When things get rough . . .
Addiction to opioids is a disease. Don't let hope conquer reality. If someone is addicted, this is no longer about “choices.”
It's never too early to react. If someone you care about is reaching into the medicine cabinet to self-medicate, you should try to intervene before a disaster occurs.
Don't wait until it's too late. If you can get him/her into an in-patient treatment now - do it.
Don't believe it will be easy. Recovery takes much longer than a 30-day program. He/She will bitterly resent this intervention and will try to make you feel bad.
Don't listen to rationalizations. He/She will be angry with you, and you cannot be deterred by that when you need to intervene. Your loved one is not him/herself anymore, and you are doing what is best.
Face it. He/she is in trouble and they get skilled at deception. You are going to tend to want to believe your loved one, but this is no time to go into denial.
Nothing is more powerful than addiction. Don't fall for the notion that a big incident will shock them out of using drugs. If they are addicted, they cannot stop on their own.
Your biggest fear comes true - an opioid overdose. If your loved one overdoses, try to get them a "warm hand-off" from overdose recovery into treatment. A warm hand-off is a transfer of your loved one from hospital emergency to a drug treatment provider. The best way to do this is to get them an initial dose of a craving-reduction drug associated with Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).
Addiction can be deadly. When someone is addicted, it can be hard, heartbreaking, and even dangerous. If you want to help, don't try to go it alone. Don’t let stigma or shame stop you from getting the help and support you need at this time.
You are not alone. Others have been down this road and are there to support you. Local Family Support Groups in your area can help you find strength through sharing their experiences in a safe, judgment-free zone.
Unlike antibiotics, finishing an entire prescription of opioids is not a mandate. If an aspirin or alternative therapy will bring relief, try them and safely dispose of the unused medication. Read more about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day here.