Some say that friends are the family you choose for yourself. And, rightly so. The bonds of friendship are so powerful that studies have found that close ties with others help us live longer, feel better and can even make you more productive at work.
Given the fact that friendships are so important to our physical and emotional health, what should you do when you recognize that a close friend is dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol? Where do you draw the line between being their health advocate and an enabler?
If someone you care about is potentially dealing with an addiction issue, here are a few proven strategies you should consider to help them heal.
5 Ways You Can Help a Friend Struggling with Addiction
(1) Consult experts in addiction recovery. The disease of addiction is a complicated, and potentially dangerous one. While you can educate yourself on the nature of the condition, you need the help of an experienced addiction specialist. They can help you navigate the complex and sensitive terrain of addiction.
(2) Avoid “negative enabling”. One of the most powerful ways you can support your friend is to stop supporting their lifestyle of addiction. Negative enabling is a destructive relationship pattern where a friend or family member goes out of their way to “help” the addict continue their destructive lifestyle.
(3) Talk to close members of their family. If you suspect that your friend is dealing with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, there is a good chance that his or her family is aware of the issue too. Though, by creating a larger support system, you can partner with others to help your friend find the resources and professional guidance they need.
(4) Offer your support. If someone close to you is dealing with addiction issues, they likely feel isolated and ashamed of their condition. The simple act of offering your friendship and support can quite possibly give them the strength they need to finally seek professional help.
(5) Don’t try to talk to them while they are drunk or high. If you do want to start a conversation about helping them find recovery, wait until they are in a sober frame of mind to talk. They will be less likely to be confrontational and more receptive to your message.
Experienced Addiction Recovery Professionals
Our Southern California drug rehab facility is licensed for six beds by the California Department of Health Care Services. We intentionally keep our program small to accommodate clients’ therapy needs, encourage fellowship and relationship building, and provide frequent leisure and recreation opportunities for all residents. To learn more, contact us at (877) 228-4679 to speak with a 10 Acre Ranch treatment specialist today.