How to Help Someone Who is Struggling With a Drug Addiction

Addiction is a terrible affliction, but it can be difficult to understand for someone who has never experienced it personally. If you have been in a relationship with an addict however, you know just how much addiction can affect not only one person’s life, but the lives of everyone around them. And if you have been in that situation—or are dealing with it now—you know just how difficult it is to see someone that you love suffering in such a way, while feeling helpless yourself. But how do you help someone who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or a similar habit? While it is mostly a personal battle, there are some ways in which you can support someone close to you when they are suffering from an addiction.

Look for Signs

First and foremost, you need to make absolutely sure that their addiction is real. You can damage a relationship irreparably if you accuse someone of something that is not a real problem. So before acting, make sure that they exhibit all or most of the warning signs of a drug addiction—dishonesty, being secretive, odd sleeping and social patterns, aggressiveness, anxiety, mood swings, and so on. If you are living with a drug addict however, they will have a hard time hiding it from you.


Confrontation is the first step on the path to recovery. But it is important to go about it the right way. You don’t want to sound too accusatory, and you want to make sure that they know that you are there to support them. When confronted, the addict may admit that they realize that they have a problem, but the far more likely outcome is that they will try to brush it off, or become aggressive or hurt. This may require you to organize a more formal intervention, which might involve getting a drug rehab professional to help you talk to them. You can find assistance at websites that have lists of providers such as

Don’t Enable

Make sure that you are doing everything that you can to help them, and avoid every possibility of enabling or making their habit worse. Encourage them to be open and confide in you, and make sure that you have their trust. Don’t leave your cash, cards, or checkbooks anywhere that they will be easily accessible, and don’t take the addict to places that might encourage their addiction.


Above all, you chief objective is to give your loved one your support. It is a mostly personal battle, and it is important to realize that a lot of the time you will feel utterly helpless. Offer your love and support, while still making it clear that you do not condone their destructive behavior. Consider counseling, not just for the addict, but for If you are in a relationship with an addict, you may want to consider joint counseling sessions.

Hyrum Taffer

Hyrum Taffer is a freelance writer for with extensive experience in drug addiction and recovery. Through much personal experience and perpetual lifelong research, Hyrum hopes others can benefit from his writing.

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