Can I Get Help Supporting a Drug Addict?

Drug addiction is a disease that doesn’t just affect the person with the habit. The negative impacts of addiction ripple out – with family members, friends, and co-workers all bearing consequences.

As a loved one of a drug addict, it is natural that you want to help them. This is good and can be the difference in a person sinking deeper into their addiction or finding a way to help. As a loved one perhaps confronting addiction for the first time, it is difficult to know where to get help from.

There are many organisations out there that can support you as a loved one faces up to their addiction and goes to private drug and alcohol rehab. Even though it is the addict’s struggle, you should not be forgotten on the journey and take steps to ensure you are adequately supported.


Recognising Drug Abuse

Chronic use of drugs will usually produce noticeable symptoms. As a loved one of a possible addict, if you become aware of symptoms, the problem might be severe enough for the person to need help. Here are some common physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms to look out for.

Physical symptoms:

  • Sudden weight change
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

Psychological symptoms:

  • Increased depression and anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Increased irritability and anger
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Lack of motivation

Behavioural symptoms:

  • No longer interested in old hobbies
  • Pulling away from responsibilities and social interactions
  • Problems at work or with finances
  • Becoming more secretive

If a loved one shows a combination of some of these symptoms, they might have a drug problem. You don’t need to wait for the person to hit rock bottom; moving fast and stopping the issue from getting any worse is always better. Seeking out a drug rehab is the best way to help them, though sometimes they may need convincing.


Talking to Someone About Their Drug Abuse

Before taking any major steps, you may want to talk to someone about their addiction. First, you should research addiction, its effects, and the possible psychology behind it to understand better what the person is going through. This can allow you to express your opinions without coming across as judgemental and be more receptive to what they say.

For this conversation, you should come armed with potential next steps and treatment options – providing solutions to the problem they face. If you act quickly, then this will be helpful to them. Starting the admission process into treatment as soon as possible means that the addiction is not given time to worsen.


How Do I Stage an Intervention?

Sometimes, more drastic measures are needed.

Denial is a big reason people don’t get the help they need. A direct approach can help a person see how their addiction is affecting themselves and everyone around them. An intervention is a planned and structured conversation where people can gather to tell a person they need help and ask them to accept their problems.

When considering an intervention, you should also have it in a neutral place. Form a group that will be present and plan what you will say so that the important information is not missed. You should choose the people carefully and not include people you think may derail the intervention or have substance abuse issues. This is key as staying on task during an intervention is important as not getting dragged into bickering and accusations.

With help from Addiction Advocates, you can find an addiction professional who can help you organise the intervention. They can provide a neutral presence in the intervention to ensure it is a constructive confrontation. This is key support loved ones can receive during the recovery process.


What Organisations Can Help You?

Whilst a loved one goes through treatment and beyond, you may need outside help to cope with what is happening. Many organisations across the country provide this vital type of support.


AdFam is a national charity that supports people affected by a family member or friend’s addiction. They can help you find local support groups, give access to online support groups and provide information on addiction.

Families Anonymous

This is a worldwide organisation with 50 groups all over the country, open to anyone affected by substance abuse and other addiction-related problems. These groups provide mutual support and offer a platform to share experiences and fears about a loved one’s drug addiction.


An organisation dedicated to helping those affected by another person’s drug use. They also offer bereavement support and seek to promote education and awareness of addiction to help more people break the cycle of addiction.

If a loved one enters treatment, there may be opportunities to be involved in family counselling and be in close contact with the facility. This can be vital, not only supporting your loved one but yourself as well.

Find Support for Yourself

Self-care is important when seeing a loved one suffer from addiction. Attending support meetings can help you see you are not alone. It allows you to talk to those who understand your experiences and can help you. By talking through issues, you can find solutions much easier. Taking care of yourself is also very important. Exercising, eating healthy and doing things you enjoy are all small things that make a big difference.

You should manage your stress and take time out to unwind. Many people try yoga and meditation. These are ways to stay in the present and not be worried about the past and the future – giving you a respite. Sometimes, you may not need to go to a meeting to find support. Family and friends can offer support by chatting or having tea. Finding moments of normalcy in what may be a distressing time is beneficial to taking better care of yourself.


Support with Addiction Advocates

If you know someone suffering from addiction and need support, then Addiction Advocates can help. With our family referral and friend referral services, we can provide support and guidance during a nerve-wracking time. For more information, contact us today at 0800 012 6088 or text HELP to 83222.