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How To Talk To A Friend About Addiction

Long-Term Rehab in California for Addiction Treatment - Resurgence - Individuals attending a long-term rehab in California are attending a group therapy session.

What is Addiction?

Many people find addiction to be a hard thing to understand, especially if they have never had to deal with it, just as many might find the concept of how to wean off Zoloft or other medications to be unfamiliar territory.

But despite what many people think, addiction is not a choice.

It is a chronic brain disease that is difficult to control. It changes the way that a person’s brain works, making them continue to use substances even if they know it is bad for them. This can be likened to the challenges some face when they learn about how to wean off Zoloft, with the brain having adjusted to a certain level of a substance.

If you are worried that a friend may have a problem with addiction, Resurgence Behavioral Health is here to help.

Keep reading to learn more about this serious disease, as well as some tips to help you talk to your friend about their addiction.

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Understanding Addiction

Addiction is a disease that causes a person to use drugs even if they want to quit. This is because drugs change the way that your brain works.

When drugs enter your system, they interact with the part of your brain that is responsible for feeling happy and relaxed, called the “reward circuit.” It floods your brain with dopamine, which creates a feeling of euphoria.

Normally your brain only releases small amounts of dopamine when you do things like eat or spend time with friends. But as you continue using drugs, it becomes harder for your brain to make dopamine any other way.

Your brain craves drugs so that you can feel that rush of euphoria again. This is what causes a drug addiction.

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How Drug Abuse Affects Your Body

No matter what kind of drug your friend is abusing, it is certain to have a negative effect on their body. Our bodies simply are not made to process high levels of drugs on a regular basis. These negative effects can vary depending on what type of drug they are using, and how much they are taking. Some of of these negative effects can include:

  • Damage to the nose and lungs from snorting drugs
  • Damage to your liver, kidneys, or heart
  • Problems breathing
  • A higher chance of cancer due to organ damage
  • Brain damage, both short-term and long-term
  • A higher chance of being infected with HIV, or hepatitis B or C through shared needles or unsafe sex
  • For people who inject drugs, needle marks, collapsed veins, and a higher chance of getting a serious skin, muscle, or blood infection from dirty needles

The effects of addiction can be both short term and long term. That is why it is important to get help as soon as you know that you have a problem. And if it is a friend you are worried about, they may need your help in recognizing how drugs are negatively affecting their health.

How Drug Abuse Affects Your Brain

Long-term addiction does not just carry risks to your physical health. It can also have negative effects on your brain. Many of these effects can be difficult to overcome without the support of an addiction treatment facility. These effects can include:

  • Harder time learning new things
  • Short and long term memory loss
  • Poor judgement
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Harder time dealing with stress
  • Mood swings or inappropriate anger
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Because these effects are due to the chemical changes that drugs have on your brain, they can last for weeks or even months after you stop using. It takes time for your brain to learn how to regulate chemicals normally again. This can leave addicts feeling depressed or anxious. Getting help from a rehab center can be the difference between working through these emotions and potentially relapsing.

How to Tell if Someone has an Addiction

If you are worried that your friend may be struggling with an addiction, it is probably because you have noticed they look or act differently than normal. There are many different changes a person undergoes when they are addicted to drugs. Some of these changes can include:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Secretive behavior
  • Less attention to person hygiene
  • Lack of motivation
  • Extreme sleepiness or nodding off
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Paranoia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe itchiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting

If someone has just one of these signs, it doesn’t mean that they have a drug addiction. But if you are seeing more than one of these changes on a regular basis, you are right to be worried. Now is the time to start thinking about talking to your friend to see if they are dealing with a drug addiction.

Ways you can Talk to a Friend About Addiction

The idea of talking to your friend about their addiction may seem intimidating, but it can be the push that they need to realize they have a problem. The longer someone uses drugs, the higher the chances of permanent damage to their brain or body, or even of them suffering an overdose. Talking to your friend does not have to be difficult or scary. Here are some tips on ways to approach this talk.

  • Talk only when they’re sober – If your friend is under the influence of drugs, they are less likely to understand why you are concerned, or to admit that they have a problem. Make sure that they are sober when you talk to them so that you have their full attention.
  • Be ready with examples – Being able to talk to your friend about specific times that you saw the negative impact of their drug use can make them more understanding of your concern. Maybe you went to a party together where they took drugs. Maybe you have been seeing them less and less as their drug use has worsened. Be honest about what you enjoy about your friend when they are sober, and how much of a change you have seen since they started using drugs.
  • Let them know you will be there for them – Let your friend know you’re always there for them no matter what, but that you do not support their drug use. Let them know how their addiction makes you feel and how you see it negatively affecting their life. Tell them you do not want to hang out when they are high. If you ignore their drug use, they will not see why they should stop using.
  • Encourage them to seek treatment – Talking to someone about their addiction can be a difficult conversation for the both of you. Try to be
    sure that you are only expressing your concern, and not lecturing them. Encourage them to seek help by talking about the ways that rehab addiction treatment can make getting sober easier. And when they do seek treatment, take an interest in their recovery. Reassure them that you will be there to listen when they are having a hard time with sobriety.

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Get the Help You Need From a Dedicated Team

The first step in your friend’s journey to overcoming their addiction is simple: encourage them to contact a reputable rehab facility like Resurgence Behavioral Health.

At Resurgence, we pride ourselves on building an affordable, personalized rehab recovery plan for each client – without sacrificing quality. Our free insurance verification allows us to help you figure out exactly what your insurance will pay for. We accept most PPO insurance as well as private forms of payment for treatment.

We will also communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to. You can complete a simple form right from our website, or call us directly.

At Resurgence, we believe that environment is just as important as treatment. That is why our rehab locations are in peaceful neighborhoods, with plenty of open space for clients to take time to themselves as well as participate in our supportive community.

Our warm, sunny weather, as well as our nearby beaches and parks, means that, when you are ready and able, you can enjoy being outside. And our specially prepared nutritious meals help to support your total physical recovery.

Approaching someone about their drug addiction can seem like a risky task. But often what addicts need is to know that someone cares about them, and is there to help them get the help they need.

Resurgence Behavioral Health’s team of dedicated addiction specialists can help your friend with every part of their recovery process, from detox to therapy, for a lifetime of success. Let us help them with all of the tools and resources that they need to overcome their addiction.

Does your Insurance Cover Rehab?

At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.