Most important to helping loved ones with addiction is understanding a few basic principles. First off, it is impossible to help someone who does not wish to receive help. In these cases, the best thing you can do without putting yourself at risk is to set a positive example for your loved one. For instance, agreeing to DD for an alcoholic may keep them safe for a night, but it will also reinforce there poor behavioral choice.
Distancing oneself from an addict may be necessary. You may be pulled into their habit. For instance, if you are at a party where everyone is doing cocaine, you may feel pressured to do coke. Also, if the loved one in question knows that they are losing friends as a result of their addiction, this may be the jolt they need to stop. Aside from behaving admirably, it is good to let them know you are there to listen if they want to talk.
If someone does decide to approach you, there are several ways you may be able to help. The first may be to point them to the right resources. For alcohol addiction, the twelve steps program is most popular. The program advocates:
- Admitting you are powerless in the presence of alcohol.
- Believing a power greater than ourselves can lead to sanity.
- Turning the individual’s will over to God as he is understood.
- Taking a complete moral inventory of one’s self.
- Admitting precisely where you have gone wrong to God, yourself, and another.
- Ready yourself so God can correct the mistaken aspects of your character.
- Humbly ask to have these shortcomings corrected by Him.
- Create a list of all those you have harmed and prepare to make amends.
- Make amends with those people unless trying to do so would cause more harm than good.
- Constantly take inventory of one’s self and admit to any wrongdoing.
- Seek through prayer to increase your connection with the higher power as you understand Him.
- Bring about a spiritual awakening within yourself and live in this light thereafter.
Psychologist, prominent internet figure, and alcoholism expert, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson explains why this method of religious awakening is most successful in curing addiction by looking at the subject of motivation. He claims that since the goal of addicts is to get high or drunk, the only way for them to be cured is to aim at a different goal. The heavenly figure of the spiritual awakening approach provides this higher aim.
If your loved one is averse to a religious solution, then it is best to offer them another goal that they might value more than their addiction. The pursuit of a stable long term relationship or the pursuit of excellence in a discipline is great places to start. Many young men especially find relief in the daily practice of a martial art like jiu-jitsu. Online there are many inspirational figures, such as Theo Von and Jocko Willink, who may also encourage them to find a path that works for them.