How to Help an Addicted Relative or Friend

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Substance abuse costs the United States $740 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, crime, and healthcare costs. That’s a huge cost as a nation, but the more impactful cost of addiction is on the friends and family members that love them.

If someone you know is suffering from addiction, it can feel like you’ve already lost them. But giving up just isn’t an option. The person that you love is still there longing for a chance to be free. You want to do everything you can for them.

Trigger positive change today and learn how to help someone with an addiction with this post.

Recognize the Signs of Addiction

Some addictions start with acute pain, like a foot problem. Then the person is prescribed pain meds and becomes addicted, leading to a dependence on drugs.

But if you can recognize the early signs of addiction, you can stop the addiction before it has a chance to develop. You will notice both behavioral and physical symptoms. 

They may begin to lie about their use, have changes in the friend groups, quit social activities, and begin engaging in criminal behavior. 

They may also have changes in their weight and appearance and be unusually tired. Memory problems can also be a sign of drug or alcohol use.

Organize an Intervention

If you have a loved one who is suffering from an addiction, then you need to find an interventionist who can help you talk to them about their problem in a productive way.

An interventionist can help you understand what your friend is going through and come up with a plan to get them help. They can help accelerate your friend into a treatment program.

Encourage Them to Seek Help

Beating an addiction on your own is a monumental task. Seeking help allows an addict to become a part of a community that can support them as they transition into a healthier lifestyle. Encourage your friend to reach out for treatment.

Don’t Enable Them

Addicts will continue to abuse their substance of choice for as long as you allow them to. Don’t enable your loved one to keep using.

Set your boundaries and tell them what your expectations are for their behavior. Don’t give them money and if they are living with you, they need to follow your rules. Let the addict know if they don’t change their ways, you won’t be there to solve their problems for them.

Take the Next Step: How to Help Someone with an Addiction

The best thing you can do for your friend is to get them help today. Don’t wait to seek treatment and risk it being too late. 

Addiction is a deadly disease and one that should be taken seriously. While it may be hard to approach someone you love and tell them you think they have a problem, you need to do whatever it takes to help the person you love.

More Great Advice

Learning how to help someone with an addiction can put you in a position to change someone’s life in a positive way.

For more great advice, check out our other articles today.

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