Helping a drug addict, especially if they are a loved one, can be very difficult. Many drug addicts do not want help, or at least make it seem as if they do not want help. However, getting them help can be the difference between them surviving and them dying. When helping a drug addict, there are many things that can be done to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
The first step in helping a drug addict is to educate yourself about addiction, particularly the addiction the person you are trying to help has. Though, many things are the same, all addictions have their own individual elements. For example, when helping an alcoholic, it is important to help them avoid bars and other places that serve alcohol, but when helping a heroin addict, it is important to help them avoid the places in which they purchase their drugs.
It is very important to realize that addiction can affect anyone. It can affect doctors, lawyers, college students, high school students, stay-at-home moms, and everyone in between. When helping a drug addict, it is important to realize this. Being in denial about which “type of person” can become a drug addict will lead to further problems.
When helping a drug addict, the person helping can also greatly benefit from getting help themselves. We are not able to control a drug addict, but we can control ourselves and our behavior. Groups such as Al-anon can be of great benefit to those trying to help a drug addict. Al-anon meetings can provide individuals with the help, support, and tools that they need to help an addict conquer their drug addiction. These meetings will teach us how to set boundaries and limits as well, to protect ourselves, as well as the drug addict.
When helping a drug addict, it is very important to set limits and boundaries with them. For example, tell the drug addict that you do not want them around you when they are high or drunk. When creating these limits and boundaries, they must be very specific as well. If they are not, there is a chance that they will be crossed, resulting in a setback in helping a drug addict recover. Setting boundaries and limits will also help to keep the person trying to help a drug addict healthy and sane. If they do not think of their own feelings and limits, they will be less likely to help the drug addict. Distance is also essential, both for the drug addict and the person trying to help them. If each person does have their own space, and respect each other’s space, both parties will eventually grow too far apart, resulting in the drug addict not being able to be helped.
Eventually, an intervention will be necessary if the drug addict does not seek help on their own. An intervention can be organized through a professional treatment organization or without one. Regardless of who organizes it, it is important that the drug addicts closest friends and family members are there. During the intervention all parties must pose ultimatums to the drug addict and stick to them. For example, the mother and father of the drug addict can tell them that they will no longer take care of them and let them live in their home if they do not get help today.