Once your family member, friend or loved one has agreed to get help for their addictions and agrees to face it head on, one of the first things that they will need to get through is the detox and withdrawals. Here are some ways that you can help them through this very difficult process.
Don’t Go Through It Alone
Depending on the circumstances, trying to help someone through withdrawal at home without the guidance, monitoring and help of a medical professional isn’t a good idea. Not only do the symptoms and side effects differ depending on the substances that someone is withdrawing from, but it also differs from person to person in severity and the actual symptoms of withdrawal for drugs & alcohol that they might experience. The best way to help someone who is going through withdrawal might be to hand over the responsibilities to trained professionals, like those in a rehab facility.
Understand What You’re Signing Up For
Watching someone go through withdrawal is not a pretty sight. You’re going to see them at their rock bottom and absolute worst. As they start to detox, they’re likely going to show flu-like symptoms like heavy sweating, nausea and vomiting, shaking and insomnia. They’re also likely going to go through a wringer of mentally difficult emotions too, and these might manifest in them being hurtful and abusive to those closest to them and around them. Understand that these are symptoms of the withdrawal and be prepared for them.
The body is going to start craving the substances they were hooked on, and they’ll do just about anything to get another fix, so be ready to help them with healthy and pre-planned distractions. These might be simple things like a good meal (if they have an appetite), listening to their favorite music or watching their favorite movie. More esoteric things might help too – like writing a letter to their future self or making a list of all the things they want to do in their life in the future to keep them motivated and remember why they are detoxing.
Promote Their Comfort
Withdrawals from drugs and alcohol is difficult, painful, and mentally one of the hardest things they’re likely to do. Making sure that they’re as comfortable as possible during this time is very important. This should focus on their physical comfort like making sure they wash in a nice warm bath or shower often, giving them good and nutritious food that is easy to digest if they can eat and managing any symptoms they develop with over-the-counter medication after checking with a doctor.
To help a loved one through the withdrawals from drugs or alcohol is a very difficult thing to have to do and is going to need your utmost patience, understanding and care. It’s going to be difficult to watch them go through the process but being clear of the reasons why and reminding yourself and them of the life waiting for them on the other side will make it all worthwhile in the end.
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