Discovering that a beloved family member has an Ativan addiction can be devastating. Feelings of anger, guilt and betrayal are common, as are overwhelming sensations of sadness and loss. But, when the shock wears away, it’s time for family members to pitch in and aid in the recovery process. By doing so, they may help the addicted person to heal, and they may experience their own emotional recovery at the same time.
Start with Research
Ativan can steal a person’s ability to think clearly and plan for the future. As a result, people who have these addictions are often in no position to enter into long research projects involving care options and payment considerations. They may need help from their families, and that means a little research is in order.
Family members can start by determining what other types of drugs the person takes in combination with Ativan. It might seem unlikely that the loved one would mix and match drugs in this way, but a study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research suggests that people who abuse benzodiazepines often do so in order to ameliorate the negative effects of other drugs. They might take pills to boost the effects of alcohol, for example, or they might take Ativan to help them deal with the sped-up feeling cocaine can bring about.
Since different drugs can cause different types of withdrawal symptoms, it’s vital for family members to obtain a complete list of the drugs and the doses the person takes on a regular basis. This is the kind of information the treatment team will need, so it’s important to get that data pulled together before therapy begins.
Family members should also think about the possibility of an underlying mental health disorder that could complicate care. People who abuse Ativan might have an anxiety disorder, and that feeling of worry might drive their drug use. Or, they may have undiagnosed mental health problems after enduring a traumatic episode, such as:
- A car accident
- A physical assault
- A terrorist attack
- A natural disaster
Survivors of episodes like this might have latent anxiety that only Ativan seems to touch, and their use of the pills might quickly spiral into abuse.
Once families understand the drug abuse history and the mental health status of the person in question, they’re in an excellent position to find the proper treatment facility that can help. As they research their options, they can simply state the needs the addicted person has, and they can compare notes about each facility’s capacity to handle the problem in question.
Once the person enters a treatment program, the family’s work might not be done. For example, in a study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, researchers state that family therapy can help people with anxiety disorders and other mental health issues to control their symptoms. As they learn alongside their families, they gain a level of control and mastery that may have eluded them in the past, and the family will know more about how to assist. Those families that stay involved in healing like this could provide the addicted person with vital assistance that leads to long-term gains.
If you’re researching your options for a family member in your midst, we hope you’ll call us at Black Bear Lodge.