According to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, an average of eight New Jerseyans die each day of a drug overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 2,000 state residents die each year from alcohol-related accidents and illnesses. For the general public, the statistics are newsworthy. However, when your loved one is an addict, the statistics can feel terrifying. As you seek the best rehab center in New Jersey it may help to keep these five things in mind:
- Your loved one did not expect to become an addict. While addiction does begin with that first drink or experience with drugs, no one believes they will become dependent. Psychology Today reports that five out of six people who experiment will not become an addict. It appears to be a combination of genetics, childhood trauma, or an underlying psychiatric disorder that determines whose brain is changed enough by drugs or alcohol to believe they cannot stop. Your loved one did not become an addict to hurt you or anyone else. They simply began experimenting with the belief that they would be one of the lucky ones.
- You are not responsible. Although it can be tough, you cannot take addiction personally. Nothing you have done or could have done differently would have spared your loved one from their addiction. In fact, any guilt you feel may get in the way of healing because it is illogical. Just as you are responsible for your own actions, so is your addicted loved one. Let go of any guilt you’re holding onto and focus on moving forward.
- Lying is the norm. Addicts are world-class liars and as tempting as it might be to believe them, it is important to remember that it is the disease talking. Deceit is an addict’s way of protecting their addiction because nothing feels more important than getting that next fix. While you should never excuse the lying, knowing that it is part of the disease may help you take it less personally. Set clear boundaries, keep communication open, and encourage your loved one to seek treatment. Ultimately though, they have to find their own motivation for entering treatment.
- Recovery is a long road. Even after detoxing an addict is still an addict. Addiction changes the brain to the point that its reward circuitry erodes and the person is unable to make decisions in their own best interest. It takes time for new thoughts and behaviors to replace the sick thoughts and behaviors. It is possible though.
- Self-care is vital. You cannot help your loved one if you are dragged into the hole of addiction with them. Join a group like Al-Anon or Codependency Anonymous – places where you can learn from others who have walked the path before you and can offer support.
The most important tip may be to keep hope. According to a Surgeon General’s report on alcohol and drug addiction, there are nearly 25 million people in active remission in the U.S. Finding the best rehab center in New Jersey may be your first, best step.