If Someone Has A Drink or Drug Problem


What Not To Do

  • Don’t attempt to punish, threaten, bribe, or preach.
  • Don’t try to be a martyr. Avoid emotional appeals that may only increase feelings of guilt and the compulsion to drink or use other drugs.
  • Don’t allow yourself to cover up or make excuses for the alcoholic or drug addict or shield them from the realistic consequences of their behavior.
  • Don’t take over their responsibilities, leaving them with no sense of importance or dignity.
  • Don’t hide or dump bottles, throw out drugs, or shelter them from situations where alcohol is present.
  • Don’t argue with the person when they are impaired or high.
  • Don’t try to drink along with the problem drinker or take drugs with the drug abuser.
  • Above all, don’t feel guilty or responsible for another’s behavior.

What To Do

  • Try to remain calm, unemotional, and factually honest in speaking about their behavior and its day-to-day consequences.
  • Let the person with the problem know that you are reading and learning about alcohol and other drug abuse, attending Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, Alateen, and other support groups.
  • Discuss the situation with someone you trust — someone from the clergy, a social worker, a counselor, a friend, or some individual who has experienced alcohol or other drug abuse personally or as a family member.
  • Establish and maintain a healthy atmosphere in the home, and try to include the alcohol/drug abuser in family life.
  • Explain the nature of alcoholism and other drug addiction as an illness to the children in the family.
  • Encourage new interests and participate in leisure time activities that the person enjoys. Encourage them to see old friends.
  • Be patient and live one day at a time. Alcoholism and other drug addiction generally takes a long time to develop, and recovery does not occur overnight. Try to accept setbacks and relapses with calmness and understanding.
  • Refuse to ride with anyone who’s been drinking heavily or using other drugs.

Al-Anon May be able to help

One thought on “If Someone Has A Drink or Drug Problem

  1. Very good tips here. I’ve sadly been around several people with bad drug addictions in the past, and It’s never easy to try and get involved when you want to help.. Alcohol and drug abuse are serious issues. This is why the A&E show Intervention is so important. It demonstrates how difficult addiction can be and uses a highly qualified team of specialists to adress the core issues. The show really does a great job of showing what it takes to get on the road to recovery for some of the most difficult addictions, while also showing how it affects everyone involved with the person who has the addiction. I’m working to help promote the show because I think it can give anyone a great real life example of what its like to deal with addiction. A new episode airs every Monday at 9/8 central on A&E.


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