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What to Do If a Friend Needs Help with Addiction

By on Jun 21, 2024 in Blog

How do you help a friend with addiction? Substance use disorder (SUD) is a disease like any other that will continue to worsen over time without treatment. If you have a friend or family member who is struggling with an SUD, they may need you to help them see they need treatment. However, it’s not always easy to know what to do and where the boundaries are.

Is It an SUD, or Am I Overreacting?

You’re pretty sure that your loved one is dealing with addiction but are unsure if you should step in and say something. Are you overreacting and being hypercritical, or is there really a problem here?

While only a professional can diagnose a person with an SUD, there are many signs that point to addiction. Are you noticing any changes, struggles, or complications in areas such as:

  • Social functioning
  • Relationships
  • Legal matters
  • Self-control
  • Self-esteem
  • Family
  • Mental health
  • Physical health
  • Self-respect
  • Reckless behavior

If you are seeing any problems in these areas, you are not overreacting. Your family member or friend needs help. Remember that significant changes to a person’s life can develop over time or occur rather rapidly. Either way, you can offer some support.

How Can I Help?

Helping your friend is a worthy pursuit, but some types of help are better than others. If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to our drug and alcohol treatment center in Lafayette, LA, today. Let us provide you with the support you need to help your friend. You can also do the following:

  • Learn about addiction

Educating yourself about addiction is one of the most powerful things you can do for your friend. Understand how addiction impacts the brain. Learn what the signs and symptoms of addiction are. Learn as much as you can so you can offer valuable insight.

  • Share your thoughts with another close person

While it’s not always necessary or beneficial, talking to other family members or friends of the person can be helpful. Share what you are noticing to see if others notice the same things. Talk together about what you can do to help. The goal is not to gang up on the individual but to verify their need for help.

  • Offer to listen

Listening might not seem like much of a help, but listening to a person who has drug and alcohol addiction symptoms helps them open up and build trust in you. Don’t tell them what to do. Don’t wait for them to fall to bail them out. Instead, ask if they want to talk, listen without judgment, and provide real resources to help them move forward.

  • Find local drug and alcohol treatment

Before you approach your family member or friend about getting help, talk to a local treatment center, like Victory Addiction Recovery Center in Lafayette, LA. In doing so, you’ll learn:

  • If the treatment center can help your loved one
  • What they believe your first step is
  • Whether they have room to provide care for your family member
  • What the costs may be
  • What the timeline for getting help may be

This information will help you when you talk to your family member about what is occurring.

  • Provide reassurance and support

To break the cycle of addiction (trying to stop and failing to do so), professional treatment is usually necessary. Consider these tips for speaking to your family member or friend about their SUD:

  • Speak to them when they are not drunk or high. Approach them at a time when you have privacy and when they’re relatively sober.
  • Talk about the effects of what they are doing. Don’t accuse or blame. Instead, describe what you’re seeing and how it seems to be affecting them. You can also share how their behavior affects you.
  • Explain that you want to help and will support them. Only do this if you really plan to be there through treatment.
  • Provide them with insight into the type of care available. You already have a drug and alcohol treatment center in mind and can offer support to them.
  • Tell them you believe in them. You cannot promise healing and recovery. You cannot say everything will be instantly better. But you can promise to support them through this.

Let Our Treatment Center Offer Help

When the time comes to get treatment for a family member, reach out to Victory Addiction Recovery Center. Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Lafayette, LA, offers the tools you need to help them. Call us at any time.

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