The importance of non-judgment in treating opiate addiction

Addiction is a powerful disease that doesn’t want the person to recover. Long-term opiate addiction affects parts of the brain that are responsible for self-awareness and the ability to analyze one’s self. Once the addict becomes mentally and physically dependent on these drugs, their mind will justify and rationalize their using to extreme extents as a form of basic survival instincts. The reality of the situation is that most addicts would stop if they could, but they unfortunately lost the power of choice at some point in their addiction and will need some sort of outside help. Because of their altered state of mind, it’s important to express a non-judgmental attitude toward the addict before, during, and after treatment.

One of the biggest reservations that an addict has that deters them from getting sober is that they don’t want to admit that they are an addict and are different from other people. It’s a difficult situation to understand, both for addicts and non-addicts, but addiction is a disease and the person should not feel ashamed that they’re afflicted with it. This is why empathy is a very powerful tool when trying to help an addict enter treatment.

Getting Into Opiate Addiction Treatment

There are different ways to try and get an addict into treatment, but they’ll most likely be resistant until they come to the decision for themselves. Motivational interviewing is a strong technique that psychologists use to help addicts come to the conclusion themselves that they might have an opiate addiction problem. When an addict is cornered and feels like they’re being attacked about their problem, it can make them even more resistant to entering treatment and possibly set them back further on their path to recovery. Motivational interviewing is all about asking the addict questions, like “How would you gain if you quit using opiates?” or “What will you lose if you continue using opiates?” which will help them vocalize what the results will be if they decide to get sober or continue using.

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Having an Intervention

An intervention is often a last resort when trying to get an addict into treatment, but is sometimes necessary in order to help save their life. An intervention is when the loved ones of an addict sit them down and let them know that although they love and care about the addict, they can no longer support them in any way unless they decide to get help. This can be a difficult situation with a lot of emotions in the air and can quickly turn into a bad situation, so the loved ones of an addict should always consult an intervention specialist before trying to have an intervention. This type of specialist is able to prepare the loved ones for what will happen during the intervention as well as how to handle different situations that may arise. It’s also good to have this specialist present during the intervention as a mediator so that the addict doesn’t feel attacked while their loved ones are talking to them and giving ultimatums.

Life after Opiate Addiction Treatment

Recovery is an ongoing process and the support an addict gets from their loved ones is of the utmost importance. Overcoming opiate addiction is never easy, so letting the addict know that they’re doing good in their recovery and acknowledging the positive changes they’ve made is a great way to keep them motivated, but their loved ones should still try to treat them as normal as possible. Sometimes a recovering addict can feel judged when the people in their lives consistently bring up their addiction as a point of conversation, or exclude them from certain activities because of their recovery.

If you’d like more information about recovery from opiate addiction, call our helpline today at 800-447-9081.

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