubt its classification as a disease, but a closer examination proves otherwise. By definition, a disease is a condition that impairs normal functioning and manifests in distinguishing signs and symptoms. Just like other chronic diseases, addiction is incurable and a lifelong journey, but can be managed with proper treatment.
Addiction takes a toll on an individual by chemically altering brain patterns to create an urge to use. The brain’s reward system is difficult to restore once it has been altered, even if the changes were brought on by prescribed medication. These urges are so powerful that addiction has become a worldwide humanitarian crisis, and it affects people from all walks of life. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults battle a substance use disorder every year.
It can be easy to feel helpless when faced with such an epidemic, but if a loved one is suffering from addiction, even small efforts can make a big difference. For one, using caring language when discussing the disease can help break the stigma. It can also empower your loved one to speak up, which will make them more likely to find quality treatment. Be sure to recognize that they are suffering from a disease and avoid using demeaning language when talking with them. Shame and stigma are major reasons that substance users do not seek help, so it is important to open a dialogue that fosters understanding rather than judgment.
A Source of Compassion for Patients Struggling with Addiction in Georgia
We know that having these conversations with loved ones is not easy. The Carter Treatment Center is here to provide a source of support for families and their loved ones as they navigate this difficult time. Recovering from addiction is challenging, but not impossible, and our services provide patients with the tools they need to do it.
One treatment we offer is cognitive behavioral therapy, which involves restructuring negative thought patterns. Addiction often stems from anxiety and depression, which are mental health conditions characterized by intensive worrying about everyday situations. When patients feel understood, they begin to understand the causes of their own addiction and can eventually find healing. We encourage family and loved ones to provide that kind of love and support outside of our center as well.
However, with any relationship, boundaries are essential. This is especially true for users and their loved ones. That’s why we teach patients about the importance of boundaries and how to lovingly set them in their own relationships. Our emotion regulation techniques can help them decrease the effects of extreme emotions, encouraging the growth of healthy relationships with others and themselves. When your loved one is equipped with these tools, their development will feel like more of a mutual effort. Our lessons in commitment will help the patient appreciate the courageous effort they have made to change their lives, and value their own willingness to stay on the path of recovery.
If you would like to learn more about how our team can be a source of compassion and understanding to help your loved one successfully fight addiction, call us today at (678) 737-4430 or contact us online.