Friends Help Friends through Addiction

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Support and gentle guidance may be key to recovery.


It’s hard to be supportive and caring when you’re watching a person you love destroy him or herself with drugs  and/or alcohol. People who abuse alcohol or other drugs may not be able to admit they have a problem. If family members or friends have a drug problem, help them to help themselves.

Be supportive and caring.

For most addicts, bullying them into treatment doesn’t work.

Drink Responsibly

Offer help on your terms.

You want to help the person get clean and sober, not support the habit. Tolerate the struggle, not the abuse.

Encourage the person to seek professional help.

•  Offer to go with him or her to a health care provider visit.

•  Provide phone numbers and websites for places that can help, such as: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - 800.662.HELP (662.4357)

•  Find out if his or her workplace has an Employee Assistance Program for drug abuse. If it does, remind the person that what is said to a counselor is kept confidential.

If your friend chooses rehab, let him or her know you will continue to be supportive. If the person refuses to seek help, contact a health care professional for advice on ways best suited to help him or her get the care that is needed.

Action Step

Be patient. Addiction does a lot of damage. During the rehab process, that damage is unraveling. It takes time.

Offer to go with him or her to a local support group.

Alcoholics Anonymous



Cocaine Anonymous



Narcotics Anonymous


This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


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