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Supporting someone you love

Should someone in your family be utilizing drugs or alcohol, it can cause a monstrous measure of pressure and strife. It's totally ordinary to feel vulnerable, baffled, stressed and upset. The individual abusing substances may act sporadically – perhaps they're getting to be forceful, furious and fierce, or pulled back and disengaged, or both at various occasions. You probably won't realize the proper behavior around them, or how they will carry on when you see or converse with them.

There are no simple answers or easy solutions, but the following strategies can help you talk to your loved one and start to work through the issue together.


Know the risks

Learning about different drugs and their effects can help you understand the situation your family member may be in. It can help you weigh up the risks to the person using drugs, and the risks to those around them.

How you can help

  • Remember that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing; it is a disease of the brain
  • Addiction is ultimately a condition that the individual must learn to manage; no one can take the fight on for the addict.
  • Set boundaries and stand by them.
  • Encourage the individual to seek help; this may include finding treatment resources for them.
  • Find a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support too.
  • Set an example for healthy living by giving up recreational drug and alcohol use.
  • Be supportive, but do not cover for problems created by substance abuse. The person struggling needs to deal with the consequences of their addiction.
  • Be optimistic. A person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse will likely eventually seek help due to ongoing encouragement to do so. If they relapse, it is not a sign of failure; relapse is often part of the overall recovery process.
  • Join a self-help group. Some people join self-help or support groups to share their thoughts and experiences with other people who are facing or have faced similar problems. There are several types of self-help groups for family and friends, and each has a different style. Trying going to several different meetings before you pick one that’s right for you.