Author: Charles Frank

Overcoming Drug Addiction

how to help someone with a drug addiction

But you may be in the best position to help the addict understand the need to seek treatment. Most people who are in recovery say they got help because a friend or relative was honest with them about their drinking or drug use. Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse.

how to help someone with a drug addiction

The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services. Remember that no treatment works for everyone. It’s important that you find a program that feels right. Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being.

Set aside time in your day to pursue activities and relationships that bring you joy—and try to keep up with work, hobbies, and social plans. To better help someone with a drug addiction, it’s often necessary to hold them accountable for their actions by establishing limits or boundaries for what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Despite your efforts and your loved one’s best intentions, the truth is that recovery often involves relapse. If that happens, encourage the person to recommit to getting clean and support them as they try again. Each relapse is an opportunity for your loved one to learn from their mistakes and find a new way forward.

The effects of drug abuse and addiction on family and friends

Emotionally prepare yourself for these situations. If your loved one doesn’t accept treatment, be prepared to follow through with the changes you presented. If you think it’s important to have someone involved but worry that it may create an issue during the intervention, consider having that person write a short letter.

  1. For another, it could mean cutting back or staying mostly drug-free.
  2. Recovery from drug addiction is challenging, even when those in need of assistance are ready and willing to work toward sobriety.
  3. As you seek help for drug addiction, it’s also important to get treatment for any other medical or psychological issues you’re experiencing.
  4. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place.

Think about how it is affecting your friend as well as others. If your friend has alcohol or drug-related problems, they need help. Even if an intervention doesn’t work, you and others in your loved one’s life can make changes that may help.

An intervention can motivate someone to seek help for alcohol or drug misuse, compulsive eating, or other addictive behaviors. Discover when to hold one and how to make it successful. The stress of witnessing someone you love battle addiction can take a heavy toll. You can reduce your stress levels by eating right, exercising regularly, sleeping well, and practicing a relaxation technique such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.

While the exact causes of addiction aren’t clear, genetics likely plays a role, along with environmental factors. Other people turn to drugs to change how they feel, to fit in, or to alleviate boredom or dissatisfaction with their lives. Then there are those whose substance abuse develops from a doctor’s well-intentioned efforts to treat a medical condition.

Setting healthy boundaries

One of the most significant challenges in life is figuring out how to how to help someone with a drug addiction who doesn’t want help. Recovery from drug addiction is challenging, even when those in need of assistance are ready and willing to work toward sobriety. It’s even harder when they don’t want your help and have no interest in drug addiction therapy services. It is important to express care, concern, and support for your friend or family member without enabling them.

how to help someone with a drug addiction

Heavy drug users often lose interest in old hobbies, lack energy, and become more moody, withdrawn, and sad. They may even neglect their appearance and personal hygiene, and suffer withdrawal symptoms if deprived of their drug of choice. When experiencing a craving, many people have a tendency to remember only the positive effects of the drug and forget the negative consequences. Therefore, you may find it helpful to remind yourself that you really won’t feel better if you use and that you stand to lose a lot. Sometimes it is helpful to have these consequences listed on a small card that you keep with you. There are healthier ways to keep your stress level in check.

Women and Alcohol

An intervention is a carefully planned process that family and friends can do, working with a doctor or another health care professional, such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. An intervention professional, also known as an interventionist, also could direct an intervention. It sometimes includes a member of your loved one’s faith community or others who care about the person struggling with addiction.

Think volunteering, taking up a new sport or hobby, enrolling in a class, or spending time in nature hiking or camping, for example—anything that doesn’t generate a trigger to use. While some people are able to quit drugs on their own, the more help and support a person has, the better their chances of success. Offer to sit with your loved one while they call a helpline or accompany them to a doctor’s appointment, counseling session, or peer support group meeting. The important thing to remember is that relapse doesn’t mean drug treatment failure.

Don’t try to go it alone—reach out for support. Whatever treatment approach you choose, having positive influences and a solid support system is essential. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery. Usually the first step is to purge your body of drugs and manage withdrawal symptoms. When a friend shows signs of abusing alcohol or other drugs, it’s hard to know what to do or say. Addiction may also be called “substance use disorder.”

It can either be a surprise or a planned event, depending on the circumstances. The biggest misunderstanding about addiction is that the individual can just stop using drugs or alcohol as if it is simply a matter of willpower or choice. Dependency on drugs or alcohol means that your body and mind have been rewired to need that addictive substance in order to function normally. Without the substance, withdrawal symptoms will occur, and they are often uncomfortable or even life-threatening. It’s easy for your loved one’s battle with addiction to become all-consuming. But you’ll find it easier to cope with a difficult situation when other areas of your life are rewarding.

Appointments at Mayo Clinic

Options can include brief early intervention, outpatient treatment or day treatment programs. A structured program, or a stay at a treatment facility or hospital, may be needed for more-serious issues. If you decide to stage an intervention, it is crucial to be prepared for immediate follow-up. Take the time to plan and organize the logistics in advance, ensuring that it is easy and quick for individuals struggling with addiction to start their treatment journey. This may involve arranging immediate transportation to a reputable treatment facility that suits their specific needs and circumstances. By learning about drug addiction, you may be better able to spot symptoms.

Of all the people prescribed opioids to relieve pain, for example, estimates suggest that more than a quarter will end up misusing the drug. You can support your drug treatment and protect yourself from relapse by having activities and interests that provide meaning to your life. It’s important to be involved in things that you enjoy, that make you feel needed, and add meaning to your life. When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal. It’s hard helping a loved one who is struggling with any type of addiction.