May 27, 2020

How To Help An Addict Get Help

By Stan Popovich

Many people who struggle with alcohol or drugs have a difficult time getting better. There are many reasons why these people do not get the help they need. Many family members who see their loved ones struggle have a very difficult time getting their loved ones assistance. Here are six suggestions on how to convince a person struggling with alcohol or drugs to get the help they need.

1. Host a Family Intervention
The most popular way to get someone the help they need is to do a family intervention. This is when family members and an interventionist get together with the addict to tell them how they love them and wish that they get help to get better. Each family member takes a turn and tells the person how special they are and that they need to get help. The person who is struggling listens, and hopefully they become convinced to get the help they need.

2. Offer the “Or Else” Approach
Another way to convince the person who is struggling with alcohol or drugs is to have someone an addiction expert talk one on one with this person. This expert should explain to the addict what will happen if they do not get the help they need. The expert should warn the person of the dire consequences of what will happen if they do not change their ways. The expert should be vivid as possible and hold nothing back. The goal is to convince the person to get help or else they will suffer and eventually their life will come to an end.

3. Bring in a Former Addict
Find someone in recovery who has been there to talk to the person. Instead of warning the person like in the “or else” approach, this person can share their own experiences. The goal is to try to reason with the person so they can get professional help.

4. Ask for the Reasons Why
Ask the person who is struggling with alcohol or drugs to list three reasons why they will not get help. At first, they will say all kinds of things, but continue to engage the person and get the three main reasons why they refuse to get help. It might take a couple of tries, but listen to what they say. Once you get the answers, write them down on a piece of paper. Fear and frustration are often huge factors for the person not getting help.

5. Brainstorm Solutions to the Barriers
Once you get those three reasons, ask a professional for help in finding the solutions to those issues. For example, if the person says that they will not get help because they tried a few times and they failed, ask an addiction professional to find a solution to this issue that will help the addict overcome this barrier. The professional will be able to offer suggestions such as: “This time we will do things differently. We will keep a daily diary of everything you do. If you stumble, you will write down your triggers and feelings. When you recover from a bad episode, you can read your diary and find out what went wrong. Once you know what went wrong, you will know why you stumbled and will find a way to prevent this from happening again.” This will help reduce the person’s fears and anxieties and might convince them to get help.

6. Talk To Instead of At
Nobody wants to be lectured. Be honest with them, and tell them that it will require some hard work on their part but that they can get better. If they don't get help, they will suffer. The person who is struggling is scared, and they need help in overcoming their fears to getting help. Remember to find out those fears and address possible solutions to those fears. You will have a better chance of getting through to that person. The key is to be persistent.

Stan Popovich is the author of A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods. For additional information go to


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