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How to Help a Drug Addict

Being addicted to drugs is an issue that must be taken seriously. It takes a lot of willpower and systemic changes to one’s lifestyle to overcome long periods of drug abuse. This is because abusing illegal or pharmaceutical drugs changes the structure of the brain. The victim develops strong cravings for the addictive substance which make it very difficult to get out of the addiction cycle. Drug addicts may have tried to quit over and over again and relapsed every time. But the road to recovery, though difficult, is not impossible. With the right help, it is possible to overcome drug addiction.


Helping a drug addict may be a difficult task as addicts often make poor decisions. Their perspective on life is distorted by their addiction, so they may perceive friends and family as adversaries trying to deprive them of their fix. However, remaining steadfast and patient is the key to helping a drug addict. Do not expect them to change overnight or to react positively to your attempts to help. The first step is to convince a drug addict that their addiction is harmful to their body, their mind, and the people around them. Only when the addict realizes that their behavior is a problem can the road to recovery begin.


Reminding a drug addict of things that really matter to them may lead to a breakthrough. But make sure your example is relevant to their life. For example: reminding a drug addict that their grades are suffering will not be helpful if the addict doesn’t prioritize academics. On the other hand, telling them that their actions negatively affect a person they hold close may make a bigger impact.

Furthermore, be positive and do not lose focus. Always be proud of the goals the addict reaches and support them in doing their best. It is most important to not lose hope. Problems will occur since it is not easy for people to change. Milestones should be set to record progress and when reached they should be celebrated.

Another way to help a drug addict is to keep them busy, potentially by keeping them company. A lot of addicts have lost touch with everyday society. Loneliness is a part of their life, which may be a reason why they turn to drugs. Finding daily activities such as video games, sports, cooking, walks around the neighborhood, etc. can be an effective tactic, as long as it corresponds to the addict’s interests.


If the drug addict you are helping is not responding positively, consider substance abuse treatment at a rehab facility. Trained professionals know how to respond to addictive behavior and set addicts on the road to recovery. Schedule a doctor’s appointment, go to a therapist, and make use of professional help.

Helping a drug addict is no easy task. The recovery process can take a long time. Rash reactions from the addict are normal, and change can come slow. Be patient and steadfast, and seek professional help if necessary. Above all, remember that the end goal is to save someone’s life, which is always a cause worth fighting for.

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