How to help a friend with drug addiction


Reaching out to help someone suffering from alcohol or a drug related problem is never an easy task, especially when they are living in denial. In most cases, close friends and family members tend to turn a blind to the person suffering from addiction. No one wants to be the first to get their hands dirty, and they all hope that the individuals in addiction will see the light at some point in their lives. However, that absconding pushes the addicted persons into further addiction as their cravings grow by the day.  


Approaches to use

When approaching, it is always advisable to be as friendly as possible when it comes to dealing with such persons. Being harsh draws the addict away from you and narrows your chance of ever helping him or her. Thus, you avoid being pushy and or complaining. Expect the victim to be defensive and hostile even at your softest tone, but you should always be calm and show lots of maturity when handling them. Also do not sound accusing or judgmental while you are approaching such persons as they will be defensive.



Articulate your concern to the victim

From the onset express your intentions and offer a helping hand without attaching any conditions to the help.



Present facts

Always remind the victim of the dangers of alcoholism and drug abuse by being specific to their behavior. However, avoid moral judgments and opinions. Just present the facts as they are and avoid going into the details of their actions.



Use of group intervention

At times is important you seek the help of family members or friends close to your loved one. However, make sure whomever you ask for help commands respect or arouse a sense of responsibility.



Professional help

It is important you show them the importance of seeking the assistance of professional intervention to help your loved one. Make sure you have fully researched available services and methodologies employed before you ask for help. Do not force it down their throat, instead mention the importance of seeking professional help. Aim to reach an agreement regarding which doctor to visit and outline the objective of the visit. However, in the event they decline the idea, leave the door open and let them know you will be ready to visit the doctor whenever they are willing.



Exercise tough love

Always make your stand known and do not compromise anything you do not tolerate.  


Give hope

Always encourage the victim. Remind them that the treatment will yield fruitful as long they remain committed to the process.



Recommend joining self-help groups

Urge the victim to join self-help groups where others with similar challenges gather to share experiences about their journeys. Offer to accompany them to meetings until they are fully confident of going to the meetings alone. Such exposure is critical in facilitating a steady recovery as the victim can see people in worse or similar situations and who are willing to walk the journey of recovery. Also, meetings such as these encourage the victim to see the reality if soberness is an achievable target.


Early intervention

Do not wait until alcoholism and brain disease eat deep into your friend’s health. Make the intervention as soon as you know the victim has started abusing drugs and substances. The earlier the intervention is, the higher the chances of a full recovery. Do not wait for a major crisis before making an intervention.  



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