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7 of the Best Tips on How to Help Someone Battling Addiction

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There are few experiences more difficult or heartbreaking than watching someone you love struggle with addiction. When someone you love is being controlled by their addiction you’re often left feeling helpless and powerless. It seems like there’s nothing you can do to help them.

Even if you feel like there’s nothing you can do to help someone who’s battling addiction, there are some ways you can be helpful. Wondering what you can do? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Educate Yourself

There are a lot of persistent misconceptions about addiction that make it really hard to understand.

For example, many people still believe that addiction is a choice. They believe that if the addict tried hard enough to quit or wanted to quit enough that they would be able to quit. This belief is based on the misconception that addicts are people with weak willpower, who cannot “just say no.”

In reality, addiction is a disease of both the body and the mind. The disease of the body manifests as the physical addiction to the addict’s substance of choice. Addiction is also a mental illness that manifests as an obsession with consuming the addict’s substance of choice, often to escape co-existing mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

If you want to help someone struggling with addiction, you’ll need to understand how the disease of addiction works, how it manifests in their life, and how it can be treated. One of the best resources for learning about addiction is the book Alcoholics Anonymous, which is the basis of the 12-step program of the same name.

Books published by Hazelden Publishing are also very helpful resources for understanding addiction.

If you’re going to turn to the Internet for your information about addiction, be sure to find reputable sources. Webpages that end in .org or .gov are more likely to have accurate information.

Being well-informed about the disease of addiction and why addicts act the way they do will help you to talk to your loved one with compassion and empathy.

2. Let Them Know You Care

Addiction is often called the disease of loneliness, and anyone who’s battling addiction can tell you why. Addiction isolates people from those they love because the addiction becomes more important than relationships. And many addicts end up ruining their close relationships because their behavior, driven their addiction, causes them to hurt those they love the most.

This leaves most addicts feeling like there isn’t anyone in the world who cares about them. So, if you do care about someone who is struggling with addiction, it’s important to let them know you still care.

Tell them how much you love them and how important they are to you. And tell them that you care about their health and what happens to them.

Finding out that someone does, in fact, care about them and what happens to them will let the addict know that they are not as alone as they believe and that what they do to themselves does matter to someone else.

3. Tell Them the Truth

While addicts do need to hear that people care about them, they also need to hear the difficult truths about how their behavior is impacting others. Many people who love addicts fear telling them the truth because they don’t want to upset the addict, who may lash out at them or use substances as a result of the uncomfortable conversation.

Though it’s hard to do, it’s very important to be honest with those you love who are struggling with addiction. They need to know that their behavior doesn’t impact just them. They need to know that their behavior is hurting you. They need to know that you worry about them all the time.

If they get angry at you and refuse to listen, accept that they aren’t yet ready to hear the truth. Try again later. But no matter what, keep being honest. Sugarcoating how you feel about their addiction won’t help them at all.

4. Encourage Them to Get Help

To get and stay sober, addicts need to receive treatment for their disease. Anyone who truly has the disease of addiction will not be able to stop using substances without help.

It’s incredibly important for you as the loved one of an addict to understand that you are not qualified to help your loved one get sober. Unless you’re a certified substance abuse counselor or a recovered addict yourself, then you don’t have the necessary training or experience to get them sober.

And even if you are a certified substance abuse counselor or a recovered addict yourself, you’re probably not the one that your loved one wants to receive treatment from. You’re too close to the situation to be truly helpful.

So, it’s very important to encourage your addicted loved one to seek professional treatment. Help them find an inpatient or outpatient opiate rehab and addiction treatment program. Or suggest that they attend a 12-step program.

If they are resistant to getting treatment, continue to reinforce that addiction is a disease that requires treatment.

5. Let Them Know You Believe in Them

Many addicts don’t seek treatment because they are convinced that it’s impossible for them to stop using substances. They’re so afraid of failing to get sober that they don’t even try.

This is where you can provide the boost they need. You can assure them that you believe they are capable of getting and staying sober. Remind them that anyone can get sober if they are willing to seek treatment and commit to their recovery.

Letting them know that you believe in them may provide the confidence they need to attempt sobriety. And reminding them that you believe in them can provide the support they need to stay sober once they seek treatment.

6. Give a Little Tough Love

There’s a fine line between providing love and support to an addict and enabling an addict. Sometimes the actions you take that you think are helping the addict are actually helping them avoid the consequences of their addiction.

Addicts need to experience the consequences of their disease before they get sober. If they don’t understand that their disease is hurting them and others, they won’t see the need to get sober.

One of the most painful things to do when you love an addict is to give them tough love. This may look like telling them that they can’t live with you anymore. Or it may look like cutting them off financially. It may even look like telling them that you can’t associate with them anymore because their behavior is so harmful to you.

As painful as it is to dish out this tough love, it’s necessary for the addict’s well-being. And more importantly, it’s necessary for your well-being.

7. Take Care of Yourself

When you’re trying to be helpful to an addict, it’s essential to put your well-being first. Though they don’t intend to be, the disease of addiction makes addicts energetic vampires. They’ll suck you dry if you let them.

Addicts will also break your heart over and over if you let them. They don’t mean to, but they can’t help it. Their addiction rules their life and it makes them do things they would never do if they weren’t in the throes of their disease.

So, you need to take care of yourself when you’re helping an addict. If they’re hurting you, you need to stop trying to help. If your mental health is suffering from trying to help, you need to stop. If they’re taking advantage of you, you need to stop trying to help.

You cannot let an addict drag you down with them.

Helping Someone Battling Addiction

Helping someone who’s battling addiction is a difficult task. You can try these suggestions, but it’s important to remember that you have no control over the addict or their addiction. It’s possible that they may not get sober, no matter how much you try to help.

So, do what you can, but keep your expectations low. Try to help, but be willing to disengage if the addict is being harmful or you’re getting hurt.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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SMH Sim Lab Trains Healthcare Workers To Handle COVID-19

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Photo: Surrey Memorial Hospital Simulation Lab program training frontline healthcare workers

Surrey Memorial Hospital Simulation Lab is Game Changer in Training Healthcare Workers to Handle COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis

Surrey Hospitals Foundation Investing $100,000 in New Simulation Technology

The Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) Simulation Lab has been credited as a “game changer” in helping train healthcare workers to better handle COVID-19 pandemic crisis situations.

The Surrey Hospitals Foundation is investing another $100,000 for new simulation technologies for the SMH Simulation Lab, contributing a total of $1.3 million including seed funding since 2015.

The SMH simulation Lab is one of two regional simulation centres supporting the Fraser Health region. It is a partnership between Surrey Memorial Hospital, Fraser Health and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine.

“Our Simulation Lab has been very successful in training and preparing healthcare workers in various emergency situations and ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it has been instrumental in helping frontline hospital staff handle crisis situations,” says Lisa Ewart, Clinical Practice Consultant and Simulation Program Lead in Fraser Health.

“In addition, our Simulation Lab has facilitated and identified ongoing improvements in healthcare procedures, especially related to COVID-19, that has been adopted and implemented across the region.”

Between March and June 2020 alone, the SMH Simulation Lab has conducted 217 COVID-19 process simulations and trained over 900 hospital staff, using scenarios that were developed based on current pandemic guidelines from the Emergency Operations Committee.

These simulations occurred in emergency, intensive care, cardiac care, medical/surgical cohort units, COVID-19 testing centers and involved interdisciplinary participation.

The SMH Simulation Lab allows learners to practice high risk, low-frequency procedures – such as trauma from a car accident, or how to care for a patient in a pandemic – in a safe, risk-free environment.

Simulation encourages team training, by building on teamwork and communication skills, identifying roles or practicing use of protocols during a crisis or code blue situations.

The Simulation Lab supports healthcare workers, hospital staff, students, social workers, lab technicians and other learning groups such as community first responders.

Pediatric Emergency Department Simulation Practice

The Simulation Lab also takes part in the Surrey Hospital Foundation’s Mini Med School Education Program which gives high school students an opportunity to explore a variety of medical specialties with small-group workshops with physicians and technicians.

Interesting facts about the Surrey Memorial Hospital Simulation Lab:

  • 3 high tech rooms, 2 debrief rooms, 3 skill rooms, 1 virtual reality surgical simulation room.
  • Pediatric simulations to support pediatric emergency department, child health centre and pediatric psychiatry.
  • In 2020 alone, the SIM Lab completed more than 2,400 hours of simulation education and more than 800 simulation sessions compared to 401 hours and 153 sessions in 2016.
  • The pediatric mannequins that were bought in 2020 have been used in more than 60 simulations sessions and over 110 hours of clinical training.
  • The adult mannequins from 2015 have had 17,000 compressions, been ventilated 2,400 times and been shocked 700 times.

“Our Foundation provided the seed funding when the SIM lab was first launched in 2015, and we are proud to continue supporting this crucially important education program to help improve the quality of our healthcare and health outcomes of our patients,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation.

About Surrey Hospitals Foundation:

Surrey Hospitals Foundation is the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and surrounding Fraser Valley communities.

The Foundation supports the major health facilities in the region, Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), as well as numerous specialized programs for newborns, children, adults and seniors.

The Foundation invests in the future of health care by funding innovative research in Surrey that can lead to medical breakthroughs.

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BC Government Announces Additional AstraZeneca Vaccines Available At 20 London Drugs Locations In The Lower Mainland

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London Drugs Opens Online Appointment Booking System for those Aged 55 to 65

London Drugs will open up online appointment booking after the province has announced limited additional supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Starting at 12:45 p.m. (PST) on Monday April 5, those aged 55 to 65 can visit the online booking system at LondonDrugs.com/covid19 and follow the prompts to find available appointments.

2200 doses will be distributed amongst 20 London Drugs locations in the Lower Mainland before the end of day Monday April 5 with additional supply expected in the coming weeks.

“With the overwhelming demand, we are happy to see the government now accelerating the distribution of the vaccine through our pharmacies,” said Chris Chiew, General Manager of Pharmacy at London Drugs.

Patients will now be able to join a waitlist on a first-come-first-serve basis so that when vaccine inventory is depleted, they will be notified when more appointments become available.

Patients on the waitlist will also be notified if there are “no shows” to previously booked appointments. Everyone wanting an appointment must go through the same online booking system.

“We are doing everything we can to quickly respond to changing vaccine supply and help the government ensure a widespread, easily accessible and equitable vaccination campaign as we do every year for flu,” said Chiew. “Thank you to our customers and patients for their patience. And to our pharmacy staff for their early efforts in what will be one of the largest public immunizations efforts ever undertaken in the province.”

For months, London Drugs pharmacists have been assisting with the Province’s vaccination efforts by administering the COVID vaccine on-site at various assisted living facilities and hospitals in B.C. to help speed up delivery to those most at-risk.

AstraZeneca Vaccines will be available for eligible British Columbians aged 55-65 at the following locations:

West Broadway, 525 West Broadway , Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 1E6, (604) 448-4804

North Vancouver, 2032 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7M 2K5, (604) 448-4805

Guildford Town Centre, 10355 152 Street, Surrey, British Columbia V3R 7B9, (604) 448-4809

Granville and Georgia, 710 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1E4, (604) 448-4802

Lougheed Town Centre, 9855 Austin Avenue, Burnaby, British Columbia V3J 1N4, (604) 448-4825

Kerrisdale, 2091 W 42nd Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia V6M 2B4, (604) 448-4810

London Plaza, 5971 No.3 Road, Richmond, British Columbia V6X 2E3, (604) 448-4811

Coquitlam Centre, 2929 Barnet Highway Coquitlam, British Columbia V3B 5R5, (604) 448-4815

West Oaks Mall, 32700 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford, British Columbia V2T 4M5, (604) 852-0936

Wessex – Kingsway, 3328 Kingsway Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia V5R 5L1, (604) 448-4828

Park Royal North, 875 Park Royal North, West Vancouver, British Columbia V7T 1H9, (604) 448-4844

Valley Fair Mall, 22709 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge, British Columbia V2X 2V5, (604) 448-4847

Ironwood Plaza, 11666 Steveston Hwy, Richmond, British Columbia V7A 5J3, (604) 448-4852

41st & Victoria, 5639 Victoria Drive, Vancouver, British Columbia V5P 3W2, (604) 448-4853

Gibsons, 900 Gibsons Way, Gibsons, British Columbia V0N 1V7, (604) 886-8720

Morgan Crossing, 15850 26th Avenue, South Surrey, British Columbia V3S 2N6, (604) 448-4881

Garibaldi Village, 40282 Glenalder Place, Squamish, British Columbia V8B 0G2, (604) 898-8270

About London Drugs

Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs sells to every province and territory in Canada through its online store www.LondonDrugs.com and has 81 physical stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from personal protection equipment for pandemic safety, to digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 9000 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business.

Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring Canadian company that supports Canadian brands and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

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Mayor Doug McCallum Urges Everyone To Do Their Part And Get Vaccinated When Turn Comes Up

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Surrey, BC – Mayor Doug McCallum is asking everyone to get vaccinated when their turn comes up. Eligibility to book an appointment in Mayor McCallum’s age bracket came into effect yesterday. The Mayor promptly went online and scheduled an appointment for his immunization shot, which he received this afternoon.

“The light in this long tunnel that we have been travelling in is getting brighter everyday. We can get there sooner if everyone gets vaccinated when it is their turn. I can assure you that booking an appointment was easy and fast through Fraser Health’s online process and that the shot I received today was done safely, quickly and virtually pain-free. Let’s stamp out COVID. Book your immunization shot as soon as your turn comes up.”

The City of Surrey is supporting Fraser Health’s mass immunization clinics by offering space at three Recreation Centres. Eligible residents can book vaccination appointments beginning March 29 for clinics at Cloverdale Recreation Centre and South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre. Fraser Health is planning to open a third Surrey clinic at Guildford Recreation Centre and a date will be announced soon.

Visit fraserhealth.ca/vaccine to learn more or to book a COVID vaccination appointment.

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3 Surrey Recreation Centres To Serve As Mass Immunization Clinics For Fraser Health Authority

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Surrey, BC – In support of Fraser Health Authority’s (FHA) COVID-19 vaccination rollout, gymnasiums at the Cloverdale Recreation Centre, South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre, and Guildford Recreation Centre will serve as sites for mass immunization clinics.

“As vaccine distribution is set to ramp up, the City is proud to do its part in supporting Fraser Health’s safe vaccination rollout by offering the gymnasium space at these three civic facilities,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “Vaccinating over 600,000 residents is no small feat, but we are confident that by offering these large distribution centres, everyone who wants to be immunized will have access to one near their home.”

Eligible residents can currently book vaccination appointments for clinics within Surrey at both the Cloverdale Recreation Centre and South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre. FHA is planning to open a third clinic in Surrey at Guildford Recreation Centre and a date will be announced soon.

Each site will include a drop-off location for immunization appointments, and residents are encouraged to take public transit when possible. Free parking is available.

Eligible residents can book vaccination appointments by visiting fraserhealth.ca/vaccinebooking or by calling the Fraser Health vaccination appointment line at 1-855-755-2455, which is available 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please call only when it’s your turn.

Recreational programming will continue at these facilities utilizing separate entrances, and City staff are working to minimize programming disruptions.

Find the latest information on COVID-19 on the City’s social media channels at www.surrey.ca/Covid19.

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A Proudly Canadian Solution to Canada’s Chronic Drug and Vaccine Shortages

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Ensuring Canadians have access to the medications they need means supporting Canadian manufacturers, says London Drugs.

The pandemic has highlighted a glaring weakness in Canadian healthcare: reoccurring shortages of essential drugs and vaccines.

London Drugs says it is important to work now to find solutions to drug and vaccine supply. As the company prepares to join Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, it is pledging support to Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturers to help reduce reliance on foreign suppliers and improve domestic supply of essential medicines and vaccines.

“There is a proudly Canadian solution to the medication and vaccine shortages: supporting domestic drug manufacturers,” says Clint Mahlman, President and COO, London Drugs.

“It’s the right thing to do for our pharmacy patients, for the industry and for the country.” An overwhelming majority of Canadians agree.

A recent survey among members of the online Angus Reid Forum found due to the pandemic, 96 per cent of Canadians feel that it is important to have a strong domestic pharmaceutical manufacturing presence.

Drug shortages have been a challenge for Canada’s pharmacies for many years including epipens and other treatments. The result of longstanding global supply chain issues, shortages can have a real impact on the health of Canadians. Domestic manufacturing may offer a long-term solution.

London Drugs has a long history of supporting local Canadian products and Canadian suppliers. Proudly Canadian signage in stores and online make it easier for customers to find locally made products. Consistent with its commitment to supporting local, in April 2020, London Drugs offered up shelf space in stores to local small businesses who had to close their doors due to COVID-19; the ‘Local Central’ initiative raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Canadian small businesses.

With respect to drug and vaccine shortages, London Drugs is in continuous discussions with Apotex Inc., and other Canadian manufacturers on this issue.

Apotex, Canada’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturer says that its fully integrated manufacturing facilities underscore the importance of having a domestic manufacturing capability.

“We have the ability to adjust our manufacturing and distribution in order to meet urgent government and patient needs,” says Raymond Shelley, SVP Commercial Operations- Canadian & Caribbean, Apotex.

In April 2020, the world saw a growing demand of hydroxychloroquine. Apotex shifted its priorities by scaling up production to manufacture more hydroxychloroquine to meet the increased demand. Being its home market, Canadians were the first priority before product was shipped to other markets.

“With support from other Canadian companies like London Drugs, we can help make Canada self-sufficient by ensuring a stable, secure supply of medication and bring new drugs to market,” says Shelley. “That not only means better care for Canadians, but also thousands of new, high-quality, highly skilled jobs.”

*According to StatsCan, the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Canada employs approximately 30,000 people. With an increased pharmaceutical manufacturing presence, Canadians will see a direct economic impact through a growth in employment opportunities.

“As a Canadian owned and operated company, we understand the importance of supporting Canadian businesses. And given the option, we would want more domestic suppliers helping to keep our pharmacies stocked – ensuring our patients get the crucial medications and vaccines when they need it,” says Mahlman.

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