Euphoria & Drug Addiction:
What to do if your loved one is suffering from addiction?
The HBO popular series Euphoria, portrays Rue, a teenager addicted to drugs, who we follow as she slowly makes dangerous decisions that affect herself and the people around her. We witness Rue take drugs, survive overdoses and everything in between. This show has trigger warnings and can be quite traumatizing as it depicts a raw picture of drug addiction.
Film and television have multiple raw examples of drug addiction on screen, from Euphoria to Requiem For A Dream, audiences are no strangers to getting a deep personal viewpoint on the disease.
In an article by Forbes, “media and culture does indeed influence us (there’s no doubt of that), but during such debates, the degree to which is often overstated. Stories influence our personalities and interests, but they exist inside the reality that created them; context and environment must also be taken into account. The moral failings of fiction are far easier to fix than systemic issues like drug addiction.
Writing in Vulture, Zachary Siegel argues that Euphoria’s depiction of drug abuse includes crucial lessons in harm reduction, citing the correct treatment of Rue’s overdose from fentanyl during one particularly memorable scene:
“For all the hubbub, every teenager watching Euphoria at least knows that having naloxone around can save a life. I had no idea what naloxone even was for during the majority of my time using. That’s because I had grown up on DARE officers and media depictions like the outlandish heroin-overdose scene in Pulp Fiction … In contrast, Euphoria seizes the opportunity to educate audiences about the realities of overdose prevention.”
Euphoria creator Sam Levinson based elements of Rue’s journey on personal experience, and believes that the addiction of fiction should reflect reality:
“I think it’s crucial that film and television portray addiction in an honest way,” Levinson wrote.
“That we allow for its complexities to play out. That we show the allure of drugs, the relief they can bring, because that’s ultimately what makes them so destructive.”
These heavy depictions of drug use can hit close to home and often seem too familiar to friends and family’s of those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse.
Here is a list of what to look out for if you suspect someone has an alcohol or drug use disorder:
Signs of Drug Abuse:
- Difficulty at school or work, declining in school work, failing or skipping class.
- Poor performance at work, being late or not showing an interest in tasks, flagging the attention of their supervisor for poor performance
- Changes in physical appearances, looking very fatigued, changes in dietary habits and hygiene, gaunt, pale skin and dirty clothes
- Isolation from friends and family
- Changes in spending habits, spending much more money than before, not paying bills on time
What You Can Do To Help
From the article 7 Tips for Helping Someone with An Addiction from DailyHealthWire
Tip #1: Educate Yourself
Get information about addictions. Understand the addict’s disease process. Find information about how it impacts the family and friends. Knowledge is power and it may help you understand more about yourself and your loved one. There are many resources for finding this information: SAMHSA.gov (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) has all types of educational and informational resources. The public library and the internet have an enormous amount of information for education, groups, support, treatment, etc.
Tip #2: Get Support
When you have a loved one with an addiction problem, it can create a great deal of difficulty in your life. There are groups that can help you learn how to cope, provide resources and help the addict, including:
Al-Anon (focused on Alcohol addiction)
Nar-Anon (focused on drug addiction – prescription and illegal)
Tip #3: Get Counseling
Alcohol and Drug Treatment
619 Oak Street
513 569 6116
It may be helpful to get some individual counseling to assist yourself. Counseling isn’t just for the addict. The more you are able to manage the better you will be able to help your loved one. There are a variety of resources to find counselors. Your company may have an Employee Assistance Program or your health insurance may have mental health benefits that you can access. Talk to someone you trust about finding the resources you need and do a search for resources in your area.
Tip #4: Seek Specialty Help
If you need assistance with financial issues or legal issues it may be helpful to talk to attorney providers that are covered. There are organizations that provide services on a sliding scale fee and you can often find those by calling your local Mental Health Agency or United Way. Local churches may also provide some low or no cost counseling.
Tip #5: Don’t Enable
It is difficult for family members when the disease takes hold. Often, family members have supported the person’s addiction without even fully realizing that was what they were doing. Don’t rescue the addict. Let them experience the consequences of their disease. Many times, people are unable to change until they are forced. Don’t financially support the addict or their addiction. Many family members and friends buy groceries, give financial assistance to pay court fines or attorneys, or pay rent to help someone out, but usually it only prolongs the disease as addicts are able to avoid consequences.
Tip #6: Have Realistic Expectations
Don’t preach or lecture to the addict. They are usually unable to hear what you are saying. Continue to hold them accountable to expectations and offer help to direct them to the treatment they need. Don’t expect addicts to keep promises, they are not able to do so while in the process of their disease. Don’t react with pity or anger. This only keeps you in the process with the addict.
If your loved one is ready to get help, visit our Alcohol and Drug Treatment page to find out more about getting a referral and assessment.You can also contact Legal Aid programs in your area to see if you qualify for those services or they may be able to direct you to someone who can assist you.
Tip #7: Take Care of Yourself
Focusing on your own life is the most important thing you can do to assist the addict. If you are stressed out due to their issues, in addition to your own, it creates resentment and strain. It makes it difficult to want to help someone who has created so much difficulty in your life. By taking care of yourself through exercising, getting plenty of sleep, socializing and getting support, you may be better able to help your loved one when they are ready to accept the help.
The most important thing to remember is that you aren’t alone. Many people battle with these issues every day and it is vital to get the resources and support you need.
We Are Here To Help:
Here at Mitchell Medical PC, we are a judgment free zone with a passion for helping our patients gain and maintain their sobriety. Often starting with a phone call from a concerned loved one, under our attention and care, our patients have a high success rate and gain their lives back. Give us a call today at (845) 628-3530 and we can help you or your loved one get their lives back.