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How to help an addict to find recovery

If you suspect a friend, relative or colleague might be secretly dealing with addiction it can do wonders for their long-term recovery if their substance abuse problem can be addressed at the earliest possible opportunity. In this blog, Port of Call looks at how to help an addict to reach out for assistance.


How to get the right help with addictionThe one thing we always advocate is to seek out help for a loved one’s addiction before they hit rock bottom and their problem spirals progressively out of control. The earlier the intervention and diagnosis, the better the outlook for long-term recovery.


If someone you know is struggling with addiction, yet they refuse to accept professional help from either a drug rehab or alcohol treatment centre, there are two strategies that we recommend. Not doing anything is a course of action that we simply cannot, and do not, promote.

How do I help an addict?

1. Talk to Port of Call about an Intervention

Intervention can be a powerful catalyst for change. The intervention process usually involves several family members or close friends who attend the session alongside the addicted person. Bolstered with the right professional support, an intervention can make a real difference in the change process. It brings the nearest and dearest together, often for the first time, to confront the addiction.

The central focus of such a session is to encourage your loved one to see the need for help and then provide the necessary structure for treatment options to be properly discussed and decided.

Port Of Call can deliver expert guidance and support to ensure your loved one receives treatment willingly and that the plan for treatment is designed to maximise effective, long-term recovery. Call us today to talk about the next right step for you and the person you are trying to help.

2. Seek help yourself

Help for the helper is widely available. As contrary as it might sound, reaching out for support yourself can often be an effective starting point to gain some help for your loved one’s addiction. The person caught in the crossfire of the denials and destructive behaviours can experience painful and conflicting emotions, such as frustration, loneliness and confusion.

The message from Port of Call founder, Martin Preston, is clear.

We urge you to reach out and ask for help, not only for your loved one, but for you too, says Martin. Getting help for yourself may feel counterintuitive but it can help you to understand the illness of addiction further.

“It also sends a clear signal to the person that you are trying to help and may motivate them to address their problem. Help for the helper is widely available. You are not alone with this,” he added.

The statistical data alone provides more than enough incentive to take action on addiction.

Current addiction statistics for the UK

According to figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCICI), from 2013 to 2014 around one in 11 adults (8.8 per cent) aged 16 to 59 admitted to taking an illicit drug during that year, rising to more than double that number (18.9 per cent) amongst 16 to 24 year-olds.

Hospital admissions for drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders were up by 8.5 per cent compared to the preceding year and poisoning by illicit drugs has rocketed by an alarming 76.7 per cent since 2003-04. There were nearly 2,000 deaths (1,957) attributable to drug misuse in 2013, an increase of 321 from the year before.

More than nine million people in England drink more than the recommended daily limits, that’s according to statistics released by Alcohol Concern. Alcohol is accountable for 10 per cent of the UK’s burden of disease and death, placing it amongst the three biggest lifestyle risk factors for disease and death in the UK, after smoking and obesity.

Alcohol misuse costs England an estimated £21 billion annually in healthcare, crime and lost productivity costs, with £3.5 billion worth of that going towards NHS treatment. That’s the equivalent of £120 for every tax payer.

Make us your first Port of Call. If you, or a loved one, are dealing with 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 08000029010.

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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