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5 Ways to Help Somebody Struggling with Addiction

Friend with addiction

Watching somebody go through addiction can be devastating. Addiction is rough on those going through it, including the loved ones watching an individual struggle. Although we can’t control anyone else’s behavior or “cure” anyone, we can do things to promote recovery and health. Here are a few tips we have for helping those struggling with addiction.

1. Find Treatment Options

It can be good to find some treatment options for your loved one. You can find luxury addiction treatment centers or free options like those at If it feels right, you may offer some of these treatment options to the person struggling with addiction. You don’t need to force them to go to treatment at all.

You may want to just hold onto these options. If your loved one is ready to get help or asks to go to treatment, it can be wonderful to have something ready. If you have to search, do research, and look at different options, the individual may change their mind by the time you settle on a facility. Instead, have something ready. When they express willingness to get help, you can offer them some options. Whether the person is struggling with marijuana addiction or opioid abuse, you can get them moving to treatment more quickly.

2. Practice Compassion

Compassion is an important practice. When somebody is struggling with addiction, it can be easy to fall into judgement, frustration, and anger. It’s a natural response, as it is difficult to watch somebody hurt themselves and those around them. Unfortunately, the nature of drug addiction to cause harm to those around the individual.

You can try some meditation practices, read books on compassion, or just return to the loving nature of your own heart. There are many ways to grow in our compassion, and we can remember that compassion doesn’t necessarily mean we are weak or allow ourselves to be walked all over!

help for addiction3. Set Boundaries

On the flip side, we need to set boundaries for several reasons. First, boundaries can help us take care of ourselves. If we don’t set boundaries, we may end up causing harm to ourselves. We can care for and love somebody through addiction, while still retaining our own health and wellness. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we have nothing to offer our suffering loved one!

For the addict, we want to set boundaries and not fall into enabling. We may not realize the difference, and wonder if we are enabling or helping with our behavior. The truth is that we often need to set boundaries and not enable the addict’s harmful behavior. This can be extremely difficult to do as addicts tend to push boundaries. This boundary-setting and detaching with love may just save somebody’s life!

4. Seek Personal Help

If somebody you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, it may take a serious toll on you and your experience. Remember that you’re not alone in your experience. There are people to support you, and it is absolutely not bad or selfish to seek help for yourself. The healthier you are, the more you are able to offer the person struggling. It’s okay to struggle and not know what to do.

You can connect with a therapist or counselor, or find some sort of support group. There are programs like Al-Anon and Alateen for family members and loved ones of addicts. These groups exist for a reason! It’s rough to watch somebody go through addiction. Try going to a meeting, reaching out to a friend, or finding somebody you can trust in whom you can confide.

5. Don’t Force Anything (Unless Necessary)

Your duty as the friend or family member of the addict is not to force anything. If somebody isn’t ready, they’re not ready. You can set boundaries, offer help, or even lay down ultimatums. However, you cannot control the actions of somebody else! Be there for them, but remember to watch out for the tendency to impose our own will on the other person.

On the other hand, intervention is sometimes necessary. If you worry about the person’s safety or that they will cause harm to another person, you may need to have an intervention or call the police. Sometimes it is necessary to step in, but generally we should be careful when trying to force somebody to do something.

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