Watching a friend or loved one struggle with drug addiction is never easy. It’s heartbreaking because you want to help but are unsure how to approach them. A wrong approach or anything you say without thinking it through can make things worse. Yet, talking to them sooner is imperative to get them the help they need. If you have a friend who is addicted to drugs or you believe they might be under the influence, it’s better to talk to them and offer them help. It will not be easy as they might try to alienate themselves. However, you should stand your ground and help them better by using the following tips.
Talk to them when they are not under the influence.
You cannot help your friend without talking to them about the issue. But talking to them when they are taking drugs or under its influence is bad. In such a state, they will not understand your concern. Instead, it will aggravate the matter and lead to fights or arguments. Thus, it is best to talk to them only when sober. Also, educate yourself about the symptoms of drug addiction before talking, as it will help hold your ground.
Have an intimate meeting where you both can talk and discuss the matter. Remember, it’s a conversation, and they are entitled to tell you about their problems and feelings. When talking about their drug addiction, don’t accuse them. Instead, try to enlighten them about their addiction and how it’s affecting you.
Follow words with action.
When you talk to your friend about how drugs are affecting their health, follow it with action. You cannot talk about drug addiction and then let them go to a party you know will have drugs. Instead, ask them to do something else, which will be fun and allow them to take their mind off drugs. Another thing that shows your dedication to helping them off drugs is keeping supplies at your home. For instance, you can have a program where they stay sober for a week and then do a drug test. It may sound like you are accusing them, but it can help them stay accountable. A drug testing kit can check for substances in their urine at home. It saves them the embarrassment of going to a centre and talking to an expert when they are not ready. Every week they are sober, give them a chip, as professionals do. It will boost their morale to let go of this addiction.
Be appreciative of the positive change.
The journey to let go of drugs is long and full of challenges. When you assure your friend about helping them throughout this journey, don’t let go in between. Also, appreciate any positive thing they do and let go of their addiction. Acknowledging their efforts provides them with mental support, which is necessary during this time.
Encourage them to seek professional help.
You can only do so much at home to fight drug addiction. If the case is severe, rehab and other treatment options are necessary. If you see your friend struggling, talk to them about seeking treatment. Encourage them to seek an expert and look at multiple treatment plans with them. Once the treatment starts, be with them every step of the way. It will be challenging, but many resources can help better care for your friend.
For instance, you can join a group specifically for people with drug-addicted families or friends. Such groups can help you find better resources to take better care of your friend. The other benefit is that it allows you to be mentally in a better space. Taking care of someone struggling with addiction can be mentally draining, and keeping yourself healthy should also be your priority.
Have a safety plan
People undertaking drugs can become violent physically and emotionally. If you are afraid of this happening, have a safety plan. It will allow you to be safe while helping out your friend.
These are a few ways to help your friend battling drug addiction. But, remember, it impacts their mental & physical health for months and years. So, try your best and seek the help of an expert sooner than later. They can get better with your support and proper treatment, so don’t give up on them yet.