How to Help Someone Struggling with Addiction

The challenge of addiction is that it affects not only the addict, but also their family and friends. It can be difficult to know how to help someone who is struggling with addiction, but there are steps that can be taken to support them. One way to start is by talking to others who have similar problems. SMART Recovery Friends & Family offers secular, science-based support group meetings both online and in person.

This can be a great way to get advice from people who have been through similar experiences. It can also be helpful to talk to a health professional, as they can provide an objective opinion and help convince the person with addiction to seek help. Establishing trust is an important first step in helping someone with addiction think about change. Many family members and friends may feel the need to provide financial assistance or buy food for the addict, but this usually only prolongs the illness.

An intervention can be a great way to motivate someone to seek help for their addiction. An evaluation by an addiction professional can help determine the extent of the problem and identify appropriate treatment options. It's important for family members and friends of an addict to take care of themselves as well. Self-care is not selfish, especially when helping someone deal with an addiction. It's also important not to criticize or embarrass the person struggling with addiction, as this can be counterproductive to their recovery. When helping someone who refuses help for substance abuse, it's important to learn about their addiction and then try to find resources that can change their mind.

Addiction therapy using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on helping people understand how their beliefs and feelings influence their behaviors. An addiction professional can help determine the best approach and guide you on the type of treatment and follow-up plan that are likely to work best.