Getting Your Loved One Addiction Help in Kansas: 4 First Steps for Families of Fentanyl Users

Over the last several years Kansas has seen a steady rise in opioid overdose deaths. In 2021, it had the dubious honor of being the nation's second largest percentage increase in overdose deaths. The majority of these deaths are from fentanyl. In an area where the opioid crisis has deeply impacted communities, families are dealing with the challenges and complications of helping their loved ones overcome their struggles with addiction. However, armed with knowledge and support, families can navigate this terrain and guide their loved ones toward healing and hope. Here's a practical guide outlining four crucial steps for families of fentanyl users seeking addiction help in Kansas.


Understanding Fentanyl: The Potent Nemesis


Fentanyl has grown to become more than just "another drug." It is a tidal wave engulfing America. It has killed over 250,000 people since 2018. Fentanyl has the highest rate of overdose deaths; more than double that of methamphetamine which came in second. A dramatically potent opioid, it is more powerful than heroin or morphine. It is this potency, alongside its highly addictive nature, which makes it so deadly. Family members of fentanyl addicts should educate themselves about the potency, effects, and risks of the drug. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of fentanyl use can help you know when something is wrong and provide appropriate intervention and seek help.

Numerous online resources offer in-depth information about fentanyl addiction, including its pharmacology, effects on the brain, and strategies for harm reduction. Additionally, connecting with local addiction counselors or attending family education programs can provide valuable insights that may come in handy when talking with your loved one.


Cultivating Compassionate Communication


If you have a friend or family member battling fentanyl addiction, chances are they feel pretty alone. Substance abuse is a disease that, by its nature, drives people away. If progressed enough, fentanyl abuse will leave the user feeling hopeless, isolated, and filled with despair. Cultivating a relationship with this person can help them start to see the other side of life, instead of just feeling overwhelmed and alone. Approach conversations with empathy, understanding, and a non-judgmental attitude. Express your concerns openly, focusing on your love and desire to see them heal rather than blaming or criticizing.

Create a safe environment where your loved one feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. Actively listen and avoid jumping to judgment or conclusions. Fostering a sense of open and compassionate communication can be the jumpstart your loved one needs to consider seeking help. 


Exploring Treatment Options: Navigating the Recovery Landscape


Kansas has a spectrum of addiction treatment options available. Ranging from outpatient programs to residential rehabs, each option has their advantages and drawbacks. Explore the available resources and find the best fit. It should be noted that if someone is physically dependent on fentanyl, inpatient treatment is highly suggested. At the very least, they will need a supervised medical detox program to safely get them through the withdrawals.  

When researching treatment centers in Kansas, do your due diligence. Check out if they have certain specializations, cater towards a specific demographic and are adequately licensed. Ask about treatment modalities, detox services, insurance requirements, and aftercare support.  

Touch base with the admissions staff to learn about their intake process and any financial assistance options. Taking an active role in the treatment planning process helps to ensure that your loved one receives the best care that is suited towards their individual needs. 


Prioritizing Family Support & Self-Care


Substance abuse is a disease that impacts the entire family. It is emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing. Because of this, it is important to prioritize self-care for yourself and other family members who are involved.

Joining a support group for families of individuals struggling with addiction can provide a sense of community, understanding, and practical guidance. Organizations like Nar-Anon or Al-Anon offer meetings where you can share your experiences, learn from others, and develop coping strategies. Consider individual therapy or counseling to address your own emotional needs and develop healthy boundaries. Remember that taking care of yourself isn't selfish; it's essential for maintaining your well-being and resilience as you support your loved one through their recovery journey.


Next Steps


Navigating fentanyl addiction within the family requires patience, tenacity, and a commitment to education and support. Families in Kansas can provide invaluable support to their loved ones as they find their path to sobriety. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with fentanyl addiction, call Sunflower Recovery today. We’re a Kansas based treatment program that’s been working with families for years - we understand the position you’re in. Our full continuum of support may be just what your loved one needs. Call today. 

Kansas Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Guide