Seeking Help: How to Help Someone With Substance Abuse Disorder

Substance abuse is a severe problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 20 million American adults suffer from substance abuse or addiction. Substance abuse can lead to several problems, including job loss, financial situations, relationship problems, and legal troubles. It can also lead to health problems, including overdose and death.

Substance abuse is costly to society as well. The NIDA estimates that the cost of substance abuse in the United States is about $193 billion annually. This includes the cost of healthcare, lost productivity, and criminal justice costs.

The very first step is to find out more about the disorder. This mental disorder can significantly affect people’s lives. But what can you do about it, especially if you live with someone with such a mental disorder?


What is Substance Abuse?

Not everyone who uses a substance has this mental disorder. Some stages exist before addiction to drugs or alcohol is diagnosed and classified as an addiction. In general, substance abuse means someone uses a substance in a way that’s harmful to them. They are using it more than they are told to, using it when they shouldn’t, or getting into trouble because of their use.

People addicted to drugs or alcohol have crossed the line into abuse, but not everyone who abuses drugs or alcohol is necessarily addicted. It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease, and just like other diseases, it can be treated.

The signs of addiction can vary depending on the person. Some people may become agitated or irritable when unable to use their drug, while others may become depressed or withdrawn. Some may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, while others may continue to participate but be less successful.

It’s also important to remember that addiction doesn’t just affect the person who is addicted. It affects everyone who lives with them. With this in mind, forcing someone to get treatment will only harm their health. One of the things you should build first is trust.

Building Trust

If you’re going to help someone with their addiction, you first need to build trust. Trust is essential in any relationship, but it’s necessary when dealing with someone with a habit.

There are a few ways to build trust. The first is by being honest with each other. If you’re honest about your feelings and what you see, it’ll be easier for the person with the addiction to be real with you.

The second way to build trust is by keeping your promises. This goes both ways. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. And if you can’t do it, inform the person beforehand.

The third way to build trust is by being supportive. Let the person know you’re there for them, no matter what. Offer your help and support, but don’t push too hard. Trying will only make the person defensive and less likely to open up to you.

Building trust takes time, so be patient. It’s important to remember that just because someone has an addiction doesn’t mean they’re a terrible person. They’re dealing with a disease, and with the right help, they can get better.

Have Boundaries

However, gaining trust also becomes a balancing act. You don’t want them to depend on you regarding everything in life. This becomes co-dependency, and it becomes a problem for you later on. It’s important to have boundaries so that the person knows what is and isn’t acceptable.

You can do this through communication. Discuss what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not satisfied with. Ensure the person knows you’re there to help but won’t be their savior.

It’s essential also to have boundaries when it comes to your time. You can’t let the person monopolize all of your time, or you’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Set some ground rules and make sure that you stick to them.

Get Professional Help

Once you’ve gained their trust and built a meaningful relationship, their substance use will likely decrease. However, if this isn’t the case, it’s time to bring up getting professional help.

The United States has some of the best treatments for this disorder. Many drug recovery programs exist in the country. Furthermore, many different types of programs cater to different needs.

The important thing is to find the right program for the person. There are many factors to consider, such as cost, location, and length of stay. Research and find a program that best suits the person’s needs.

Addiction treatment can be expensive, but there are many ways to get help. If both of you can’t afford to pay for treatment, there are likely resources available in your community that can help. Don’t be afraid to ask around or do some online research.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment, so finding the right program for the person is essential. With the right help, they can overcome addiction and live a healthy and happy life.

Jeremy D. Mena
Alcohol geek. Future teen idol. Web practitioner. Problem solver. Certified bacon guru. Spent 2002-2009 researching plush toys in Miami, FL. Won several awards for exporting tar in Libya. Uniquely-equipped for managing human growth hormone in Libya. Spent a weekend implementing fried chicken on the black market. Spoke at an international conference about working on carnival rides in Miami, FL. Developed several new methods for donating jack-in-the-boxes in Edison, NJ.