What do I do, my loved one is using too much____

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By Donna Schwartz, Community Clinician for Valley Hope in Colorado
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If you are reading this article, there is a chance you know someone who is struggling with over- using chemicals that is creating problems in their life and possibly in your life too. What do I mean by ‘chemicals’? This could include: alcohol, prescription medications for pain, sleep or anxiety as well as illicit drugs like pot, cocaine, meth, heroin, hallucinogens, crack, PCP, LSD, Ketamine, GHB, etc… Overusing would include frequency, amounts and self-administering at levels not recommended for optimum health and safety. An example of this would be using more medication than what is prescribed by your M.D. who wrote the prescription. Drinking more than is recommended for your body weight, height and gender in an hour, or in a day/week. Illicit drugs are just that; illegal to consume, sell or barter due to state and federal laws. The person you know may be yourself; your parent; your sibling or other family members. Or your boss, co-worker, friend, hair dresser or neighbor.

Substance abuse has no prejudice; it can affect anyone, anywhere. A doctor, attorney, veterinarian, nurse, teacher, nanny, factory worker, public transportation driver, police officer, judge, or stay at home mom. The assumption that it is only an issue for the homeless person is a myth. I hope you will follow my articles to learn about substance abuse and addiction; what it looks like, the pain it causes, options in facing it, learning how your role in helping may not be working as well as learning ways to find treatment and recovery from this illness.

Questions most people ask when they call me is ‘what do I do, my loved one is using too much____, is not doing well in life and not admitting they have a problem with their using’? There is a feeling of overwhelm in their voice, a mixture of anger, fear, despair and helplessness that is gripping them. Valley Hope has encouraged me to be a resource in helping people find their way toward options in dealing with a loved one’s substance abuse problem; ways to approach conversations with them that are more proactive in motivating them to consider seeking help.

Please feel free to go to my web page shown with this article, on my page it has my email address if you have any questions in dealing with someone you love or yourself who has a substance abuse problem. I am happy to help you navigate through the challenges.

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