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Advice for Families and Friends of an Addict

Having a friend or family member that is suffering from addiction can be a very difficult and traumatic experience. Fortunately, help and advice is available for anyone who finds themselves in such a situation.

Knowing that someone close to you has an addiction problem can be difficult to accept and as the parent, friend or partner of that person, facing up to the challenges that accompany addiction can be a daunting prospect. The first issue to deal with is to accept what is happening to that person and to take the first step to help them.

By reading this you are likely already at the stage where you need help or advice. Knowing where to go to find help can be difficult, especially where the addicted person is unwilling to accept help or not prepared to admit they have a problem in the first place.

Remember that an addict will have a greater understanding of how they ended up being in an addictive cycle and may not be prepared to offer all of the facts to anyone trying to help them.

If you want to help someone find solutions to their addictive behaviours, knowing more about the type of addiction they face and learning about the additive issues they need to confront can place you in a stronger position to discuss the problems and approach the issue with them in a non-confrontational manor.


Your role as a friend or family member of an addict

You may not see yourself as the carer of someone in need but would like to see that person get all the medical and emotional support necessary to help them overcome addiction. Caring for someone that is using or coming off drugs or alcohol can be demanding and stressful, especially if that person is refusing to stop their addictive behaviour.

As frustrating and upsetting as it might be, even if they accept they have a problem and decide to get help, they will be at their most vulnerable stage during the withdrawal and recovery period. During this difficult and emotional time you may feel anger, disappointment, guilt, fear and loneliness.

If you find yourself in a position where you are acting as a carer, it can be helpful to talk with someone who understands what you are going through. Remember you are not the only one in this position! Countless other families and friends of addicts are in the same position as you and are struggling to cope with the problems they face.

There are resources available that allow friends and family members of anyone suffering from addiction to get the information they need but the availability of such services does depend to some extent on local services in your area. You may want to know more about the substance they are using, the effect it has on them, the recovery process or the types of treatment and support that are available.

Addiction Friend can give the support and guidance necessary to help a loved one to end their destructive behaviour and answer any questions you might have. Addiction Friend can match people with treatment services for all addictions and behavioural disorders including eating disorders and associated addictions. Additional resources and links can also be found here and through the Addiction Friend international service.

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