Help an Addict

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, the best chance it recovery is to get them into treatment. Our counselors are available to listen to your situation and discuss the best opportunities for you or your loved one to get the care and treatment they need.

Do’s and Don’ts

Best Practices:

  1. Learn about alcoholism and drug addiction.
  2. Keep an open mind.
  3. Understand that addiction is a disease of the body and mind from which people can and often do recover. As with any other disease, nobody really intends to “get” addicted or wishes addiction upon their loved ones once they have it. Try to remember that the alcoholic/addict in your life isn’t doing this out of spite. This is a disease that for many is beyond will power.
  4. Practice detachment. Don’t obsess over your loved one’s addiction. This is sometimes called “release with love.” In effect, there are times that you simply must let go and let the alcoholic/addict experience the consequences of their drinking and drug use.
  5. Set realistic expectations and limits but do not be misconstrued into believing that you can control the alcoholic or drug addict. “They” have to want to change. It is something addicts needs to do for themselves for their long term recovery to be successful.
  6. Practice “tough love”. Make up your mind what you will accept and what you will not accept from the alcoholic/addict in your life and stick to it. Set realistic limits and make realistic demands.
  7. Attend meetings and support groups both with and without your loved one. You can learn a lot about your situation by listening to the stories of others who have gone through or are going through what you are. You can also learn a great deal by listening to alcoholics and drug addicts talk openly about their addiction as well as their recovery.
  8. Take life with a one day at a time approach. It is not possible to predict an addict’s behavior. Many get clean and sober right at the point when everybody is giving up on them.
  9. If you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, helpless and hopeless, seek out support. Having a loved one who is an addict can take a serious toll on the well-being of their loved ones.

What to Avoid:

  1. Don’t make threats you don’t plan to follow through with.
  2. Never argue with an alcoholic or addict while they are intoxicated or high. If you wish to discuss things with them wait until they are sober.
  3. Avoid shaming, ridiculing, or scolding the alcoholic or addict. Self-hatred, low self-esteem, or unbearable guilt may contribute to their usage. Through such actions, you may increase their risk of drinking and taking drugs, not reducing the risk.
  4. Don’t go along with the alcoholic/addict’s “alibi” system. These are excuses that are designed to make the drinking and drug use appear acceptable to you and them.
  5. In a non accusatory manner tell the truth to the alcoholic or drug addict about what their drinking and drug use is doing to you, other members of the family, friends, and to the alcoholic/addict them self.
  6. Try not to give them the impression that you are the enemy. Addiction is the enemy. Persuade the alcoholic/drug addict that you are fighting against this disease with them.
  7. Don’t feel guilty if you have to call the police. You are not in the wrong for wanting to keep your family out of harm’s way.
  8. Don’t cover up for the alcoholic or drug addict. Let them experience the consequences for their actions.
  9. Don’t try to get the alcoholic to stay sober for you. Even if they love you, this is something they need to do for themselves.
  10. Avoid social situations in which drinking of alcohol and drug use may occur.
  11. Try not to be impatient for recovery to take place. It took time to learn the behavior of becoming an alcoholic or drug addict and it will likely take time to unlearn that behavior.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, call us for a free consultation.