If you know someone who is suffering from an addiction, it can be difficult to know how to navigate the situation and provide help. Fortunately, there are a few important steps to take to intervene and obtain the right resources for your loved one.

How to Help Someone Dealing with Addiction

Establish Trust

It can be impossible to help someone if they don’t trust you or your intentions, making it necessary to establish trust with the person early on in your relationship. Avoid nagging, lecturing, or criticizing the person for their addiction, which can create more stress and push them further into their substance abuse. Show that you care and avoid any judgment to ensure they know you have their best interest in mind and truly care about their well-being. Remain honest but still show that you’re supportive throughout the process.


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Communication is key to ensure you can develop a stronger relationship with the individual and allow your voice to be heard. If you communicate honestly, they won’t feel as threatened when you approach them. Keep in mind that the decision to change is there’s and that you can’t force them to seek help or take the right steps towards sobriety. Try to encourage them and help them feel valued to ensure they have more motivation to seek professional help and turn their life around.

Obtain the Right Resources

You can guide your loved one in the right direction if you obtain resources that they can use to obtain addiction treatment. Once you notice opioid withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to look into local treatment programs that are available. Your loved one may benefit from an out-patient program if they prefer to continue living at home and working. Others who need more intensive treatment can consider an in-patient program, making it necessary to find a few options to consider if they’re open to obtaining help. You can also obtain resources from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


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Avoid Enabling Them

One of the most common mistakes many people make when they know someone suffering from addiction is to enable the behavior. Although you may want to help the person and support them, giving them money can cause them to continue their substance abuse and can make the problem escalate. It’s also important to avoid paying their bills or helping get them out of trouble. Don’t make excuses for their behavior or defend them to other people. Enablers can prevent the individual from understanding the severity of their addiction or getting the support they need to fully recover, making it necessary to have a tough-love approach.


Knowing the best ways to help someone dealing with addiction can make it easier to know how to navigate the situation. Becoming educated on their addiction and gaining an understanding of why they may have substance abuse can help you to have less judgment and approach the situation in the most effective way.