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July 24, 2022

Talking To Your Loved One About Their Opioid Addiction

Addiction is a complex topic, but it's essential to have an open and honest conversation with your loved one about their substance use. Talking to your loved one about their addiction can show them you care about them and want to help them recover. But starting the conversation and knowing what to say can be difficult. Fortunately, several tips and techniques you can follow can help guide your conversations and increase their effectiveness. Addiction recovery requires hard work and dedication, but it is possible with the help of family and friends. If you are worried about your loved ones' addiction, talk to them and offer your support. Let them know you love them and want to see them get better.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

Before you start a conversation with your loved one, it is essential to know and recognize the various signs of opioid addiction. Many people who struggle with addiction deny the severity of their addiction and its impact on their lives. Unfortunately, denial can prevent your loved one from getting their help. Regardless of how much your loved one may try to deny their substance use, there are some signs to watch out for that may indicate opioid addiction. Some of the most common signs include changes in mood or behavior, withdrawal symptoms when not using, and intense cravings. An addiction to opioids can also cause mood, physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms.

Common mood symptoms include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression

Physical symptoms of opioid use include:

  • Weight loss
  • Itchy skin
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Uncontrollable cravings
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting

Common psychological symptoms include:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Mood swings or extreme behavior changes
  • Loss of concentration
  • Distorted perception of reality
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Behavioral symptoms associated with opioid addiction include:

  • Slowed or slurred speech
  • Diminished coordination
  • Social withdrawal and isolation from family members and friends
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Financial difficulties
  • Stealing from loved ones or other illegal activities
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed

If you notice any of these signs, it's essential to talk to your loved one and encourage them to seek professional help.

How To Talk To Your Loved One About Their Opioid Addiction

Even though you may be worried about overstepping your bounds, upsetting someone you love, or making the situation worse, you need to talk to them if your loved one is showing signs of opioid addiction. Although challenging, having a conversation with them could be the turning point that spurs your loved one to get help. Here are a few tips to help guide the conversation.

1. Be honest and open about your concerns

Your loved one's addiction is serious, so you should approach the conversation with care and compassion. Remember, addiction is a disease, and addiction recovery is a process. It is important to be patient and understanding. At the same time, it is crucial, to be honest about your concerns, but do so gently. Some ways to initiate the conversation can include:

  • I wanted to check in with you because you haven't seemed yourself lately.
  • I've noticed you've been acting differently lately. How is everything going with you?
  • I've noticed you've been using opioids a lot recently and I’m concerned.
  • I've been worried about you lately.
2. Offer to help find resources and treatment options

If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, you may feel scared, helpless, and alone. But you can help them get the treatment they need. One way to help your loved one is to talk with them about addiction recovery resources and treatment options. Start by letting them know you are there for them and want to help them get the treatment they need. Then, you can provide information about addiction recovery resources in your community or online. You can also encourage your loved one to talk to their doctor about treatment options. If your loved one isn't willing to seek help on their own, you can contact addiction hotlines or helplines for confidential support and referrals to addiction treatment resources. You can also reach out to addiction experts or mental health professionals.

3. Explain how recovery can benefit their life

Let your loved one know that recovering from addiction can help them live the life they've always wanted. Tell them that treatment can help improve their physical and mental health. Let them know that saying no to opioids can help ease anxiety and relieve symptoms of depression. Also, tell them that recovering from addiction can improve their relationships. Talking about these benefits can help motivate your loved one to seek out addiction help.

4. Tell your loved one about medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction

If you have a loved one who is addicted to opioids, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may help them recover. MAT is a type of treatment that uses medication to help people recover from addiction. Talk to your loved one about this treatment option. Let them know that there are medications they can take to ease cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Medication-assisted treatment can also help treat chronic conditions such as pain and anxiety your loved one may be experiencing.

Show Your Loved One You Care

If your loved one is addicted to opioids, talk with them. This may not be easy, but it is necessary. You may not be able to force them into treatment, but you can provide support and resources to help them get the treatment they need. If you don't feel confident enough to have this conversation yourself, our recovery experts are here to help. We offer advice and guidance for family members of addicts and intervention services that can help get your loved one the help they need. Don't wait another day – contact us today for more information.