Helping a Friend in Need

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When addiction strikes a friend, helping them in that time of need might be more than the responsible thing to do, it might be your moral imperative.

The problem that arises with addiction, is that it’s a disease nearly impossible to battle alone. Even when the person afflicted with addiction knows that the very addiction is ruining their life, there’re pretty much helpless against it.

Whether you know of someone or heard of someone victim to substance abuse, helping those suffering through addiction is just as important as your health is to you.

Addiction affects all those who interact with it. From the person suffering to their loved one, addiction undoubtedly disrupts a whole system. Yet another fact that needs to be understood is that battling addiction, whether it’s our friends or family, is a group effort. While the problem could be an annoyance for those living around it, they themselves are part of the problem by not fighting back.

Unfortunately there isn’t a specific operating procedure to follow on how best to interact with those family members or friends when it comes to addiction, but the following is a list of what has been shown to work the most efficiently.

Understand Drug and Alcohol Abuse

drug abuse definition

Understanding both drug and alcohol abuse is detrimental to knowing how to handle each situation that might arise between yourself and the addict. Drug and alcohol abuse is a comprehensive topic, where each person reacts differently than others.

Especially when it comes to teens or young adults, failing to properly understand, not only the issues arising around that age, but also the drugs and alcohol available, endangers your credibility in their eyes.

Worse yet, is the mistake many make by assuming they understand drugs or alcohol when they truly don’t.

Being upfront and honest about your own level of knowledge regarding the substance in question, is beneficial more to yourself than that of the ones you’re trying to help.

Researching and learning about the substances in question can only help better understand the effects exhibited by your friends and loved ones.

Use online articles and medical websites to get a better understanding of drug and alcohol abuse.

Understand Addiction

To help a friend in need best, you have to thoroughly understand the underlying root issue of drug and alcohol abuse: addiction.

Understanding the destructiveness of addiction is key to better help friends and family members during the long and arduous path that addiction treatment can be.

Addiction is a disease that once solidified into the hearts of those afflicted, ravages and destroys everything it gets in contact with, so also understanding the biological underpinnings of addiction can help you understand the severity of the issue, preventing it from getting critically worse.

Like a virus that infects a human host, addiction also leaves behind physical and mental remnants in those whom it struck.

Don’t Ignore the Problem

By simply ignoring the issue of addiction and substance abuse, it’ll most likely make the situation monumentally worse. By letting the problem fester and ferment in the mind of your friend or loved one suffering from it, you nearly guarantee a throned and cluttered pathway out of addiction.

Too many times, due to the nature of friends, we often tend to figure problems might work themselves out.

Unfortunately, addiction and drug and alcohol abuse is most certainly not a problem that adjusts itself, but rather if left unchecked, it will begin to rot the mental state of the afflicted as their motivation of a downhill battle becomes more and more apparent.

By ignoring such a problem, we almost certainly then play a part in the victims demise.

Don’t Judge

Due to the elevated and heightened levels of stress in the atmosphere around those suffering through addiction, it is common for a feeling of looming stress and worry to bask the household.

The problem that often arises with a situation such as this, is the misplaced anger on the part of those who genuinely want to help.

In these situations, resiliency is key, since often the addict will soon be the blunt end of both justified anger towards them and unjustified, where they eventually become a lightning rod for frustration in the household.

Judging the addict around this point is an all too common mistake made, where it lowers motivation on the addict’s part to get better, and lowers the expectations on those around the addict.

Let Them Know Your Support

hands holding in support

What seems to be a common factor behind those fighting addiction, is the unrelenting feeling of being alone. The feeling of not only knowing when drugs or alcohol has become a dangerous problem in the mind of the afflicted, but also thinking the battle is a lonely road, can often lead to the highest levels of treatment failure.

Many times those suffering through addiction of drugs or alcohol often make mention of their fear, and often certainty, that they rather not deal with the issue only because their lonesome battle will eventually drive them back into the arms of a modified addiction.

By showing your friend or loved one that you are there for their support, creates an essential bond between you two that is used as fuel for the journey through addiction and into sobriety.

Show Empathy

When trying to help our friends or loved ones, showing that, while we sometimes might not understand, we are certainly understanding to the problems and the pain they must be going through.

Many times simply acting like one understands the issue that those suffering through alcohol or drug abuse might be going through, can push the person we’re attempting to help further away. Simply acknowledging the problem and being truthful to the effort being put into it works most of the time.

Expressing honesty and understanding in the battle against drug and alcohol abuse is a comforter for those actually fighting through it.

Offer Solutions

Simply letting an addict friend or loved one know that you support them is only the beginning. Trying to battle addiction without professional help is very often a leading factor in progressively worse outcomes in the end.

As said, Addiction is a disease, and one that is best dealt with addiction professionals at treatment and detox centers. With the many moving parts in the complexity of addiction, offering treatment and supporting your friend and loved one’s in their process through treatment should always be of utmost importance regarding a successful transition into sobriety.

Treatment is detrimental to long lasting success in those struggling through all different forms of addiction and remains one of the best proven solutions to drug and alcohol abuse.

Find Help Today

Waiting till the last minute to finally reach out and receive help can sometimes be working against you.

It is important that when dealing with drug and alcohol abuse, the problem is dealt with at the earliest opportunity.

Battling addiction has monumentally better success rates if the problem is dealt with at its onset. Although it’s understandable that this is a difficult task if you didn’t know your friend or loved one was even suffering through addiction, but it should be all the more reason to do some research and know what signs to first look for.

Avoid becoming another statistic in the realm of those who failed to act, and act today. Contact us for immediate help. Our addiction specialists are on-call 24/7.

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