5 Life Saving Questions to Ask When Helping a Drug Addicted Loved One

Call 911 immediately if you suspect an overdose or believe your friend, colleague or loved one is suffering from unmanageable symptoms due to intoxication or withdrawal; including, but not limited to, shallow or no breathing, very small pupils, disorientation, and/or uncontrollable muscle movements.

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5 Life-Saving Questions to Ask When Helping a Drug-Addicted Loved One

There are few things more heart-breaking than watching someone you love or care about struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction. Stepping up to help your family member, loved one, friend, neighbor or co-worker find addiction treatment is not only helpful, but it could be lifesaving. Here are five live-saving questions to ask when helping a drug-addicted loved one:

#1. Is my loved one willing to get help?

Suggesting that your loved one should seek help is often a vital first step in beginning the rehabilitation process. Addiction is a chronic and progressive disease. If the person struggling is willing to reach out for help, they should contact a state licensed drug and alcohol treatment facility as soon as possible. Good treatment centers accept inquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If the addict is not willing to get help, an intervention may be necessary. You can contact a licensed drug and alcohol facility to speak with a trained staff member about how to stage an intervention for your loved one.

#2. What kind of treatments are available?

Many treatment centers offer both medication-assisted and drug-free treatment options. Medication-assisted therapies include the administration of anti-withdrawal medications such as Suboxone and Vivitrol, which include a film strip that clients take as a substitute for narcotics (like heroin and oxycontin) as well as a once-a- month injection. Jodi Axe, Clinical Supervisor at Allied Addiction Recovery in Pittsburgh, PA, explains that once a call for help is made to one of their five addiction treatment centers, “A recovery staff member will complete a pre-screening form, verify health coverage, and schedule an intake evaluation at one of our locations, typically within 24 hours.”

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#3. What should be expected at the intake evaluation?

An intake evaluation is a confidential meeting with a medical assistant who will take the person’s vital signs, gather medical history, log withdrawal symptoms and conduct a urine test. The client then meets with a therapist for a comprehensive evaluation regarding all aspects of her or his life. Based on that evaluation, the therapist recommends the level of treatment necessary for a successful recovery. Partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and traditional outpatient services may be offered, as well. The client then meets with a physician for a review of medical history, physical examination and a prescription of medication, if indicated. Clients will be matched with the appropriate amount and frequency of treatment.

#4. When will the actual treatment begin?

Treatment services usually begin within 24 hours of the intake evaluation. Licensed addiction counselors help stabilize clients with medication, if indicated, which helps manage withdrawal symptoms. Once withdrawal symptoms are managed, your loved one will then be able to participate in treatment. While in treatment, clients will learn tools to help them regain stability and make positive changes to not only succeed in recovery, but also to live a healthier and positive lifestyle after treatment.

#5. Are there any other treatment options?

Support hotlines are available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained counselors are always ready to listen and help:

  • Allied Addiction Recovery (AAR) 412-246- 8965
  • Washington County Hotline 724-223- 1181
  • PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), Get-Help-Now Hotline
    1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission 724-243- 2220
  • Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission 724-223- 1187

Allied Addiction Recovery (AAR) is locally owned and operated as a Pennsylvania
licensed drug and alcohol outpatient facility with a commitment to providing quality care to people struggling with addiction in Western Pennsylvania. For many clients, contact with an addiction treatment center is the first experience an addict and/or loved one has with a treatment provider. The professionals at AAR include licensed psychiatrists, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADCs), master’s level therapists, LCSWs, LPCs, as well as master’s level certified Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselors (CAADCs). Reach out today and help transform a life.

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