3 tips to help someone with a Drug Addiction

What’s the first thing that you think of when someone mentions that they have a problem with drugs? Chances are good that you think of a lot of illegal drugs, but they aren’t the only danger to be wary of: prescription drugs have their share of abuse problems as well. Over 52 million Americans have used prescription medications non-medically over the course of their lives, for various recreational purposes.

drug addiction

Clearly, there needs to be a conversation taking place, but the problem is that a lot of people don’t know what that conversation should be. We don’t know how to approach people that are clearly suffering. The addictive nature of both prescription and illegal drugs is well documented, but that doesn’t mean that sitting down with a friend or loved one is any easier. The person is in the grips of powerful addictive drugs, and those drugs do not let go easily. But there is light at the end of the tunnel: there are plenty of people that have managed to overcome a drug addiction. Want help approaching this conversation? Here are three real world tips to help someone battle a drug addiction effectively.

1. Be Available

Everyone battling addiction is going to have different preferences. Some people want to stay up all night talking through their problems, while other people just want to sit in silence. But that doesn’t mean that you have to let them go through it alone. Be available as much as you can, and be flexible when they ask for something. Addiction disrupts a lot of normal functions of life. Maybe they don’t want to eat alone, so you can cook a small meal for the two of you.

Read more3 tips to help someone with a Drug Addiction

Here’s why the functional drug addict idea is a dangerous myth

Society paints the picture of a functional drug addict, similar to the role of Dr. Gregory House on House. We see smart people, with plenty of talent that are portrayed with drug problems. They’re labeled as functional drug addicts to give a sort of odd contrast against what we stereotype as the “bad” addict: the ones that can’t hold employment, that can’t keep their promises, that can’t take care of families.

functional drug addict

The truth couldn’t be more different. The “bad” addicts are simply the ones most visible to us because they’re struggling. We need to think carefully on the so-called functional addict, because they are living a very dangerous myth. The idea that everything is okay because you’re able to pay your bills and provide some sort of care for children is ridiculous. The reality is this: addiction matters no matter how your life appears to the untrained eye.

A high functioning addict is still ruled by their addiction. Don’t believe us? Just try to take away their substance of choice and see how they react. They’re not going to necessarily be happy about it, and we shouldn’t assume that they don’t need help simply because they’ve been able to hide so many signs.

Another reason to not discount the high functioning addict is simple: their bodies are still facing the damage caused by a drug addiction. It’s important to still reach out to family members that are struggling, even if they look “fine”. People have gotten very good at hiding their issues, and acting as if they don’t need to seek out help. The high functioning addict may also feel that we don’t take them as seriously because their lives haven’t completely fallen apart. If that’s the case with you, then you need to look at things in a different way.

Read moreHere’s why the functional drug addict idea is a dangerous myth