An addiction can cause someone to lose control of their life, affecting their job, their family, and possibly even their health. Whether you’re dealing with an addiction in yourself or with someone close to you, it’s important to remember that there is hope in getting clean and sober. This guide will help you know what to do if you suspect someone of having an addiction, how to confront them about it, and what resources are available to help them with their recovery process.
1) Identify the Problem
If you know someone who has become dependent on drugs or alcohol, you’re probably wondering how you can help. The first step is simple: acknowledge that there is a problem. Although it may be difficult to see, your loved one is suffering and needs help. Addicts are often in denial about their condition—they either don’t recognise that they have a problem or they think that it’s not as serious as others believe it to be. Start by giving your friend or family member some breathing room—avoid trying to force him or her into treatment—but make yourself available for advice, moral support and encouragement when he or she decides that change is necessary. Most importantly, never stop trying to reach out.
2) Stop Ignoring It
The first step in helping someone with an addiction is recognising that they have a problem. And for some reason, that can be easier said than done. We often ignore our loved ones’ drug use—or even abuse—because we don’t want to believe they are capable of harming themselves or others. But it’s important to take action as soon as you suspect a friend or family member has a problem, because if you wait too long, their addiction could worsen and lead to permanent health problems or legal troubles. If you suspect your loved one may have an addiction, take action immediately by asking them directly about their substance use. It’s much better for them to know you’re concerned rather than pretending everything is fine.
3) Decide if Rehab is Necessary
The first step is determining whether or not treatment is necessary. There are many different factors that go into making that decision. For instance, an addiction can affect your loved one’s ability to work, eat, sleep and engage in social activities—and therefore their quality of life. When an addiction has deteriorated a person’s life so much that they need outside help to continue functioning normally, it’s time for rehab. That being said, treatment may not be necessary if you have evidence of self-awareness and willingness to improve through other means (such as therapy). It can also help if your loved one has strong support networks outside of family members—things like supportive friends or organisations they can turn to in times of need.
4) Search for an Addiction Treatment Center
First, search for an addiction treatment center in your area. While each rehab program is different, it’s important that you understand how it works and what you can expect. If possible, attend a rehab orientation where you can learn about different aspects of treatment—and ask questions! The main thing to know is that there are typically three phases of treatment: detoxification (sometimes called detox), rehabilitation and aftercare/recovery support. Your loved one will start by getting medically detoxed at a rehabilitation facility; they’ll be provided supervision 24/7 so they don’t slip back into their old addictive habits or put themselves in harm’s way.