If you’re worried that a friend has an addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol, or they display signs of a behavioural disorder like gambling problems and eating disorders, you will naturally feel like you want to help them.
You may be experiencing a range of feelings, from sadness to frustration to anger. These are all perfectly normal emotions that people experience when they see a friend missing out on a full and happy life because of their destructive behaviours.
Although it can be difficult to know how to how to talk to them about their problems, as a friend, you are in a good position to support them – especially if they trust you.
Recognising If Your Friend Has an Addiction
Everyone is unique and each addiction carries its own challenges. This means that each person is going to show different signs of having an addiction or behavioural disorder.
There are however some common signs that may suggest your friend needs help, especially if alcohol or drugs are being abused. If you agree with any of these statements, your friend may have a problem that needs to be addressed.
- They keep secrets from you and withhold information when you talk to them
- You notice they spend time with different people, and their old friends are no longer a priority
- You notice mood swings. They can go from being happy to angry or sad in a short space of time
- Their appearance has change. They have gained or lost weight, or have other physical changes
- They leave their home or job for long periods of time and cannot explain their absence
- They say that they never have money or frequently ask to borrow money
- Work, school, hobbies, family, and friends are no longer be a priority
- They experience health problems, like illnesses, or often seem sick
How Can I Help My Friend Beat Addiction?
Knowing how to find the best help for your friend is not always easy, especially if this is your first time in dealing with such a responsibility. At Addiction Friend, we believe that each person is unique, and our goal is to find the best fit for the needs and circumstances of each individual.
With access to a network of private treatment centres and clinics in Asia and beyond, your local Addiction Friend adviser can help you find the best fit for your friends needs, answer any questions you might have, and make arrangements for your friend to attend the most appropriate treatment programme.
What If My Friend Doesn’t Want Help?
It is quite common for people with addictions to not want to accept help. Taking the first step and admitting there is a problem is a significant part of the recovery process. In some scenarios it may be necessary to perform an intervention – a process in which close family, friends and colleagues confront an addict to help them recognise that they have a problem that needs to be addressed.
You can start to help your friend by getting confidential advice and exploring the available treatment options. – Lee Hudson
An intervention can also involve an interventionist – an addiction professional who can arrange and manage the intervention and highlight the negative parts of a person’s addiction using a calm and therapeutic approach. The main purpose of an intervention is to motivate the person needing help to begin the process of recovery and enable treatment to gain the tools they need to manage their addictive behaviours.