You have a loved one who is addicted to drugs and you want to help, but you don’t know how. There are a number of misconceptions about how to help someone who is suffering from an addiction. It is not possible for you to make someone ‘conquer’ their addiction and you cannot do the job for them. Your role is to offer support to them because the battle with drug addiction can be immensely tough and demotivating as well. It will be hard-fought, but as long as you continue offering support, it will make a positive contribution to their journey. Covering up, making excuses and handing out money is not going to make a difference.
What can you do? Follow these steps and you will be able to help your friend or family member:
Be the best friend you can be
Some relationships are brief whereas others last a lifetime. One way of strengthening your relationship is to be by her side during their drug addiction. There are reasons that let to their addiction and your job is to help them realize what they are. Why did they start doing drugs? Is she suffering from anxiety or depression? Did she suffer from any trauma? You have to be loyal, reliable and respectful. When they are expressing their feelings to you and this takes a lot of courage.
Show some empathy
Listening is not enough; you should also empathize with them. The emotional experience of having to deal with a drug addiction can be quite painful and actively listening to them and understanding their situation can go a long way in easing their pain. Put yourself in their shoes and be compassionate. Avoid making any judgments and treat them like you would want to be treated in their place.
Express your concern
Watching someone you love suffer is a very difficult thing and watching them make poor decisions that impact their life negatively is even harder. At some point, you need to tell your loved one that you are concerned about their well-being. You don’t just have to say it, but you also need to demonstrate it through your actions. Confront the issue head on and tell them about what will happen if the addiction is left unaddressed.
Take some action
It is time for you to clarify if they want help or not. Most addicts will immediately go into denial or flat out refuse help because they are not in the right mindset and don’t believe there is anything wrong with them. They are unable to think rationally and are only concerned about getting their next fix. It is now for you to decide how involved you want to be in their drug treatment process.
Persuade them to get help
When you get excuses and denial, you need to show the realities of the situation to your loved one. They need to know and understand the consequences of not getting treatment for their problem. For instance, if a woman is pregnant and addicted to drugs, their baby is also going to suffer. You can show them videos and statistics to show them what this habit will do to their life. They need a shock to get out of the bubble they are living it.
Stage an intervention
There are different forms of help and in some cases; it has to be forced, especially when the addict is not accepting yours. Yes, this is a hard decision, but if the addiction is out of control and has put their life at risk, there is no other option left to you. The purpose of the intervention is not to put your loved one on the defensive; instead, it is staged to get through to them. When you are planning an intervention, you should be careful about who you choose for it. Before the intervention, you should have at least one treatment plan that you will be able to offer to them. Be prepared for rejection as well. You may have to trick the person into attending the intervention. Colleagues and religious representatives can also be involved, if appropriate.
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