Helping Friends with Drug Addiction
It can be a very difficult task to acknowledge that a friend may have a drug or alcohol addiction, and it can be even harder to find the right course of action towards seeking help for that friend. Drug addiction and chemical dependency is a complicated matter that cannot be resolved easily or without professional assistance. It is essential that action is taken as early as possible to help a suspected addict to properly treat his or her drug addiction.
The first step in helping a friend with a suspected drug addiction is to become familiar with the tell-tale signs of addiction and abuse before approaching them with the topic. The most notable signs and symptoms of addiction are radical changes in behavior and routine, physical deterioration, and shifts in personality including increased anxiety, irritability and paranoia. Of course, further research should be taken than is provided here, and each individual should be monitored closely as the signs and symptoms of drug addiction can vary from person to person.
Once assured of a friend’s addiction, it is wise to learn about the various options available in your area regarding safe and reliable treatment, including detoxification, rehabilitation and when and where possible, quality after-care. Having a choice of treatment options can allow an addict to begin to control his or her own route to recovery.
If, after careful scrutiny and research, you are confident that a friend is suffering from a drug addiction, and you are aware of a variety of available treatment options, the next step is to consider how and when to approach the individual with your concerns and possible plans of action. Gather together a select few people who have also shared concern over the individual’s possible addiction and express your concerns, care and support to the individual – it is essential to do so without judgement or aggression. It is also important at this time to let the individual speak and to express his or her own thoughts and concerns on the matter, but be persuasive and discuss the problem rationally and fairly, always keeping in mind that professionally-assisted rehabilitation is the most beneficial outcome for all involved.
The most important thing an addict seeking to get clean needs is a reliable network of close friends and family throughout their journey to recovery and sobriety.