How To Help an Addict

How To Help an Addict

Having a family member or friend dealing with an addiction can be confusing and painful. You can easily see how substance abuse has affected their life and relationships, but they cannot do so as clearly. Though you may see things clearly, addiction does not allow the addict to, so it is difficult to get them help until they are ready.

Dos and Don’ts

If you’ve noticed signs of addiction in someone, be it an alcohol addiction, a Hydroxyzine addiction, or an addiction to another drug, you are likely concerned. However, it’s essential to treat the addicted person in a positive and loving way.

Do Be Compassionate

First, remember that addiction is a disease and people with addictions deserve compassion. It isn’t a choice or a flaw but an actual medical condition. Many external factors contribute to addiction and it is often a form of coping mechanism. Once this is understood, it is easier to be understanding and build trust with the sick person.

Don’t Be Critical

Avoid shaming or criticizing the addict. Most addictions are caused by a variety of factors, so searching for who or what to blame isn’t helpful. Moreover, blaming and shaming are counterproductive to progress and recovery.

Do Set Realistic Expectations

Expect recovery or rehabilitation efforts to be complex and long-term. Many people aren’t ready for recovery and avoid it because they are in denial, feel shame, or are worried about what others will think about them. Once they get to rehabilitation, the chances of relapse are still relatively high at the beginning and will likely always exist. It is an uphill climb that will require stamina and patience from all parties involved.

Do Learn

You should learn all you can about addiction and treatments. Learn about symptoms, treatment types, and options. Take an interest in your friend or family member’s recovery process so you can better understand their situation.

Do Consider Counseling

Consider counseling for both the addict and yourself. Many times addictions are fueled by mental health problems or emotional unwellness. Learning how to cope healthily with these problems can go a long way. Also, being a support person to an addict or an unwell person can be taxing, so take the time to get the support you need.

Don’t Be Manipulated

If your friend or loved one isn’t ready to go into recovery, be careful because they will likely try to do anything possible to continue feeding their dependence. Remember not to react negatively and to have compassion, but don’t let them use you to make their situation worse.


Making sure you take care of yourself, have compassion, respect your boundaries, and build trust with your addicted family member or friend can help recovery go as smoothly as possible. Recovery and rehabilitation can indeed occur, and people with substance abuse problems can get better. However, it often depends on them facing the consequences of their actions, having a support network they can trust, and knowing that you believe in them and their ability to recover.

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