How can I help an addict. It’s a frustrating question that many friends and family members of addicts ask themselves on a daily basis. Along with wanting to help the addicted person, you may have feelings of anger, loss, and confusion, all stemming from not knowing how to help this person, who in truth can only help themselves. Here is some advice if you find yourself asking “how can I help an addict.”
Stop Questioning Yourself About Their Addiction
You probably have questions and doubts like “How did I let it get this far”, “Maybe I’m overreacting”, and “This is my fault” running through your head. It needs to stop. Their actions don’t reflect yours, and addiction is a selfish and self-inflicted disease. If you can see clear signs of addiction, you aren’t overreacting, and the person in question definitely needs help.
Don’t Enable Drug or Alcohol Addiction
You are only contributing to your loved ones addiction if you are enabling them with money, drugs or alcohol, or constant support even though they walk all over you. Addicts are manipulative and will make up stories to get money, and certainly people who offer drugs or alcohol are in the wrong. If a person is continuing to put you down and make your life hell, it’s time to seek other arrangements for them, especially if they live with you.
Say No To Drugs and Drinks
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s shockingly common for people around addicts to offer them a substance, simply because they have no idea how bad addiction is. I’m not talking about drug dealers. I’m talking about the spouse who takes his alcoholic wife out for drinks, expecting her to stop after 2, or the sibling who offers their heroin addict sister marijuana, not realizing the high will bring them right back to sticking a needle in their arm. If you are around an addict, zero substances. Period.
Don’t Approach An Addict In Anger
Addicted people can be self-righteous and indignant, all as a defense mechanism to cover up for their extremely low self-esteem. If you lash out at them, they’ll lash out right back, and usually that retaliation includes getting drunker or more high. Try to approach them with love, respect, and compassion. After all, they are suffering greatly as well. Everyone in the picture is.
Bottom Line, How Can I Help An Addict?
Trying to help an addicted loved one is an extremely difficult job. It’s heartbreaking and sad to watch. You need to make sure to make yourself a priority and to keep doing the things you love so that you are strong enough to help them once they are willing to accept the help. As frustrating as it may be, we can only do what we can, but it’s the addict that ultimately needs to want help.