Drug addiction is a terrible disease that affects millions of men, women, and teenagers all over the world. If you are friends with someone who is having an issue with drugs, whether prescription, illegal or a combination of both, you obviously want to help them get better. But what can you do? How do you help a friend who is having a drug problem without pushing them away? Keep reading to learn six helpful steps you need to consider if your friend is dealing with addiction.
Step 1: Learn About the Problem
You can’t help your friend if you do not understand the process and disease of addiction. Remember, addiction is now classified as a disease, the same as cancer or heart issues. Your friend can’t just “get clean” in the same way he or she can’t “get over” stomach cancer. This is why it is crucial to understand what they are going through as much as you can. You’ll find many resources online that will help you learn about various drug addictions. You may also wish to talk to your doctor to learn more. They will be able to point you in the right direction concerning rehab, just in case your friend decides that they are ready to go.
Step 2: Find Support For Yourself
When you work hard to help other people, your own health often takes a nosedive. This includes your physical and your mental health, so make sure you find the support you need for yourself during these troubling times. You need to have people to talk to about your problems that are impartial to the situation. Local Al-Anon and Nar-Anon groups are two amazing support groups that both focus on the friends and family of the addict. Here you will find amazing people who are dealing with addiction within their own circle of family and friends.
You may also consider getting some sort of individual counseling for yourself during this difficult time. Remember, counseling sessions aren’t just for the addict. You’re dealing with a lot right now, so don’t feel bad about needing the help.
Step 3: Stop Enabling
When you are watching a friend that you love battle with addiction, it’s often difficult to not become involved. You may end up giving them money for food because they spent all they had on drugs, or you might let them stay at your place because they were kicked out of somewhere else over drug abuse. You cannot rescue an addict by continuing to give in to the things they ask for. They need to experience the real consequences of their actions, even when it is hurtful to watch happen. Helping your friend out may seem like the right thing to do in the moment, but it will only prolong the disease if he or she can avoid the consequences of their bad choices with your assistance.
Step 4: Talk Openly
If you know for sure that your friend is struggling with addiction, take the first step and reach out to them. It may be difficult to talk about at first, but your friend needs to know that you are there for them when they need help. Don’t argue, threaten, or pity them. Be as calm as possible and try to save the conversation for a time when they are sober.
Step 5: Be Realistic
No one wants to think the worst about the situation, but you don’t want to get your hopes up too high. Never lecture or yell at your friend. Most will not listen to you very well at this point in their lives. The best thing you can do is to offer help and direction when they are in need of treatment. You can’t force them into a rehab program, but you can help them find one when they are ready. You should also never expect an addict to keep a promise. It’s only going to hurt you in the end if you do.
Step 6: Call Us Today
If your friend is ready to get the treatment they need, you can help them find a rehab center that will give them a chance. We’re that rehab, and we want to help! The biggest thing to remember is that you are not alone. Addition affects millions of people worldwide, and we are here to help your friend get the help they desperately need. Call us today at (833) 922-2653 to learn what we can do for you and your loved one.