Watching a friend who is struggling with substance abuse can be extremely difficult. You may want to help them but aren’t sure as to how. Substance dependency and addiction is a complex topic, there is no formula as to how to best approach your friend who is struggling. There are general guidelines you can follow:
Approach in a Calm Manner
When talking to a friend about addiction and mental health, it is important to approach them in a calm manner, a non-judgemental way, and when they are sober. You want to express your concern for their well-being and based on their reaction to this, you will understand how to move forward. If your friend becomes defensive about their substance use, you should be more cautious, be patient, try to discuss the issue another time. Perhaps set a time when the two of you can have a conversation. If they receive your concern and wish to talk about it, help them realize how their substance use makes you feel. It’s also important to express how you think their substance use makes their family and others feel.
Model Good Behaviour
Do not use psychoactive substances around your friend or enable your friend’s substance use habits. Let your friend know that you will not hang out or talk to them when they are using drugs. Be a positive influence in your friend’s life. Acting as a positive role model can go a long way.
Let them know help is out there
Promote the idea of treatment, informing them about the negative consequences of continued substance use. Physical changes in the body and the brain, possibly permanent. Psychological changes; anxiety, nervousness, stress, emotional dysregulation, paranoia, etc. The longer someone uses consistently the more significant the changes can be physical and psychologically. This can be explained in terms of homeostasis or an internal balance. Your body has a natural harmony or balance that when you use psychoactive substances you move away from it. Continued substance use means that you are pushing your body and mind away from this balanced state making it more difficult for your body and mind to return to it. Your body has to work harder to metabolize and process the effects of substance use causing stress and pressure on the various regulatory systems within. This leads to an assortment of problems both physically and mentally. The purpose of rehabilitation is to return to homeostasis and educate on how to keep away from psychoactive substances that lead to addictions and mental health issues.
For Addiction Rehab Toronto, it should be noted that we are a private facility that provides a very comprehensive program. It is important to be financially secure in this care. We provide medical and psychological care within 24 to 48 hours, there is typically little to no wait-time. However, if your friend is not financially secure, here are some government resources that you can direct them too. (This can be a long process and there are wait-times, it is important to be aware of that).
Addiction Rehab Toronto employs trained professional interventionists that can help your friend realize the benefits of treatment and the consequences of continued substance use. We arrange a time and date for the intervention, who will attend, and how to best approach the friend. After the intervention, we escort your friend to the treatment program and begin immediately.