How To Help A Friend Suffering From Addiction

The Ultimate Guide On Helping A Friend Who Is Suffering From Addiction

If you have a friend suffering from addiction, it can weigh heavily on you. You want to help but don’t know how, or everything you do seems to make things worse. You are not alone. Dealing with a friend struggling with substance abuse requires patience and understanding.
There are many ways of dealing with people struggling with substance abuse. Here are some ways you can help your friend:

How To Help A Friend Suffering From Addiction

1. First, Be Sure And Keep Off Judgment

First, if you do not want to lose your friend, be sure that they are suffering from addiction before trying to help them. How can you tell that they need you to come in and help? Look out for these signs of substance abuse:

  • Defensiveness
  • Unexplainable spending habits
  • Personality and behavioral changes
  • Tremors and shaking
  • Red eyes
  • Disregard for hygiene
  • Nose bleeds

Once you have seen all the signs, here is how you can help;

2. Let Them Know That They Are Not Alone; You Are There For Them

Substance abuse can be a lonely disease. As much as your friend is always surrounded by people whenever they go on drinking sprees, they are essentially just alone and will need to know that you are there for them.

You can offer your unconditional support to your friend. Bear in mind that the drug problem is only a front or a way to cover up and deal with other issues they may be facing.

Therefore, offering your support and letting them know that you are there for them could go a long way in calming their fears, and it might give them the courage to take a step towards a different path; a recovery path.

3. Get Them To Accept That They Have A Problem

“Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards solving it”, may have been said a million times before, but it makes sense, especially if you have a friend suffering from addiction. As you saw with the signs, many deny having a problem or even taking drugs.

Even when all signs are clear, until they admit to having a problem and recognize that they need help, you cannot get them help. It is up to them to want to get better and take the next step.

You being there to help your friend feel safe enough to admit to their addiction is the best thing you can do because it opens the door to the possibility of getting help and recovery.

4. Give Them Hope To Recover

If your friend is suffering from addiction, they probably know they are in trouble and need help. They may even have tried to get it unsuccessfully before. Therefore, be their hope. Let them know that you believe in their recovery.

By showing them that there is hope, they begin to believe it even if it seems impossible to them. Hope is everything to someone dealing with substance abuse.

5. Make Them Understand That It’s A Disease

There are many signs of substance abuse that cannot be ignored. This is a chronic disease that many people suffer from.

You must make your friend understand that it is a disease. Letting your friend know this helps them stop feeling guilty. Many feel flawed for not being able to control the urge to take drugs.

However, understanding that they are sick gives them a reason to take a step back and stop dealing with it like it’s their fault, or like they can stop it all independently. They understand that, like in any disease, they may need the help of a professional to deal with the addiction.

This is the first step to accepting that they need help and considering getting it.

6. Provide The Support They Need To Recover

Rehabilitation costs quite a lot. Letting your friend suffering from addiction know that whenever they are ready and ask for it, you will be ready to support their recovery journey is all the assurance they need to take the scary step of asking for help.

Whether it is money to fund their rehabilitation or staying up with them while they throw up from the withdrawal symptoms, assuring them that support is everything to your friend.

7. Let Them Know Their Options

Your friend may be addicted without the awareness of what they need to do to get better. After they admit to having a problem, they may be too shy to ask for help, so offer it to them. They can speak to a substance abuse counselor who can help them take the next step.

A substance abuse counselor knows how to deal with people struggling with substance abuse in ways you may be unfamiliar with.

8. Introducing Them To A Support Group

A substance abuse counselor from a support group such as AA can help your friend.

If they don’t want to talk to you, get them to talk to other people they are comfortable talking to. In a support group, they do not feel ashamed or judged. They feel understood.

The best thing you can do to help them recover or accept their addiction is direct them to a support group without pressure. Simply tell them about it, and let them decide when they are ready to go.

9. Encourage Them To Find A Healthy Passion

Someone suffering from substance abuse will indulge in drugs because of idleness. They may be lonely or hopeless. Therefore, keeping them busy and allowing them to enjoy something they love doing might just be what they need.
Replacing the addiction with a passion such as exercise, painting, or any other passion helps them keep their minds off the drugs. When they are happy and energized, their body produces hormones like dopamine that make them feel satisfied and content without drugs.

Do You Have A Friend Suffering From Addiction?

Ron Cipriano And Associates Counseling can help your friend. We have the expertise and qualified substance abuse counselors that can help take your friend on a recovery journey. Call us today!

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