How to Help Someone Suffering from an Addiction

Addictions come in all shapes and sizes and can range from smoking to shopping to food. So how do you help a loved one you know may be suffering from an addiction? Read our expert tips to help.

Know that there is only so much you can do. No one can help the person unless they themselves want to be helped.

Don’t aid in their addiction. They may ask you for money or they may ask you to cover for them while they engage in their addiction, don’t agree to do it. This is a difficult task because you want to be a good friend, but by being ‘there’ for them, you are actually aiding the addiction, not your friend.

Do your research. Whatever your friend is struggling with, do some research on the internet about support groups, therapists, or facilities that deal with such issues in your area. This way when the time comes, you will be more equipped for problem solving and guiding your friend in the right direction.

Listen without judgement. Once the person finally decides to talk to you about it, don’t panic and don’t problem solve right away—just listen with an open heart and an open ear and then ask them if they want your help or advice before you offer.

(Credit: Dr. Saliha Afridi)