Get help for someone you know
It can be very difficult to know how best to support someone who is struggling with drugs or alcohol. If someone you know has become dependent on a substance, whether it’s alcohol, an illegal drug or a ‘legal high’, there is help available for them and you.
Talking to someone about their drug or alcohol use
Telling someone that you’re worried about their drug or alcohol use can be very difficult. Denial is often a part of addiction, so if you’ve decided to speak to someone about their drug use it’s important to think carefully about what to say. It can also be hard to get through to someone who is under the influence of one or more substances, and you may feel as if you're going round in circles.
Here are some tips for talking to someone who's struggling with alcohol or drugs:
- Avoid negative or blaming language – talk instead about how much you care about them and make it clear that you’re there to support them.
- Be patient. If they don’t want to talk about their drug or alcohol use putting pressure on them won't help. Instead, make it clear that you’re there for them, and try again another time when you think they might be more willing to talk about it.
- Suggest they get in touch with a local drug or alcohol service like change, grow, live (CGL) for an informal chat about their situation. They’ll receive a warm welcome from our expert staff and won’t be under any pressure to take up treatment or support.
- If they do decide to take up the support of a drug and alcohol treatment centre, reassure them that they will not be judged and that they will be supported every step of the way.
- If the person you’re trying to help does not want to seek help, this can be frustrating and upsetting. If this happens to you, get in touch with one of our services for more help and advice about how to encourage them to take the first steps towards change.
- Making changes can be difficult, so it's important to be as supportive as possible and recognise that small steps can be very hard to take.
Family and carers’ support
We know that having the support of a close family member or friend makes a huge difference to someone’s chances of dealing with substance use. However, supporting someone with an addiction can put families under huge strain. That is why we provide support for people caring for someone with a drug or alcohol problem. Talking to others who know what you are going through can be really helpful, and can give you the strength to help your loved one tackle their problems too.
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