If a friend or family member is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they need support from family and friends, and it’s very important for them to seek treatment. However, it is just as important for you as a friend or family member to seek counselling as well. This may seem strange as you are not the one who is addicted, but the reality is that addiction does not just affect that friend or family member. Furthermore, by understanding and supporting the addict in your life, you can increase his or her chances of becoming drug free.

Why They Need Your Support More Than Ever

Having a friend or family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can be remarkably stressful. Many people try to ignore it, hoping the problem will go away, but of course it doesn’t. Living in a state of denial can actually cause more problems for you and your family, not to mention the drug addict or alcoholic in your life. For the sake of your loved one, and for the sake of yourself and your family, it’s important for the addict to get help now.

If you haven’t talked to someone and sought help, now is the time to do so. You can find a qualified counselor with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. who can assess your situation and make recommendations.

What You Can Do to Help Them

Besides getting advice from professionals on how to address the problem, you will need to learn all you can about addiction, especially the type of addiction your friend or family member is suffering from. When your loved one is sober, talk rationally with him or her about the addiction and express your concern over it. Offer your support for them to get treated. It won’t be easy by any stretch, but if you can still show your love and friendship for them, it goes further than being angry and confrontational.

The addict may be angry, be in denial, or may give you a load of excuses. Expect this and also expect to have specific instances of his or her behavior that has cost your suspicion and your concern that they are addicted.

What Not to Do

There are several things you should not do and that is lecture him or her were preached to him or her. Don’t try to make them feel guilty because this will simply cause them to use drugs or alcohol to escape the feelings. At the same time, don’t argue with them while they are high — they aren’t in the position to comprehend what you are saying. Don’t make excuses for their behavior or lie about it, and don’t take responsibility for things that they should be responsible for. Lastly don’t be an enabler. Joining them in their habit or enabling them to continue their addiction in front of you just makes it worse.

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