Drug addiction is more common than you think. The chances of knowing someone who is using or has used drugs is extremely high. But what do you do when you know someone who is putting their life in danger because of drug use? It’s definitely not an easy subject to approach and discuss, and your loved one may not want to hear what you have to say.

Here are some simple ways you can help someone while they’re battling addiction:

Know that there’s only so much you can do

You’re probably not a mental health professional, so first of all, you need to accept that you’re limited in the ways you can help this person. People who suffer from substance abuse problems need professional medical help and counselling. Don’t place that kind of pressure on yourself. The best thing you can do for someone is to put them in contact with the right resources to get better.

Assess the situation

A good way to start helping your loved one is to diagnose their level of substance abuse. Is it mild? Moderate? Severe? Proper assessment is the first step to treating drug addiction. You need to identify, assess and then treat the issue through professional help. Seeking a qualified professional should always be your first course of action.

Talk it out

Just because your loved one has sought out and is using professional health care, it may not be enough. Help them out by letting them know you’re there for them and they’ve made the right choice in seeking help. In many cases, people feel guilty or ashamed in attempting to get professional help for their addiction. You need to let them know that you are behind them 100%.


Interventions are very sensitive situations and can go very wrong if they’re not done properly. If you are planning to hold an intervention, make sure you have a professional there with you to direct the meeting. Plan for only a few, very close family members or friends to attend the meeting – you don’t want your loved one to feel overwhelmed. An interventionist can help to guide you and your group through the discussion and help to encourage a positive outcome.

Know all your options

The more you educate yourself on addiction and substance abuse, the better. Research is a good place to start, but again, you’re always best contacting a treatment professional. The more you know, the better equipped you are to help your loved one seek treatment and battle their addiction. Healthcare professionals are there to answer all of your questions and put you in contact with the right resources.