How to Help Someone with Addiction

Addiction is a public health epidemic. In fact, it is estimated that 53 million or 19.4% of people 12 and over have used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last year. Sometimes families of those struggling with addiction don’t know how to help. Below are 5 tips for how to help someone with addiction. You can also click this link to hear from TROSA graduate and staff member Elisha sharing her own struggles and advice for helping someone you care about.

Educate Yourself

Thanks to the ever-changing information age, the internet has made it possible to have access to information at your fingertips. When helping someone around you fight addiction, it’s important to educate yourself.  Some online sources of education for addiction include but are not limited to the following sources:

These sites provide information that can help you, as a caregiver or supporter, understand ways to support those struggling with addiction.

Have Realistic Expectations

Sometimes, knowledge is not enough to understand addiction. It’s important to remember that it’s a process. Having unrealistic expectations during the process sets you and your loved one up for disappointment. Setting realistic expectations helps you form a healthy framework to succeed.

Get Support

Watching someone you care about struggling with addiction is a challenge. You can get support by visiting a local therapist or counselor. There are groups that can help you learn how to cope and provide additional resources. 

Don’t Criticize

Addiction is tough, but remember that your job isn’t to criticize. Your job is to make sure your loved ones get the care they need and deserve. If you feel the need to say something, focus on holding them accountable and offer to direct them to any treatment they may need. Continue to offer encouragement and remember not to enable but to always stay calm.

Seek Addiction Specialty Professionals

Addiction is not a solo journey. If you need help in getting your loved one specialty care, seek local professionals who are trained to help fight addiction. SAMHSA has resources for families. Are you looking to learn more about how TROSA can help those struggling with addiction?  You can learn more about TROSA and how we can help by visiting our Program Services page.