When you see someone who is clearly struggling with addiction, you wish that you can just force that person to go to a treatment facility. We cannot force someone to get help unless we see an overdose. It is important to take small actions to prevent scaring your loved one away and to let them know you are there for them.
Most addicts are in denial about their addiction and that they can quit whenever they want. They are also afraid to admit to anyone that they have a problem because they believe that to be a sign of weakness. If addicts tend to hang out with other addicts and go under the influence together, addicts can be scared that they will be pushed out of the group. Addicts can also feel weak if they admit that they are dependent on a substance. They could also be scared about having to make new friends since maybe drugs were what connected you to your old friends in the first place.
Some addicts are also scared that if they try to recover from addiction and then relapse, they will look like a failure for their lack of success. When addicts go to counselling, they would have to confront all of their thoughts and feelings that led them to their addiction which can be hard to do. Addicts feel pleasure when they escape their everyday stresses through drugs and are afraid of never getting that feeling again. If an addict admits to people they are getting treated, they can be scared about being judged or gossiped about.
In order to help an addict realize they need help, you need to admit to yourself that this person has a problem instead of wishing the problem away. Research addiction so that you know what that person is getting into, how far it can go, and the signs of an overdose. Suggest or schedule a doctor’s appointment as they will be able to better identify addiction and recommend the best course of action for them. If your friend keeps asking you for money to better fund their addiction, tell them no and give them a reason. Do not guilt your friend to stop but let them know how your addiction affects the people in their life and that you will always be there for them if they feel the need to open up and seek help.
Castle Craig is one of the most established and respected addiction rehab centers in the UK. Castle Craig’s family therapy involves promoting recovery, exploring the impact of addiction, discovering adaptive strategies, residential family programs, and joining two joint sessions with the patient and the therapist. For information, call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 29, 2020