Maybe your loved one is hiding booze around the house. Maybe you have a friend who is starting to worry you with their dependence on prescription medication. If you suspect that someone in your life is struggling with addiction, here are just four ways to help.
1. Don’t Judge
The very best thing that you can do for an addict is to turn off the judgemental part of your brain. It might be difficult, especially if the addict has engaged in hurtful or criminal behaviors, but shaming them isn’t going to put them on the road to recovery. Only love, patience and support can do that.
2. Recognize the Warning Signs
Are they spending all of their money on their addiction? Has their health taken a turn for the worse? Have they withdrawn from social activities that they used to enjoy? If you aren’t sure that your loved one is an addict, there are checklists that you can look at before you decide to talk to them.
3. Get Educated
You don’t have to become an expert. Simply reading up on the problem or speaking with an addiction counselor can shed some light on what’s going on with your loved one. If you’re truly dedicated, you might even sign up for online substance abuse courses. Every bit of knowledge helps.
4. Re-Think That Intervention
A lot of people assume that interventions are the only way to help an addict. However, depending on the circumstances, an intervention might just make things worse. Think carefully about whether it’s the right choice for you and your loved one. It might be better to have a low-key conversation rather than a dramatic confrontation, especially if you’re trying to convince them to go to rehab.
These are just a few ways that you can help someone who is struggling with addiction. Whether they have a problem with alcohol, drugs, gambling or something else entirely, it’s important to do your research before you reach out. You’ll want to be fully prepared to help them walk the path of recovery.