How to Help Someone Battling with Substance Abuse

How to Help Someone Battling with Substance Abuse

Once you confirm that a loved one or someone close to you is battling with substance abuse, your first instinct is to help this person and help them recover. However, dealing with a drug addict should be done carefully as your intentions to help may do more harm than good. There are certain things that you should consider carefully before sitting down and offering your help for someone who is struggling with substance abuse.

Finally making the proper approach together with your family and friends will require planning and perfect timing. Here are some points that will aid you to effectively help someone who is battling with substance abuse:

Know as much as you can about the addiction. Determine the type of addiction that your loved one has and understand as much as you can about it. Learn about how it affects the addict and how it can change his physical and mental well-being. This will help you accept that any response that your loved one may have to your offering help may just be an effect of the addiction and should not be taken personally. Knowing what the addiction does to a person will prevent you from being judgmental and make a small thing out of the substance abuse, rather it will help you appreciate what a serious disease your loved one is going through.

Stage an intervention. Making a caring and flexible approach during an intervention is better than a harsh and confrontational one. Keep your cool and avoid sounding very persuasive. You should expect anger, violence, or denial from you loved one. It will be very effective to begin your discussion by expressing your deep concern for him/her and showing how committed you are to helping them until they recover fully.

During the intervention, present facts and specific examples of how the substance abuse has negatively affected their lives. Explain that you understand that substance abuse is a disease and is not in any way a reflection of their lack of character or poor judgement. Help the addict recognise that the only way that they can solve this is to seek the proper treatment and that you will be by their side to support them during this journey.

Help them find the best treatment for their substance abuse. Ideally, you should already have this information ready to present to your loved one during the intervention if you intend to escort them directly to the treatment facility after the intervention.

If in case there is no need for an intervention, you can help your loved one research on the different treatment options available in your area and help him/her decide which one would be most suitable. You can take the time to give these facilities a call and ask about their services or request for a tour to better assess your options.

Understand that healing takes time. The journey to recovery from substance abuse is long and hard and you have to commit to offer wholehearted support the entire time. Substance abuse is a chronic illness and you should expect drug cravings to come up from time to time and always watch out for triggers that might lead to relapse. Always be willing to spend time with the addict not only to accompany them with their treatments but to help them get back their normal routine. Try to engage them with activities that they used to enjoy and help them discover new hobbies. Be their best friend and always assure them that they can come to you to talk about the addiction without any fear of rejection or judgement.