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How to Help Someone Stop Using Drugs

by | Last updated Oct 2, 2020 at 3:55PM | Published on Jan 5, 2020 | Finding Addiction Help For A Loved One, Health and Wellness

How to Help Someone Stop Using Drugs

When someone struggles with substance use disorders, they can’t stop using it by themselves. Addiction is a chronic disease that alters the brain in such ways that addicts are unable to control their actions and impulses. But, there are many ways you can help. Let’s learn more about how to help someone stop using drugs. 

However, if you believe someone you love is at risk of overdose, please seek immediate help. When someone’s at risk of overdose, it can be a matter of life and death. A drug rehabilitation center can help them detox from the substance securely and help them manage their addiction. 

Why Can’t Addicts Stop Using Drugs?

Nearly all individuals struggling with addiction believe in their ability to stop using drugs on their own. Because of this, many addicts don’t even consider the possibility of attending a drug rehab facility, since they believe they won’t work. 

Long-term exposure to drug use results in chemical changes in the brain, including impulsivity control. Thus, substance abuse problems result in significant alterations in body and brain functions long after the addiction ceases using substances.

These biological components make it difficult for the user to stop using drugs. Additionally, mental health issues or other psychological stressors can hinder an addict from achieving recovery.

When an addict tries to stop using drugs, they will experience withdrawals. These withdrawal symptoms are physical and mental symptoms the user experiences after they stop or reduce the intake of a substance. Depending on the substance, the withdrawal symptoms may differ, but generally include anxiety, sweating, depression, seizures, vomiting, and fatigue.

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms can be scary and sometimes life-threatening. Most addicts will immediately go back to use their preferred substance to use so they can ease the symptoms. Unfortunately, this vicious cycle increases their risk of overdose. 

How Can I Help Someone Stop Using Drugs?

Very often, the family dynamics of drug addicts change tremendously. It’s essential to educate yourself about the ins and outs of addiction. Often, family members can take on the role of an enabler. Without noticing, you’re adopting specific conducts and actions that enable your loved one’s addiction. If you continue allowing them, they feel the consequences of their actions less, making them less likely to seek help. 

Some things to keep in mind when talking about stop drug abuse:

  • Express how their actions are impacting you without being judgmental
  • Remember to show compassion and empathy but without enabling them
  • Set personal boundaries that you won’t tolerate
  • Be consistent in your words and actions 

Should I Stage an Intervention?

If you’re looking for answers to “how can I help a drug addict quit,” one of the best things you can do is organize an intervention. Starting a conversation is always an excellent way to at least consider the possibility of treatment. When you decide to start a conversation, be sure to do so privately. Talking to someone when they’re under the influence might not yield positive results. 

Consider talking to a professional therapist to help you set an intervention. A counselor can help guide the conversation positively and provide a safe environment for honest discussions. You might want to consider having a friend or other family members join the intervention. 

Look for Treatment

Even after an intervention, an addict might agree to get better on their own. However, most drug addicts are genuinely unable to get better without professional assistance. It’s best to start looking for treatment options together. 

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation can occur in a variety of settings and last for various lengths of time. Having a drug problem is often a persistent disorder distinguished by occasional relapses, finding the best drug rehab center is of the utmost importance. 

Ideally, you want to choose a treatment center that offers comprehensive and individualized treatment programs. These types of programs incorporate detox, intensive therapy, group support, and aftercare programs. All of these are essential elements of a successful recovery process and journey. 

Most people will start their recovery process through inpatient rehab programs that require them to stay in a rehab facility for the length of treatment recommended. Eventually, these patients will move to an intensive outpatient program or outpatient program to continue their progress. However, treatment works differently for everyone, so it’s critical to find professional help to choose the right plan.

The Sooner, The Better

Remember, drug addiction is a progressive disease. For many addicts, overcoming addiction t is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and routine monitoring. While you can’t force your loved one to choose treatment, you can still find many ways to help someone to stop using drugs. 

It’s paramount that you support them through their recovery journey. Those in addiction treatment need the encouragement and support of family and friends to push through recovery challenges. The sooner you help them notice the signs of their addiction and find a way to help them seek treatment, the better. 

While you’re there, also remember to take care of yourself. It can feel overwhelming to have a family member struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Try to find a treatment facility, like Lighthouse Recovery Institute, that incorporates family therapy and support groups for families into their substance abuse treatment programs, so you too can receive the support and guidance you need. 



Molly is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Case Manager and Vocational Services. She has a Bachelor’s in International Relations, is a Certified Addiction Counselor, and it’s currently working towards her Master’s in Social Work. Molly’s experience allows her to provide expert knowledge about solution-based methods to help people in recovery maintain long-term sobriety.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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