Helping Someone Addicted to Opioids …or Other Drugs
An opiate addiction health emergency exists nationwide. Here’s how to help someone addicted to these or other substances of abuse: 1) Accept that enabling is initially part of any close relationship with an addict, 2) Learn how enabling helps addicts avoid seeking help or admitting they need it. 3) Stopping enabling is a learned skill with a shift in mindset. Discover how 12-step groups like Al-Anon help members make the switch. 4) Encourage the opiate addict to get treatment. Coordinate your attempts with a proper treatment program. Your EAP can help you find one. (Note that motivation to accept help will at first be low.) 5) Expect crises, drug incidents, and legal problems to continue or increase because addiction is a chronic illness. The good news is that each event is a “go-opportunity” to offer help. Make it easy to accept and with simple steps for doing so. 6) Make treatment non-negotiable in your relationship—anything less requires enabling. 7) Repeat #5 until help is accepted.