How To Help A Loved One With A Drug Addiction?

Helping a friend who has an addiction is difficult. Occasionally, the path to rehabilitation can start with a conversation. But when it comes to talking to an addict, it can be difficult. Addicts find it hard to acknowledge and talk about their addiction.

People who struggle with addiction are reluctant to seek treatment. This is because they may be unable to understand their attitudes’ effects on themselves and others. That is why it is helpful to seek professional help. 

You can help out your drug-addict friends by seeking rehabilitation methods. Addiction recovery programs demonstrate a structured plan to fight alcohol or drug addiction. It encourages addicts to seek help before their addiction becomes lethal. 

Methods to help a loved one struggling with addiction

Addiction treatment differs depending on the person and their addiction. According to an addict’s needs, treatment is planned. The treatment options depend on the substance abused, the degree of care required, mental health conditions, or the cost of medical options. If you wish to help a drug addict friend, or family you can try different methods.

Here are a few popular addiction therapies that have successfully guided people toward recovery.


You can detox from addictive substances in a secure setting with medical assistance. This is advantageous since unpleasant or even life-threatening physical symptoms of substance withdrawal might occasionally occur. Unfortunately, detox is frequently combined with other therapy because it does not address the underlying behavioral causes of the addiction.

As previously indicated, several variables can affect how long detox takes. In general, alcohol withdrawal symptoms usually subside within a week. If users attempt to quit drinking, especially after heavy use, they may face serious health risks. However, it may take up to two weeks or longer to detox from other drugs, such as benzodiazepines.

However, the time it takes for the hazardous substances to leave the body. Detox avoids long-term alterations to guarantee that the user won’t relapse. It also focuses on recurring triggers that may be effectively controlled.


An intervention is a drug rehabilitation procedure that friends and family may do. It is done in consultation with a physician or licensed professional such as a drug and alcohol counselor. 

The interventions should always provide safe space, encouragement, and incentive for those struggling with addiction. However, seeking help through intervention for friends with an alcohol addiction differs from the classic family meetings. 

3.Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

According to American Addiction Centers, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment method for various addictions. These include food, alcohol, and prescription drug addiction. CBT can assist in recognizing undesirable behavioral patterns and learning to identify triggers and create coping mechanisms. CBT can be used in conjunction with other treatment modalities.

The development of a strategy for handling potentially troubling events in the future. Therapists also use role-playing techniques as another to assist their patients. People can learn how their thoughts and actions may improve things. For instance, compiling a pros and cons list of responses to various scenarios. However, before using them in real life, it is crucial to have those circumstances played out in therapy. You can suggest CBT to friends with alcohol addiction. 

4.Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

You can identify negative thoughts using rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). It can also teach strategies for overcoming feelings of defeat. The purpose of REBT is to assist addicts in realizing that the capacity for rational thought is innate. It is unrelated to stressors or circumstances outside of you.

This therapy component is referred to as unconditional self-acceptance by the inventor of REBT. This means refraining from self-criticism and accepting that everyone, including your friends with drug addiction, can make mistakes.

REBT is also distinctive because it occasionally uses humor as a therapeutic tool. Humor helps addicts take things less seriously or view them differently. It can include sarcasm, music, or cartoons. 

5.Contingency Management

Alcohol, drug, and tobacco addictions can be treated using contingency management (CM). Condition management therapy reinforces your positive behavior by providing material rewards. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this therapy has been utilized to prevent a recurrence.

In Contingency Management (CM) interventions, patients benefit if they achieve a treatment goal. In the most typical form of CM, patients with a negative urine toxicological screen are given money, a voucher, or another incentive. 

With the accumulation of negative toxicological testing over time, many of these prize reinforcement Contingency Management (CM) systems feature built-in bonuses, allowing the patient to accrue more prizes for each additional negative screen completed.

6.12-Step Facilitation

Alcohol and drug misuse can be treated with 12-step facilitation treatment. It is a group treatment that acknowledges addiction can have several detrimental effects. They can be social, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

This kind of therapy starts with acceptance. It progresses to submission to a higher power and, finally, participating in regular group meetings. Group meetings are used in popular programs like Alcoholics Anonymous for discussion and support among members.

7.Treatment with Medication

Medication can be crucial to recovery when used with behavioral therapy. Several drugs can help with cravings, mood, and addictive behaviors. The FDA recently approved lofexidine to help patients undergoing treatment for opioid addiction. It lowers cravings and withdrawal symptoms. In addition, drugs like acamprosate can aid in reducing alcohol consumption.

Consult An Addiction Professional

Consulting an addiction specialist, like a licensed drug and alcohol counselor or an interventionist, can assist you in establishing an effective intervention. First, an addiction specialist will consider the loved one’s circumstances, implying the best approach. Then, they help counsel you on what kind of treatment and follow-up proposal will work best.

It is advisable when the addict:

  • Has a history of severe mental illness
  • Has demonstrated suicidal behavior or talked about suicide
  • Abuse multiple substances at once
  • Has a history of violence.

It is very significant to talk with a professional if you doubt your drug addict friend may react violently.

Helping friends with drug addiction can be challenging. However, with the proper guidance, it becomes easier. At Buprenorphine Doctors, you can find help for your loved ones battling addiction. 

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