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Establishing a Support System: How to Help a Family Member or Friend With a Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Substance abuse is a severe health crisis that impacts not only the addict but their family, friends, and peers. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 14 million American adults live with Alcohol Use Disorder, and millions more are dealing with an addiction to prescription and illicit drugs.

Here at Charter Health PC, we specialize in providing compassionate, progressive care to those struggling with substance abuse. If a loved one is addicted to drugs, alcohol, or a combination of substances, here are a few simple things you can do to help:

Learn About Addiction

Addiction is a complex medical condition that is often triggered by a combination of factors. There’s rarely a solitary reason why someone develops an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Take the time to learn about the root causes of addiction, as well as how addiction impacts everything from your loved ones’ cognitive skills to their physical health. Not only will this help you recognize impairment, but you’ll also be able to understand what’s driving behavioral changes that are all too common among those with a drinking or drug abuse problem.

Communicate Your Concerns

People who are experiencing substance abuse issues often feel like nobody cares about them or that their friends and families have rejected them.

Let your loved one know that you are there for them and that you recognize that they are struggling with a serious, life-threatening disease. It’s perfectly okay to express your concerns around their addiction, but be sure to do so in a way that’s supportive, loving, and non-threatening.

Recognize Your Own Limits

Realize that while you can be a strong ally for your friend or family member, you can’t control them or their addiction. Your support can help them take the steps needed to deal with their disease, but the choice to seek help is ultimately up to them.

Seek Professional Help

At Charter Health, we understand that addiction can be exceptionally taxing on physical and emotional health. If you or someone close to you addiction medicine or alcoholism treatment, reach out to our team today.

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