Helping a Friend Cope with Substance Abuse Problems

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It is stressful and depressing to be with someone who’s coping with substance abuse problems. Have you ever been with someone who struggles with such problems? How about shopping and gambling addiction? These are very real problems for many people. You can’t tell them to suck it up and just “stop doing it.” It is not as easy as that.

Recognize the Problem

The first step in sober living in Scottsdale or other cities is the recognition that there is a problem. If you or your loved one is in denial about the addiction, there is no chance to overcome it. How do you help someone cope with their addiction if they do not know that they have a problem? How can you solve something that is not an issue for the person? With addiction, denial has no place.

Expect It to Be Difficult

Helping someone to cope with substance abuse problems is never going to be easy. One, they may not agree that they have a problem. Two, even if they agree that they have a problem, they may think that they don’t need professional help. Three, they may be embarrassed and afraid of their social status. Finally, many addicts feel awkward about discussing their problems even with their friends.

Show Them That They Can Trust You

Have you been on a similar path before? Have you also struggled with addiction and recovered from it? If so, you are the perfect candidate to convince someone to get therapy. If not, they may have trouble believing that you understand them. So how can you prove that you can be trusted?

Never share their problems with anyone, even your closest family and friends. Do not nag and criticize the addict. Do not call them names and exaggerate their symptoms. Stay as far away from substance abuse as possible. If your friend has an alcohol problem, never drink in front of him or invite him for “just one drink.” For these people, it’s never just one drink. It’s the start of many. They will spiral down in no time.

Find a Therapist They Can Trust

Join them in their quest of finding a therapist they can trust. Drive them to the counselors. If they are not comfortable with the therapist, don’t force them to see that therapist again. Research about therapy programs and counselors who have been successful in helping people having substance abuse problems.

However, if they want to seek therapy on their own, let them be. Trust them enough to let them take this journey alone. Still, make sure that they know you’re always there to support them. They will appreciate your presence in their lives.

Seek Alternative Activities

cyclist in marathon

There’s a reason your friend has succumbed to substance abuse. It might be because they have nothing better to do with their time or this is their way of coping with their personal problems. Seek alternative activities that you can enjoy. Sometimes, the best way to cope with an addiction is to find another passion and hobby. Be with your friend. Join them in the activities that might pique their interests once more.

Surviving an addiction is a struggle both for the addict and the people who support them. Do not forget about yourself. If you need it, seek therapy, too. You need to surround yourself with people who can listen to your woes. While you’re helping someone else with their substance abuse problems, do not forget to help yourself, too.

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