FiveThirtyEight: What Science Says To Do If Your Loved One Has An Opioid Addiction

Having a family member with an opioid addiction is difficult for both the affected individual and their family. One challenge the family deals with is finding accurate advice on how to help. This article from FiveThirtyEight dives into some treatment themes and offers effective ways to help loved ones.

The author urges families to:

  1. Accurately asses the problem. It is essential to understand what addiction is and what underlying issues may be present.
  2. Intervene gently. Avoid heated confrontations and interventions and instead opt for a more compassionate and supportive discussion with the affected loved one.
  3. Choose treatment supported by research. Receiving a complete psychiatric evaluation and specific medications are some recommendations for treatment as mentioned in the article, which delves into these topics in much greater detail.
  4. Remember that relapse isn’t failure. “It can take months or years to unlearn addictive behavior patterns and develop better coping skills.” Recovery is possible, but it takes time. Punishment surrounding a relapse can inhibit recovery.