Millions of Americans are involved in some form of severe drug abuse. The right addiction treatment services can help these people recover. However, many people who require help remain untreated year in and year out. What can you do if you have a friend or loved one with a significant drug abuse problem? There is no single answer to how to help someone who abuses drugs. However, specific actions can increase your chances of acting as an effective ally.
How to Help Someone with Addiction Issues by Gathering Important Information
Before you can help someone affected by addiction, it’s often crucial to get a better idea of what’s happening. For many people, that includes getting more information on the nature of substance problems.
One essential thing to know is how these problems are defined. Today, the term for a drug or alcohol issue that leads to substantial life dysfunction is substance use disorder (SUD). The SUD definition is used to identify and diagnose:
- Any symptoms of drug addiction
- Signs of damaging substance abuse that don’t stem from addiction
- All combinations of symptoms from each of these categories
This definition highlights critical points—the questions of how to help someone with substance abuse and how to help someone with addiction often are the same.
It also helps to familiarize yourself with the options for effectively treating SUDs. These options include psychotherapy, medication, and a range of supportive, secondary treatments. Your friend or loved one may have problems severe enough to warrant inpatient care. However, they may also be good candidates for several different types of outpatient care.
How to Help Someone Who Abuses Drugs by Talking About the Problem
If you know someone who abuses drugs, you may be able to talk to them about the problem. However, before you take on this task, prepare yourself in advance. Things you can do to improve your chances of genuinely providing help include:
- Deciding how you want to approach the conversation before it begins
- Avoiding statements that accuse, blame or shame
- Being as encouraging and empathetic as you possibly can
- Having relevant suggestions on potential sources of help
- Preparing yourself for a non-receptive or even hostile response
You might want to seek advice from someone with professional experience helping people with substance problems. Knowledgeable sources typically include both general physicians and addiction specialists.
How to Help Someone with Substance Abuse or Addiction Issues by Intervention
An intervention is a purposeful group conversation designed to encourage someone to seek the treatment they need. When it’s planned and executed well, it can indeed have this positive effect. But poorly planned and executed interventions can make someone less likely than ever to seek help.
Are you thinking about staging an intervention? Experts strongly recommend doing several things to prepare for this, including educating yourself on the best methods and developing a detailed plan for how to proceed. It also includes recruiting a dedicated group to help you conduct the intervention. In addition, consultation with an intervention specialist can significantly enhance your odds of fruitful interaction.
Learn How to Help Someone Who Abuses Drugs in Pennsylvania with Promont Wellness
Not sure about how to help someone who abuses drugs? Talk to the addiction professionals at Promont Wellness. We can walk you through your options and provide trustworthy support and advice.
Have a friend or loved one who has decided to seek treatment? Promont Wellness is a premier provider of a complete range of addiction-related services. Contact Promont Wellness today at 866.939.4243 to learn more about our many available recovery resources. You can also make use of our online message form.