6 Suggestions for How to Deal with a Drug Addict in Your Family

How to Deal with a Drug Addict

6 Suggestions for How to Deal with a Drug Addict in Your Family

6 Suggestions for How to Deal with a Drug Addict in Your Family

The damaging effects of drug addiction go beyond just the addict. Addiction comes with an emotional, psychological, and financial cost to those close to the addict as well. There are things, however, loved ones can do to protect themselves and help the addict regain control of his or her life.

Practical Steps on How to Deal with a Drug Addict

  • Educate yourself. Treatment options vary depending on the drug being abused. Start with reputable websites. Find local resources in your area. The more you understand about the complexities of drug addiction, the more you’ll be able to discuss the problem with people who matter. Part of your education should be geared toward finding experts who can help.


  • Find support groups. There’s more to overcoming an addiction than visiting a doctor and having him or her fix the problem. It requires short-term and long-term support. Support groups consist of others struggling with similar problems. Support groups aren’t just for the addict. Many groups provide emotional and psychological support for the loved-ones of addicts as well.


  • Talk with the addict. Express your concerns with your family member or friend. Do it in a non-confrontational, non-accusatory manner. Help him or her recognize the effects of the addiction. Remind the family member or friend about goals he or she used to have and how they can’t be achieved without changing.

  • Encourage the addict to seek professional help. You’ve educated yourself on the addiction and looked in to treatment options. Use that information to encourage the addict to get professional help. Be ready to suggest places, set appointments, or attend meetings. Express support and don’t be surprised if you meet resistance.


  • Offer emotional support without enabling the addict. Be clear that you will offer support if your loved one is serious about getting help. Do not give money. Do not allow drugs to be used in your house. Help the addict become self-reliant. There’s a fine line between offering support and enabling the addiction.


  • Ensure your safety. An addict cannot be helped until he or she is willing to be helped. If an unwilling addict refuses help and presents a danger to you or your family, then it may be time to cut ties altogether. This is obviously a decision that must be made after careful thought and deliberation.


There are no easy answers to helping a family member or friend with a drug addiction, but there are answers.

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