Helping someone with a drug or alcohol addiction


If your loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you know just how difficult it can be to watch them suffer. It can also cause you confusion on how to help them. There are various ways you can help your loved one who is battling an addiction, so it doesn’t affect you or your loved one any longer. Since drugs and alcohol affect certain parts of the brain related to self-control, it can be difficult for an addict to stop using whatever substance they are using. Even though you alone cannot make your loved one quit their addiction, with the necessary support behind you, there are ways you can motivate their need to change.

Ways to Help Someone With an Addiction

It can be challenging to help someone who is battling an addiction. The first thing you should keep in mind is that you cannot control your loved one’s addiction nor can you force them to stop. However, you can offer them your support and voice your concerns. You can encourage them to attend a rehab center such as  or recommend they visit a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

If your loved one expresses that he or she is fearful treatment may not work and is a bit hesitant to attend rehab, you can assure them that treatment is effective, and substance abuse addictions can be managed successfully.

The Dos & Dont’s of Talking to Someone With an Addiction

When talking to your loved one about their substance or alcohol abuse problem, there are things that you should and should not do. These things can help promote a more productive conversation that can result in a good outcome.

Things you should do include:

  • Be patient
  • Offer help, and include information about treatment and how it can help
  • Offer to attend their doctor or other appointments with them
  • Communicate your concerns and only state facts instead of opinions

Things you should avoid doing include:

  • Criticize or judging
  • Enabling your loved one
  • Yelling or acting angry
  • Neglecting your own needs

Finding the Right Alcohol or Drug Addiction Help

The best way to start off by getting some help for your loved one who is struggling with an addiction is to talk to a doctor and do some of your own research on available options. Be sure to discuss these options with your loved one. There are certain factors that play a role in the type of treatment program you choose such as the type of care you are seeking and the reputation of the facility.

Various stages that an individual will undergo when they begin treatment includes:

  • Medical detoxification
  • Rehab or treatment
  • Aftercare

Family therapy may also be a part of the treatment plan for the individual. During family therapy, loved ones can learn what they should and should not do during this time for support. Additionally, family therapy can give you the support you need to help cope with your loved one’s situation as they work on recovering from their addiction.

The bottom line is that addiction, even though it is a chronic disease that causes changes in the way the brain functions, can be treated and successfully managed. There are many evidence-based behavioral therapies available to successfully treat addiction. There are some cases where medication may also be used to treat an individual’s addiction.