Substance addiction is a serious problem in the world and is a difficult social ill to address. Addictive subtsances range from legal drugs like alcohol and over the counter medication to illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. The effects are all the same though: broken families, a spike in criminal activity and death. The matter is even more painful when it’s closer to home and it’s someone you know with a substance addiction.
If you suspect someone close to you has a drug problem you should act out of love, loyalty and respect. Talk to the person about it so they may seek professional assistance. It doesn’t matter if that person is family, a friend or a colleague you have to try and help. How you approach the situation is very important – asking someone if they have a drug problem has to be done with delicacy and tact.
It’s hard for someone with a problem to admit it to themselves or to other people. Admitting you have a problem is admitting that you’ve lost control. It’s not your place to judge but rather to listen, understand and to guide. You want this person to seek professional help and to convince them to do that, you have to be on their side. Tough love is an option but firstly you want this person, this friend, to understand that you want to lend a hand.
In order to show the proper support you need to get information, stop covering for them, find someone to talk to and make changes.
• Get information about how drug problems are developed and the steps that can be taken during the recovery process. There are many brochures, books and videos available to help you.
• People often cover for drug abusers because they think by making life easier for that person, he or she might stop using drugs, but this only makes it easier for that person to keep using. Stop covering for that person and start helping them.
• Talk openly and honestly with a friend, another family member, a counsellor or support group. Many of these people, especially counsellors and support groups, will be able to give good advice about approaching the person with the problem and deciding what you can do to make your situation better.
• Identify the changes you can make to help the situation. The changes you make to take care of yourself will help you and the person with the drug problem.
If you are concerned about the drug use of somebody you care about, help is available. Sharp Treatment offers confidential, professional and caring support. These services include information sessions, individual counselling, outpatient programs, inpatient programs and group programs for family members.