how to help someone with addiction

How to Help Someone With Addiction

It can be heartbreaking to watch a loved one struggle with addiction, especially if you don’t know what to do or say to reach them. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Some people may respond well to a professionally staged substance use intervention, while others could benefit from attending family therapy with you. Whichever way you slice it, committing to help your loved one overcome their challenges can be an enormous responsibility. 

It can be hard to predict somebody else’s response to the reality check you deliver. Consider the following advice to decide what you will do and say.

Accept That the Path to Recovery Has Many Ups and Downs

When you decide to encourage someone to admit they cannot overcome their substance use problems on their own, you can expect to encounter a few obstacles along the way. While these roadblocks can be daunting, you can face them with perseverance and patience. 

Before suggesting addiction treatment to your loved one, prepare yourself that they might:

  • Deny they have a problem or claim they can quit anytime
  • Enjoy drinking or drug use, despite the obvious harmful ramifications
  • Be unwilling or embarrassed to discuss the topic with you or anyone else, even a professional interventionist or therapist
  • Have severe co-occurring mental health issues underlying the addiction that continue to fuel the cycle of abuse

Keep an Open Mind

Addiction is a chronic disease involving a complex interplay of factors. No matter how determined you are to help a loved one recover, even the world’s most persuasive arguments won’t break through to someone who is resolutely intent on ignoring your message. Therefore, you’ll need to establish buy-in with a combination of supportive steps. 

Long-range thinking and planning are crucial to recovery, and will help you cope as well. If you arm yourself with the mindset that sobriety is a lifelong journey, you can set realistic expectations for yourself and your loved one. 

Research Available Treatment Options

Just as there is no one guaranteed formula to convince your loved one they need to seek help for their substance use disorder, there are multiple recovery options, and the process typically happens in stages. 

For example, people who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for a prolonged period will benefit from undergoing medical detox as the first step of their road to sobriety. During detox, your loved one can safely eliminate toxic chemicals from their body before progressing to the next phases of their treatment program. 

You should also do your homework to ensure you recommend a philosophy that aligns with your loved one’s needs. A religious or deeply spiritual person may find comfort in a 12-step model, while a secular approach could resonate more with an agnostic or atheist.

Professional Intervention Help for You

If your loved one is battling addiction and you aren’t sure how to reach them, Whitman Recovery Service is here for you. Our experienced team has guided thousands of families in staging successful interventions that get results. Through an intervention, you can guide a loved one to regain control of their life. Contact us today to learn more.