Help an Addict

It’s not easy to help a loved one struggling with substance use. 

There’s nothing that can just magically stop them from using drugs or drinking alcohol. 

However, that does not mean that there is nothing you can do to help. 

Start by Educating Yourself

You can only see the symptoms if you know them. 

Until you know about addiction and its symptoms, you will likely miss most of the signs. You won’t be able to help anyone if you cannot even see the problem. 

Therefore, educating yourself about substance use disorders is the first thing you need to do.

Substance addiction is a complex condition, so not knowing everything right away is okay. 

It’s essential to take the time to understand someone struggling with addiction and how it affects them. You will see that it is incredibly beneficial in finding the right addiction treatment.

Also, leave nothing off the table. Make sure you look at both co-occurring disorders — like mental health and personality disorders — with addiction.

Identify the Issue

When getting help for someone with an addiction, you must first determine whether the substance problem is mild, moderate, or severe. 

On that note, you can start looking for a qualified health professional for their expert advice and to potentially administer a health screening. 

It’s best to ask the help of a professional to diagnose your loved one’s substance use disorder to avoid misdiagnoses.

Talk About the Problem

Merely identifying the problem and asking for help from a medical professional is not enough. 

One of the reasons why people struggling with addiction conceal their issues is because of the impact it’s going to have in their lives. But their addiction also affects you. 

Go to an Al-Anon meeting. Talk about your problems. Often your loved one’s addiction has caused you to be unhealthy as well. 

Addiction affects everyone it comes in contact with, whether you are using or not. 

Stage an Intervention

An intervention is an addiction education process directed professionally so that family members, friends, and the person struggling with addiction can talk face-to-face. 

This is an excellent way to help if your loved one refuses to listen or talk about the issue. 

An intervention is a combined effort led by an addiction professional to guide family, friends, and the person with addiction towards initial treatment and recovery.

Read 6 Things You Need to Know Before Planning an Intervention.

The goal is to have a calm, open conversation about your loved one’s substance misuse, helping them realize they have a problem and that they need help and support. 

Consulting with an addiction expert is essential in this, or else the intervention could backfire. When staging one, ensure that you clearly express just how much your loved one means to you. Encourage them to seek help, emphasizing the positive change it can bring you both.

Learn About Treatment Options

Knowing more about addiction and the available treatment options means that you can better help a loved one struggling with substance abuse. Reach out to addiction treatment professionals. By doing so, you can better equip yourself to deal with the problem and support your loved one.

There are various treatment programs for both drug and alcohol addiction. What’s important is for your loved one to complete the program and continue with the aftercare process. 

The fact is that recovery from addiction is a lifetime process because of the possibility of relapse. 

Most Importantly, Take Care of Yourself 

This might not seem like one of the ways to help an addict stop using drugs and alcohol, but it is. 

Taking care of yourself can help your loved ones because it means you can provide them with full support during treatment.