Knowing how to help a drug addict is more difficult than people realize. Unfortunately, sometimes helping someone with an addiction may make their problem more severe. However, by understanding the disease, you’ll know how to properly handle their problematic behaviors.

It Starts with Education

Overall, it’s been scientifically proven that addiction is, in fact, a disease. It’s classified as such because it affects specific organs and has diagnosable symptoms. The parts of the brain addiction affect include the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. Think of the limbic system as the gas pedal and the prefrontal cortex as the brakes.

To be more specific, the limbic system tells you to continue repeating actions that stimulate dopamine production. Drugs and alcohol increase dopamine levels, so naturally, this system wants more. Once dopamine begins flowing, the prefrontal cortex tells you to stop if what you’re doing is dangerous. However, those with an addiction have their cognitive brakes cut and lose this power of choice.

The prefrontal cortex is also responsible for:

  • Empathy and the ability to connect with others
  • Regulating one’s emotions
  • A healthy sense of fear

The Biggest Myth About How to Help a Drug Addict

Unfortunately, many loved ones believe they can love a substance abusing relative until they’re better. This is an extremely dangerous myth. When you begin understanding addiction as a legitimate disease, you’ll begin understanding why thinking this is so problematic. If your
loved one had cancer or heart disease, you would logically understand that your love wouldn’t heal them. Treat addiction with the same logic.

Overall, it’s more difficult to understand addiction because it’s a psychological disease. Fortunately, there’s always hope for recovery, but professional help is often necessary. Enabling your loved one by ignoring this serious problem perpetuates their addiction. By helping them enroll in an addiction treatment program, you’ve already made the first step towards recovery for them.

Hawaii Island Recovery Services

Hawaii Island Recovery in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii provides diverse addiction treatment services to help your loved one permanently conquer addiction. From our testimonials, you’ll see our high client success rate. We’ve made this possible thanks to our comprehensive, quality programs including:

It’s never too late to get help for a struggling friend or family member. With the right help, people are capable of anything. For the necessary support in a home-like atmosphere, your loved one can permanently overcome addiction. Call 866-390-5070 today.