People who know someone stuggling with an addiction often wonder how to help addicts. The decision to try and get help for someone you care about who has an addiction is never easy. Fortunately, with your support, they have a greater chance of overcoming their addiction. Each situation is unique, but there are some general guidelines that will help you approach this task.
There are many reasons that helping someone you care about with their addiction can be difficult:
- They may not agree that they have a problem.
- They may not want to change what they are doing.
- They may fear consequences e.g., losing their job, going to prison.
- They may feel embarrassed, and not want to discuss it with you.
- They may feel awkward about discussing personal issues with a professional.
- They may be engaging in the addiction as a way to avoid dealing with another problem that bothers them more.
- There is no fast and easy way help someone with an addiction. Overcoming an addiction requires great willpower and determination, so if they do not want to change what they are doing, trying to persuade them to get help is unlikely to work.
However, you can take steps that will help your loved one to make changes over the long term, and will help you to cope with a loved one with an addiction.