5 Ways to Approach Someone You Think Has a Substance Addiction


Substance addiction is on the rise and people of all ages can be affected. Overcoming the constraints of addiction is not always easy and often requires professional intervention. Those who have friends and loved ones with an addiction often find it difficult to approach the issue. Being able to properly approach an addict can help them to see they need help to overcome their addiction and find freedom.

Professional Intervention Is Often Needed

Seeking professional help is essential when someone has a substance addiction. By visiting HarrisHouseSTL.org, individuals can learn more about their treatment options and how integrated treatment can help them rise above their addiction. There are inpatient and outpatient programs to meet every addiction treatment need.

How to Approach a Substance Addict

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most people begin using drugs when they are teens. Substance abuse quickly follows and individuals find themselves drowning in addiction. If you have a loved one who is abusing, knowing how to approach them regarding their addiction is essential. The following offers five tips on how to approach an addict.

  1. Before approaching an addict, it is wise to become educated on the subject. Someone who has never been addicted to drugs may come off as seeming unsympathetic because they cannot fully relate. The more educated a person is on the subject, the better equipped they will be to approach the person with true understanding.


  1. A private conversation is important when first addressing an addict. Embarrassing someone by attempting to call them out in a crowd is likely to make things worse and close them off to conversation. A private conversation shows you truly care about the person and are not trying to shame them.


  1. Backing up what is said with fact is vital. Try to refrain from using your opinion as this can seem overly judgmental. Helping the addict to understand the ramifications of their addiction can sometimes lead to a wakeup call. Be prepared with printed statistics and health information that can be left with the addict.


  1. Sometimes, private conversations do not help and individuals need to resort to interventions. Gathering the person’s close friends and loved ones allows everyone to offer their support and concern. Interventions are sometimes effective in helping an addict realize their addiction affects everyone they care about.


  1. Providing information for drug abuse treatment is beneficial for addicts. This does not need to be done in a pushy way. For the best results, simply voice your concerns and leave them with the pamphlets and information so they can look them over in private. Seeking treatment is a very personal decision and those who feel forced into it are likely not to get the best results.

Do Not Be an Enabler

One of the biggest issues people face with addicts is becoming an enabler. Enablers make it easier for individuals to use drugs, even though that may not be their intention. Allowing the addict to make excuses and continue to use is not healthy. Often, enablers find themselves in compromising situations they later regret.


Approaching an addict should be done with care and love. Showing respect to the addict and helping them understand their addiction is essential. Do not be discouraged if you do not get the outcome you had hoped for. It takes time for addicts to realize they need help.