|NEWSRoom | Source: Harvard Health Publications|
When a Loved One Has an Addiction
Addiction harms individuals, as well as their families and friends. Substance abuse can lead to family disintegration, school failure, domestic violence, and child abuse. If someone you love has a problem with addiction, there are some things you can do to help:
Take care of yourself. Seek out the people and resources that can support you. Keep in mind that you are not alone, and try to remain hopeful. Practical help is available in your community.
Speak up. Express your concerns about your loved one's problem in a caring way.
Don't make excuses. Don't make it easier for your loved one to use the object of addiction by lying to protect him or her from the consequences of that use.
Don't blame yourself. Remember that you aren't to blame for this problem and you cannot control it. Allow the person with the problem to take responsibility.
Be safe. Don't put yourself in dangerous situations. Find a friend you can call for assistance.
Step back. Don't argue, lecture, accuse or threaten. Try to remain neutral.
Be positive. Remember that addiction is treatable. You may want to learn about what treatments are available and discuss these options with your loved one.
Take action. Consider staging an intervention.
Focus your energies. Encourage your friend or family member to get help, but try not to push. Remember that the only person you can change is yourself. Don't hesitate to use available resources to help yourself.
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