Helping someone with an addiction

Helping a friend or relative who’s struggling with substance abuse can be extremely difficult. There’s no magic formula to get them to stop doing this, however there are certain steps you can take to intervene. Here’s more.

First intervention

The first intervention involves you making time to sit down and talk to your friend or relative who is struggling with substance abuse without including any of his/her other family or friends. Sometimes just sitting down and having a conversation is enough to motivate them to be open and reach out for help.

Family intervention

The second intervention, usually happens after the first intervention fails. The family intervention involves reaching out to their close family or friends without the friend or relative who is struggling with addiction. This step includes educating family members and friends about what addiction is and sharing ways to better support the friend or family member who is struggling.

Crisis intervention

The final steps happens when all steps above fail and if you feel like your friend or relative has become a danger to themselves and those around them. Crisis intervention involves reaching out to some of the following organisations on behalf of your friend/relative:

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), they are open 24hrs and you can call them on 0861 435 722 or chat to them online here.

South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA), you can call them on 011 892 3829, or send them a WhatsApp on 076 535 1701. They are available from Monday to Friday from 8am – 4pm.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA), you can call them 0861 00 6962.

Recovering from substance use addiction is a difficult process and while we may want to help our friend or relative, the truth is not everyone has the strength and ability right away. The road to recovery takes time so remember to be patient with your friend/relative and offer your support whenever you can.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).