With a growing rate of overdose deaths in North Dakota, it’s essential to know how and when to approach your loved one about receiving treatment. Residents all over the state have watched as people around them struggle with the aftermath of addiction—but there’s hope.
North Dakota’s Drug Problem
Two decades ago, North Dakota residents were feeling pretty secure in their position as one of the nation’s least addicted states. Times have changed, and the last five years have seen opioid overdose rates go from nearly undetectable to double digits. The number may be lower than the national average, but the rate of increase is much higher.
This is another example of how the opioid epidemic has clawed its way across the U.S. and how it continues to ensnare more and more people. Local governments and communities have banded together to offer new treatment options for those struggling with addiction in the state. North Dakota methadone treatment has added a vital option for those who aren’t able to stop using via more traditional programs.
Taking action now has allowed the state to stay one step ahead of the opioid epidemic, but it’s the availability and use of treatment that will be the deciding factor for many. Convincing loved ones that they need help could be the difference between life and death.
The Face of Opioid Addiction
Drug use is something that most of us will encounter at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a loved one, friend, or member of the community—there’s a way to help. The stereotypical street person with whiskey in a brown paper bag panhandling to pay for drugs is a social lie. Addiction can happen to anyone from any type of background.
Doctors, lawyers, executives, school teachers, and even children can quickly go from simple experimentation to a full-blown addiction with little warning. It’s a disease of the brain, and diseases don’t discriminate.
The overprescribing of opioid painkillers created a huge population of addicts from all walks of life. People who started out listening to their trusted family doctors and taking pills prescribed to them are now the ones shooting up in public restrooms.
Opioids are incredibly powerful, and they have a unique way of taking over a person’s life, made even worse by the horrible withdrawal symptoms.
Approaching Someone About Their Addiction
Many of us can tell if someone close to us suddenly changes their behaviors and routines. It goes from a mild suspicion to a feeling of complete dread the first time that you find drugs or real evidence of their use. A lot of people get paralyzed at this stage; they talk themselves out of action and work to convince themselves that it’s not a big deal.
Some people would rather look the other way than acknowledge that a person they love and respect has an addiction. They go about life like everything is perfectly normal, ignoring obvious signs of intoxication and behavioral changes. Sometimes it’s a legal problem or escalating abusive behavior that tips the scale. At some point, they’ll have to make a choice. Living with an addict is dangerous, harmful, and mentally wears them down day after day.
Approaching someone about their addiction isn’t something that anyone should do without a lot of thought. Yelling accusatory remarks in the heat of anger can only make things worse. Remember, the addict still believes that no one knows that they have a problem. They’ve spent time trying to hide their drug use and will do anything to try and defend it.
Always remain calm and try to keep the conversation focused on your love for them and on the present. Recalling old arguments is pointless and can be a trigger for some addicts. Honesty is the key when trying to reach an addict. Think of it as attempting to talk to someone who’s deeply buried underground. Not everything you say will get through, but maybe you can give them just enough hope to start digging themselves out.
During active addiction, confrontations can be difficult and dangerous. A person who’s on drugs isn’t rational, and they may make accusations or do and say things that just don’t make sense. The best way to try and honestly discuss their addiction is with the help of a trained professional. Going to see a counselor and talking through the options can help you to make an informed decision.
If the addict isn’t ready to admit that they have a problem and refuses help, then you need to focus on getting yourself healthy again.
Considering Medication-Assisted Treatment Options
Before approaching an addict or staging an intervention, it’s important to have treatment options at the ready. As soon as the person agrees to get help, don’t wait! Many opioid addicts fear the detox phase and the painful withdrawals that come with it. Look into North Dakota methadone treatment facilities that might be able to help.
Medication-assisted treatment uses drugs like methadone to help addicts wean themselves off of the illicit drugs safely and effectively. MAT has a higher rate of success than other treatment options for those addicted to opioids.
Don’t Become an Enabler
The worst thing that you can do is absolutely nothing. Continuing to support a person’s addiction isn’t helping them: it’s keeping them on drugs. Don’t enable drug use by volunteering time, money, or resources to a person who isn’t willing to get help.
It’s essential that you know when to say, “Enough is enough,” and to allow the addict to experience their own consequences. There’s nothing noble in sacrificing your happiness to support someone else’s addiction.