Delaware

Tips to confront loved ones battling addiction, as overdose deaths rise during holidays

Tips to confront loved ones battling...

GEORGETOWN, Del. - This past Thanksgiving, 11 people died from an overdose in Delaware. 

Local experts say that with the holidays just around the corner, those numbers may rise again. 

We're told the holidays can be a time where many feel stressed. But for others, an added weight maybe on their shoulders. 

"People that are in substance abuse have extra stress on them, they have their own issues to deal with and then the stress of facing family that they haven't seen in 6 months or a year or just the sorrow of not being able to buy gifts for your children because you know that you have an addiction issue and they're spending money else where," Karen Vied tells us. 

Vied is a recovery coach and an on call volunteer at ACE Peer Resource Center, knows first hand, what it's like to watch a loved one battle an addiction during the holiday season. 

She says her son, who is now doing well in recovery, struggled with heroin for many years.

During that time she felt alone but also obligated to learn and take lessons she could one day share with others. 

Vied tells 47 ABC is looking for the signs, especially around the holidays. 

"Things gone missing, money gone missing, jewelry, someone is not returning phone calls that may normally be quick to return a call or a text."

We're told there are also ways to approach someone dealing with this every day struggle. You can approach them privately and tell them you love them.

And the quicker you address the elephant in the room, the faster you could save a life. Vied says you should have a plan in place when approaching them. 

Every situation is different, but make sure you're loved one doesn't feel bombarded as well.

Vied says, "If there's one person that is being addressed and there's 4 or 5 others, they may get defensive and maybe make a run for it, which is a natural instinct. So you want to have people around that they trust to begin with and people that they're comfortable with."

Another tip, if you know someone that is newly out of detox or treatment, be thoughtful of that and don't have alcoholic beverages at your party. Or even tell them in advance, so they can plan ahead of time.  

Another suggestion when confronting a loved one, if you have a friend or family member who's been to AA or NA, it can make the situation easier if they are present, since they can relate to them and give advice. 

Vied says it can be tough to address a hard subject, but if you do, you could potentially save a life. 


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