Support Matters – How To Help A Friend Who Is Battling Addiction


Addiction is a complicated disease involving the brain and how it affects your body and behaviors. Having people around you that are suffering from addiction is a difficult situation to be in because you might not be equipped on how best to provide the help you want to give. Here are a few practices to keep in mind if someone you know needs support with their addiction.

Reach Out

If someone you know is dealing with addiction, one of the best ways that you can support them is to reach out. In our daily lives, we often fill our days with different facets of life like work, school, chores, and other responsibilities.

Reaching out to the people we love and care about from time to time, checking up on them, and making time to get together once in a while will make a large impact on people, letting them know they are thought of and that they have people around them.

This will help them know that if they decide to open up about their addiction, and any other issues they have going on, they can do so with little worry and greater confidence.

Listen Actively

There will be times in life that people want to open up to you. This can come from small issues and daily challenges, to larger problems that they are seeking help for. If a friend or family member approaches you with what they are going through, having the ability to truly listen to them will mean a lot.

This active listening is also effective when you are able to learn what they might be trying to say on a more subconscious level. They might hesitate with their problems but still be trying to reach out in less obvious ways.

You also want to determine and learn about how to approach different situations. Your natural instinct may be to provide solutions, give advice, or create a plan of action.

However, if the person that is suffering simply wants someone they can talk to, or even just spend time with, not acknowledging their issues, that might still go a long way in allowing them to open up and eventually come to you with their addiction. Be empathetic and understanding and you will be able to provide the support they need.

Learn About Addiction

Addiction is an issue that is complicated. It is not always obvious and clear when someone is suffering from addiction, and even if they are, there are different solutions and approaches to consider.

Education is always an important and effective tool to have, as it equips you with the knowledge that is useful in these specific situations. You can spot symptoms of addiction sufferers, learn different approaches and find a variety of ways to help. If you care about someone going through addiction, learning more about it will be helpful.

Provide Helpful Resources

You won’t always have all the answers as a friend, family member, or contact of someone that is battling addiction and that is okay. You shouldn’t be expected to be able to play the role of therapist or counselor, especially when you don’t have the training.

However, if someone does approach you with problems associated with addiction, it is beneficial to have the resources to forward them, as acknowledged by those at, so that they can get the help they need. Having such information allows individuals to gain important access to professionals that can truly help them with their problems, providing the proper diagnosis which can eventually lead to recovery much sooner as opposed to trying to diagnose and treat the problem as a friend or family member with minimal training.

These types of resources will also provide information on facilities and programs, as well as their subsequent details with everything you need to know in regards to a multistep process and varied approach towards recovery.

Supporting Their Recovery Path

Once someone has committed to getting help with addiction and following steps that can lead them towards recovery, it is important that those around them are creating a supportive environment.

If someone has a drinking and alcohol addiction, inviting that person out to the bar is problematic because you are putting them in a situation where their addiction is not only accessible but also becomes a temptation, as others are partaking in it. Even if you support their choice to not drink, the environment is troublesome. If you care about this person, make adjustments to your own habits in order to prioritize their recovery.

Dealing with addiction is never easy to do on your own. Even with a strong support network, there are plenty of challenges that will pose an obstacle to those that are trying to achieve success in their recovery process. However, having that support does matter and increases the likelihood and chances of finding ways to better deal with addiction and move forward with a functioning life. 


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