Over the past several years, there has been a sharp uptick in the use of prescription opioid painkillers. In Indiana, the use rate among adults is almost five percent—about half a percent higher than the national average. Our team at K21 is serious about fighting addictions in Kosciusko County, and we want to provide you with the resources you need to prevent long-term ramifications for yourself and your loved ones.

If you know someone who is struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. Supporting a loved one who is dealing with an addiction involves frequent stress and difficult decisions. If you’re not sure what the next right step is, here are a few tips:

Establish Trust
Even if you’re trying to help, trust is easy to break. When you’re talking to someone about his or her addiction, try to be understanding and open. People often turn to addictive behavior as a way to manage stress, so avoid stressful confrontations and atmospheres that might make the situation worse. Be careful not to blame your loved ones for their addiction; show them you care about them and believe they can overcome it.

Set Clear Boundaries
There is a fine line between helping people and enabling them. Family members often justify giving their loved ones money, paying their bills, or even lying for them because they think they’re helping. It’s important to set boundaries to ensure you’re doing everything you can to support your loved ones—without interfering with the consequences of their decisions. Examples of good boundaries for people who live with you include:

  • “No drugs or drug-using friends are allowed in my home.”
  • “If you are not on time for meals, you will need to make your own food.”
  • “I will not pay for a lawyer or bail you out if you are arrested.”

Connect with Treatment and Recovery Resources
Our county has several resources for addiction and recovery. For example, Indiana has a law that allows all Hoosiers to obtain naloxone—a medication that reverses the effects of opioids—if they believe someone they know is at risk for an overdose. You can find your nearest naloxone provider here.

It’s also important to remember that you and your loved ones don’t have to face the challenge of addiction alone. Don’t be afraid to call in additional support. Local organizations like the Bowen Center,  Fellowship Missions, and Groups Recover Together have licensed professionals who can empower people to start the path to recovery. If you are needing support as a family member of an addict, Mom of an Addict is one of our local organizations that offers a support group in our community.

The victims of substance abuse aren’t limited to the people who suffer from addiction. Families, friends, and coworkers must also endure the consequences of drug use. At K21, we want to help you encourage your loved ones and empower them to overcome their addictions.