Substance abuse problems impact millions and millions of people, and they don’t only impact the person with the issue – they also affect the other people who are close to them. Though it is always going to be challenging, there are some ways that you can help this person, whether is is a friend, colleague or family member. In this article, we are going to be talking about some of the action that you can take to lend a helping hand.

Accept You Can’t Directly Solve the Problem

Unless you are professionally qualified to support people with addiction, you can’t fix your friend or loved one’s addiction all by yourself. They are complex and chronic diseases that often require medical intervention to solve. The first thing that you need to do is not put all the responsibility for their wellbeing on your own shoulders. This is too much to bear all by yourself, and ultimately, you are not going to be in the best position to help this way.

Identify the Issue

Identifying the issue doesn’t solely refer to the actual addiction itself, it is also about whether the problem is mild, moderate, or severe. You will often find that the person is not honest with you about this, but they will be with a trained and qualified professional over time. Try to explain that you care about them, you want to help, and your main priority is helping them to get better again.

Talk About the Problem

If you can break through their defence to talk about the problem, this is generally a positive step to take. When it comes to going into treatment, your friend or loved one is likely to have all sorts of concerns which you need to help address in any way that you can. The choice to seek help needs to be one that they make themselves, though you can try to lead them in this direction in the best way that you can.

Hold an Intervention

An intervention refers to a professionally directed education process that gathers together friends and family with the person suffering from the addiction. There are plenty of addiction professionals that you can get in touch with to organise the most effective intervention possible. Essentially, you are trying to encourage them to make a positive change in their life by dealing with the addiction which has been so destructive.

Learn About the Different Options

There are plenty of different treatment options out there, ranging from the basic to the more intensive. You may even need to think about their living situation such as moving into a women’s sober living environment. The more that you know about the different available options, the more that you will be able to suggest to your friend or loved one.

Obviously, helping someone who is suffering from addiction is never going to be easy, but these are just a few of the ways that you can help tackle this challenging problem.

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Andrea Wilson is a 25-year-old writer and artist who enjoys tea, reading and working out. You can find her in front of a book or at the gym.

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