There are 125 families every day that suffer the loss of a family member due to opioids. Every year, over 50,000 people are losing their lives in the United States due to ultra-potent opioids like fentanyl. This is more than the number of people dying due to car accidents and guns. Oftentimes, the opioids that led to these deaths were prescribed by doctors themselves. The opioid epidemic has infected every aspect of American society, leaving no community untouched. This is something that has upended countless families, who now turn to the experts for answers.
One of those experts is Dr Surasky. Dr Surasky is the medical director of Bridge Back to Life. This is an outpatient addiction treatment program that has helped numerous patients eliminate their opioid addictions.
The most important part of building a new habit is staying consistent. It doesn’t matter how well you perform on any individual day. Sustained effort is what makes the real difference. For that reason, when you start a new habit it should be so easy that you can’t say no to it. In fact, when starting a new behaviour is should be so easy that it’s almost laughable. A great way to develop good habits is not to think about what you’re giving up for it, but rather focus on what you get to enjoy. True behaviour change is actually an identity change. It’s one thing to say I want it and it’s a whole other thing is to say I am this. Think about all the things you get to try and what you unlock for yourself.
Dr. Surasky believes that the family of someone struggling with opioid addiction plays a vital role in the improvement of that individual. The emotional support they can provide can help prevent relapse in the future.
To help families cope with addiction. Dr. Surasky gives the following five tips.
Learn More About Opioid Addiction
When family members have a better understanding of opioid addiction, they become more compassionate to the plight of the person suffering from addiction. This leads to them being more supportive of the family member, which increases the support they feel from their family.
Reinforce Healthy Behaviors
Opioid addiction can lead to someone neglecting their basic self-care needs. That is why a family can help reinforce healthy habits when it comes to exercise, eating, sleep, and others. Additionally, getting mental health support that can help support healthy behaviors can be very helpful.
Encourage Treatment Instead of Forcing It
Encouraging treatment instead of forcing it will prevent resistance to it. People who suffer from addiction will usually refuse to acknowledge they are addicted. You can have a more effective shot at getting them into treatment when you encourage them to help themselves.