Coffee break with Dr Geraghty of Ashfield Surgery – Taking the first steps to recovery

Coffee break with Dr Geraghty of Ashfield Surgery – Taking the first steps to recovery

Often a taboo subject, dependency and addiction affects many of us day in day out, whether this is on a personal level or via a close friend or family member. The PYB Health content team has taken 5 minutes out of Dr Geraghty’s busy day to get some valuable information on how a person can take the first steps to recovery when experiencing addiction.

Taking the first steps to recovery

Question: What are the key indicators that a person is experiencing dependency or addiction?

Dr Geraghty: The key indicators for someone suffering with dependency or addiction would include increased tolerance and inability to control the addiction.

The individual may feel the need to take the drug to try and limit withdrawal symptoms. Change in personality and loss of interest in usual activities may be signs of addiction. Struggling with work, poor time keeping, lack of care with appearance, and financial difficulties can also indicate possible addiction but can also be associated with mental health problems.

People suffering with addiction can lead very normal lives managing to maintain jobs, hobbies and family life. Often these individuals down play the significance of dependency and it’s important for friends and families to look for signs and seek help.

Question: Who can they reach out to and how do they do this?

Dr Geraghty: I think the most important thing is to seek help from friends and families as these are the individuals you rely on to help you through any withdrawal or treatment. It is then important to seek professional help either directly through specific addiction agencies which are highlighted below or through the GP.

Question: Should they call on a close friend or family member for support?

Dr Geraghty: Absolutely, the most important thing is to try and be open and honest about the issue with your loved ones. You may feel ashamed and embarrassed about the problems but the only way to sort the problem is to acknowledge it exists and seek help.

Question: For a relative or friend witnessing somebody they care about experiencing addiction, how can they help? What if everyone in the situation is in denial?

Dr Geraghty: It is important for family and friends to be supportive of someone struggling with addiction, not to be judgmental and to assist them to seek professional help. It may help seeking advice from agencies such as the Bridgend Carers Centre if you are worried about and individual but are unable to get them to seek help.

Question: What if huge arguments arise within the family?

Dr Geraghty: This can be very difficult to handle, but it’s most important to remain supportive and to encourage the individual to seek help and try to avoid confrontation. If it does result in arguments it’s important to keep calm step away from the situation and offer your support when the person is ready.

Question: What support is there available from local charities both for the victims and their support network?

Dr Geraghty: There is a lot of support locally for people struggling with dependency and addiction. This can easily be accessed through BAVO or ABMU Alcohol & Drug Services who have links to local organizations such as WGCADA and Ogwr Dash. More general help can be found through support agencies like Al-Anon UK, FRANK,DAN 24/7 Wales Drug Helpline & Alcohol Helpline. As mentioned earlier, as a carer for someone suffering with addiction you can contact Bridgend Carers Centre

Any other comments?

Dr Geraghty: I believe the most important thing for an individual who is suffering with dependency or addiction is to first recognize the problem and then seek help. You are not alone with this issue and you will need the help and support from family, friends and professionals to address it.

Learn more about depedency and addiction here