How Can I Help My Friend Struggling With Addiction?

Addiction has been a running issue for a very long time now. It is a psychological issue that everyone is susceptible to. According to statistics, around 3.3 million people die every year because of alcohol abuse. It is an alarming number not to mention that it still doesn’t include those who die because of a drug overdose. Addiction to any type of substance is a mental health problem that may lead to death. So, if you have a friend struggling with addiction, here are ways that may guide you in helping them:

Equip yourself with knowledge about addiction.

It is important to understand the in’s and out’s of addiction. This will help you know what are the right things to say and do. Remember that one small mistake and you’ll lose your friend’s trust. There are a lot of websites that can guide you or you can also consult with a medical professional. To start off, check out

Assess your friend’s situation.

Remember that every person struggling with addiction are different. Some are capable of handling themselves while some are not. Others are in denial that they are addicted to something. Even their financial and social status may affect how they deal with their addiction. Find out what they need the most based on their situation and their personality. This will help you on how you should address this issue with them. 

Make your friend feel that you understand him or her.

It is how you build trust with a friend that has an addiction. You want them to trust you so that they’ll be comfortable sharing things with you. Make them feel that you know the situation and you are there to help. Avoid saying things that might be interpreted as a judgement, putting blame, or causing guilt. Sometimes, it is better to talk less and just listen first.

Always be present as much as possible.

Remember that once you’ve started dealing with this, you cannot back out. The last thing you want your friend to feel is abandoned. When he or she needed your presence, make sure that you’re there and always be patient with them. Also, avoid making them feel like they are a burden to you. 

Encourage them to seek treatment.

Once you’ve established trust with your friend and they’ve already accepted their condition, gradually raise the topic of seeking treatment. Getting treatment is a way that a friend battling alcohol will finally overcome this addiction just like with any other type.

Seek help for yourself.

Dealing with this type of situation will take a toll on you. It is important that as you guide a friend struggling with addiction, you are also taking care of yourself, physically and mentally. Consider going through counselling for yourself. These are psychological experts that can also tell you how you should handle the troubles with your friend, at the same time, not neglecting your own needs.

Remember that you are doing a great thing. Guiding them to get through their addiction means you are saving a precious life. Just always be mindful of their situation and your own.

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