Opioid use disorder remains one of the most challenging public health concerns in the United States. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 10 million people aged 12 and above misused opioids in the past year.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also a cause for alarm, since they show that the number of opioid overdose deaths rose by almost six times since 1999. In 2018, close to 130 people died every day from overdosing on these addictive substances, accounting for 2 out of 3 overdose deaths in the country during that year.

No US state is left unscathed by the opioid epidemic. Even Florida, ranked by the US News and World Report as the thirteenth-best state, reported 46,802 opioid overdose deaths in 2018 alone. Miami, the Florida’s financial and commercial center, is one of the most affected locations within the Sunshine State. In fact, the city’s fire-rescue department deployed Narcan, a drug used to counter the effects of opioid overdose, 10 times as often in September 2016 compared to the same month in 2015.

If you are a Miamian who is concerned that the prevailing drug problem in the city has already reached your family, know that you can always ask help from rehab centers in Miami. But before you do so, it is best to consider the following courses of action so that you can better help a loved one suffering from opioid addiction.

Recognize the Signs

Before you start getting in touch with different treatment facilities near you, you should first check if your suspicion is grounded. Is the person taking opioids for chronic pain? The answer to this question is a good place to start as you determine the severity of the problem. Note that one study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that most people misuse opioids to relieve pain.

Another significant predictor of opioid abuse is an existing mental health issue, which is one of the reasons why opioid use disorder is known as a “disease of despair.” Apart from considering these factors that increase the risk of opioid misuse, try to see if your loved one exhibits the following signs of opioid addiction:

  • Helplessness in controlling opioid use
  • Taking opioid in ways other than what was prescribed by the doctor
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Asking medications from others or lying about losing medicines to get more prescriptions
  • Visiting several doctors to get the same prescription
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Isolation
  • Financial difficulties

Help Your Loved One Acknowledge the Problem

If you noticed any or most of the signs above, the next step is to reach out to the person. Asking someone you love to examine their behavior and opioid consumption is the hardest part of the process. Be patient and encourage positive response by using the approaches below:

  • Avoid accusatory language. Instead of using “you-statements” that tend to blame and accuse the other person, you should use “I-statements” to make them less defensive. Using this strategy will help you concentrate on the problematic behavior caused by addiction and how it affects you instead of criticizing your loved one.
  • Focus on addictive behavior. Make sure that you separate the person from the problem. Fix your attention on the impact of their destructive behavior to let them know you are aware of their struggles. Discussing the issue alone is an effective way of encouraging the person to admit that they need help.
  • Stress your concern. Do everything possible to assure your family member that you are only extending assistance because of love and care for their health and well-being. Refrain from yelling or getting angry. Mention specific health concerns that you are noticing to show that you are paying attention.
  • Find the Right Rehabilitation Facility

    There are numerous addiction rehab facilities that you can choose from in Miami once your loved one is ready to receive help. The Rehabilitative Services Division of Miami-Dade County alone offers comprehensive residential and outpatient treatment options for residents like you.

    Although you have several options, you should take the time to find the right rehab center that will address the recovery requirements of the person with opioid use disorder. When searching for the most suitable facility, try to consider the following:

    • Expertise and reputation. Avoid unreliable rehab centers by conducting a background check on the facilities you are considering. Be sure that they have been operating for several years and they have the necessary certification and accreditation to treat opioid use disorders.
    • Treatment approaches. There are different treatment approaches for opioid addiction. Do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each. Pay extra attention to evidence-based therapies and therapeutic techniques since they have been proven to produce positive results.
    • Payment methods. Treatment for opioid use disorder can be expensive, so try to look for facilities that offer different payment plans and options. If your insurance covers addiction treatment, then find rehab centers that work with your insurance company.
    • Aftercare Support. Recovery from opioid addiction is a long and arduous journey. Your loved one will need a support system after the formal treatment ends to prevent relapse. High-quality rehab facilities provide continuing care, counseling, and meetings to maintain long-term sobriety.
    • Be Present

      Your support is essential even when your family member enters a treatment facility. Let them know that you are available if they need someone to talk to about their struggles. Be present and be attentive to what they are going through. Encourage positivity and sobriety by inviting them to exercise, cook healthy meals, and pursue hobbies to help them cope with daily stress.

      One of the most challenging problems to deal with is assisting someone you love who is abusing opioids. While you cannot avoid the feelings of guilt, frustration, and disappointment, you can educate and prepare yourself for the process. Consider the steps above and enjoin the support of other family members since the problem is not yours alone to bear. Opioid abuse disorder affects all of you, so you need to deal with the issue as one and help one another recover.