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How to help someone who’s addicted to drugs

Drug addiction can take over and devastate lives. Whether it’s cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, cannabis, prescription drugs or legal highs; if someone’s drug abuse is out of control, help and treatment is necessary. Which is why Port of Call has compiled this guide about how to help someone with a drug addiction.

Family support drugs

Whether you are the person affected by drug addiction, or you are trying to help a loved one, friend or colleague; help for drug addiction is available. Successful treatment for drug addiction can take several forms and determining the best course of action for you or your family is the next step.

There are numerous ways to tackle drug addiction, from support groups, to drug counselling, free ‘outpatient’ services to private drug rehab. The first step in helping yourself, or anyone else, is gaining some awareness of the problem, to know what you are dealing with.

Do you know the signs of drug addiction?

If you are worried that drugs might be taking over, and that you or a loved one are becoming addicted, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I/they feel the need for the drug regularly?
  • Do I/they have to use more to get the same effect?
  • Have I/they promised myself to give up but carried on?
  • If I/they try to stop or cut down do I/they feel depressed, anxious or unwell?
  • Have I/they lost interest in family, friends, hobbies or work?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, and are concerned about the situation, it is possible that you or they have become dependent on drugs and professional help is needed.

How do I help a drug addict who doesn’t want help?

Denial is often the cornerstone of addictive behaviour. A drug addict will often try to mask their destructive behaviour with dishonesty and deceit and often the person that they will go to the greatest efforts to deceive is themselves. Their evasive and defensive reactions to any challenges or offers of help can prove hugely frustrating.

You want to help but until they are willing to help themselves you will reach a definite impasse. This is exactly where professional help can help the most. Port of Call can arrange a structured intervention that can sometimes be the breakthrough that is needed.

When should I seek help?

Our advice would be to act as soon as you suspect that there might be a problem. We know that the road to recovery can be far less intensive and disruptive for everyone if an addiction is detected early. The longer this progressive illness is left untreated, the worse it is likely to become.

Of course, this is easier said than done when faced with the denial of an addict. But know this, you do not have to stand by and suffer in silence. Speak to Port of Call today to see if we can help you, or your loved one, to achieve recovery.

We would urge anyone who is contemplating rehab, or any form of professional drug addiction treatment to seek help with this process. Reaching out for help is very much the first step in tackling an addiction; one that requires a lot of courage but will ultimately help you get well.

What happens when I speak to Port of Call?

  • You will speak in confidence to someone who will listen to what’s happening in your life.
  • Your situation will be explored fully and appropriate suggestions and recommendations will be given.
  • You will speak to someone who understands addiction, someone who is in active recovery and someone who is able to provide you with un-biased and impartial information and advice.

Make us your first Port of Call. If you, or a loved one, are dealing with drug addiction we can help you to access the right addiction help at the right time. Take the first step today by speaking to one of our advisers for free on 0800 002 9010 and find the right rehab for you.

About the author: Alex Molyneux

Alex is our admissions team leader. Over the last 5 years he has spoken with more than 10,000 people via our helpline and has organised over 1,000 detox and rehabilitation placements.

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