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How to Help Someone Get Through Withdrawal

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Helping a loved one get through withdrawal is a great way to show your support, but it can be an extremely trying time for both of you. Depending on the addict’s drug of choice, the withdrawal process can be rather intimidating, possibly involving profuse sweating, severe shaking, vomiting, and even seizures.

Knowing what to expect and preparing for various scenarios can help tremendously. It’s best to get your information from an addiction specialist or someone else who understands and has had experience with withdrawal, but there are plenty of online resources as well.

You may also want to set up a support system for yourself so that you have someone to talk to when things get difficult. There are online support groups where you can reach out to others who may be able to offer strength and advice when you need it most.

Here’s how you can help a friend or family member get through withdrawal:

    Stay positive. If your loved one begins to question why he is doing this, remind him. Challenge illogical thoughts and respond to negative comments with positive ones.

    Encourage her to eat a balanced diet. Healthful foods can reduce mood swings, which are common during withdrawal. Suggest a vitamin supplement if she is struggling to eat.

    Remind him to drink plenty of water. Dehydration is likely to happen and can exacerbate unpleasant symptoms, so make sure he's staying hydrated.

    Keep her busy. Watching TV or a movie, taking walks or short car rides, and reading magazines or books may help prevent her from dwelling on how she is feeling.

    Help him manage his stress. Talking, exercising, and massaging are great techniques for reducing stress.

Source: Drug Info, Australian Drug Foundation