Helping Adult Family or Friends with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Helping Adult Family or Friends with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Identifying a Problem – Helping Adult Family or Friends with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

If you suspect a friend of family member has a drug or alcohol addiction issue then you may have concerns. But for many they are not sure if they are worried over nothing or if a real problem exists. This is because addiction is relative. One person may drink every weekend and not have a problem, while another can drink one glass a day and be an alcoholic. This can be confusing. So, the first step to dealing with any potential drug or alcohol addiction is to ask yourself the right questions. A few of these have been included.

  • Does the person take the drug in larger amounts or for longer than it is prescribed?
  • Does this person want to cut down, but is unable to on their own?
  • Are they craving the drugs or drinking on a regular basis?
  • Does recovery from a night drinking or after taking something take a long time?
  • Has the drug or alcohol caused relationship issues, yet the person will not stop?
  • Tolerance built up to the drug or alcohol type?
  • Has the person experienced withdrawal when the drug or alcohol is not available?

If the answer to more than one of these is true than a problem likely exists. While to some degree this may just be the beginning stages where a tolerance is growing, this can easily turn into full blown addiction. If addiction is present, then there are ways to handle the stress of having a loved one with addiction. These will be shared below.

Helping an Addict

The main thing to remember if an addiction does exist is that it is not an absence of willpower or ability. Substance use disorder is a disease that requires treatment and a great deal of support from family and loved ones. A person will never not be an addict, but they can abstain and reenter their lives without the actual use of the addictive substance. Anyone can become addicted to drugs. Even those who have no intention of ever being addicted. While some start out using recreationally, a portion of addicts are those who started out with a simple prescription that then turned into addiction. The thing to remember is that if a loved one is addicted, you cannot fix it on your own. The person has to make the decision and you can help along the way. Here are a few ways to help.

  • Figure out if you are overreacting
  • Identify the problem early
  • Have a discussion
  • Help the person understand a problem exists
  • Discuss treatment
  • Know what to do in an Emergency

Each of these will be discussed in detail to better explain the meaning. Know that not every part will be the same for each person and the options or presentation are not going to be script-like. You know your loved one best and need to approach the given topics in a way that will make sense to them, with facts and in a calm demeanor.

Am I Overreacting?

Though we have already shared some questions that you can ask yourself about a potential drug or alcohol addiction, you may still be concerned that you are overreacting. The main identifier is if there are problems in different areas of life for the potential addict. These may include finances, work, family, health, legal issues, social functioning, and even mental health or self-esteem. If these problems are present and continue in spite of the link to drugs and alcohol, then substance abuse has become more important than these basic areas of need. This means you are not overreacting and need to offer support, but make sure to observe for several days before saying anything and consult with a professional.

Benefits of Early Identification

Though many movies and shows portray people seeking help on their own when they have hit the proverbial ‘rock bottom’, it is still best to identify a problem early. This is best done at the first sign of trouble, before anything traumatic occurs. Identification of a problem can come from observation, but a professional may also diagnose an issue through screening.

Have a Discussion

Many times, people worry that having a discussion about addiction or possible addiction will lead to problems. This could be anything from making a drug or alcohol addiction worse to causing a scene in front of the family. However, a discussion can be a wonderful experience as the person may not realize that their behaviors have changed or that an addiction has truly taken hold. When you do decide to have a discussion, you need to remember a few things.

  • The person, nor you should be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Have a two-way conversation when you have lots of time, not a rushed heated discussion
  • Emphasize how much you care for the person and their well being
  • List behaviors you have observed and what worries you
  • If the person denies a problem then ask to speak to them in the future
  • Do not judge, speculate, or explore motives, instead stick to the facts
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations like a total change in that moment
  • Be prepared for the long haul

Help the Person Understand

This part can be tough as you may feel like a broken record having the same conversation multiple times without seeing change. You simply need to remember that consistency is key with the message that you love the person and you want to see them get help. This is not a time to blame or be condescending, just a time to show support when the person does decide to get help. That being said, you must set limits and boundaries for acceptable behavior until the addiction is under control.


Helping Adult Family or Friends with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Treatment options vary greatly and if a drug or alcohol addiction is not severe then an outpatient program may be enough, as can setting limits on alcohol. But for severe cases an in-patient option may be best. A simple screening can lead to a recommendation for intensive treatment in some form. If you do need to set up an in-patient stay then DARA should be considered.  DARA has centers in several places and offers an affordable in-patient facility with a resort setting. The holistic approach means your loved one can reenter life in better shape physically, mentally, and spiritually than they enter. This being said, any type of treatment should be discussed with the individual ahead of time as forcing someone into treatment is rarely successful.


Just in case the addiction gets out of control, you should prepare yourself for an emergency. Know what to do in the case of alcohol poisoning or drug overdose. Hopefully this is a skill you will never need, but knowing who to call and the right numbers can save a life in the case of an emergency.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.

How to Deal with a Drug Addicted Family Member

How to Deal with a Drug Addicted Family Member

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Identifying an Drug Addicted Family Member

Sometimes it is hard to identify a drug addicted family member when you are close to them. If a family member is drug addicted you may miss or overlook the signs that are right in front of your face. When you are trying to identify the signs of addiction, you must remember that drug and alcohol use tend to manifest as behavioral changes and inconsistencies. You should also know that the changes can be different for everyone, though some are more common than others.

Keep in mind that addicts and alcoholics are often the last to realize that a problem exists. They may feel they are being overanalyzed or that they have everything fully under control. Even when the signs are obvious, many addicts think they are well hidden. Before discussing how to deal with an addicted family member, we will first discuss how to identify an addict in the family.

Not every sign or indicator will apply to all addicts, nor will all identifiers be listed or explained, but these are some of the most common and include:

  • Isolating Oneself
  • Mood Swings
  • Financial Issues

These three areas are typical problem areas for addicts, though few will ever realize the problem exists or admit it before they are relatively low. Each of these areas will be better explained below.


One of the first behavioral signs that are normally seen is that of isolation. While it may not start out as isolation, the addict will start to withdrawal either physically or emotionally over time. At first this may be just time to oneself or relaxing after a long, hard day at work. In this solidarity, the person will find themselves escaping with drugs or alcohol. This could also manifest as a way to hide the addiction, like going out for a few groceries and not returning for hours on end. During the time gone, they will likely be drinking or using, though the excuse will seem like a good cover.

To further this isolation, the person may seemingly lose interest in formerly loved hobbies or activities. This can be seen if the person stops worrying about personal appearance, avoids family and friends, or reduces activities that were once regularly attended. This is to spend more time using.


Everyone gets moody from time to time, but when an addict undergoes a drastic lifestyle change like described above, mood swings also tend to be present. This may be in part to not having access to drugs or alcohol and withdrawal starting. The person may get depressed, anxious, paranoid, or even volatile. However, when drugs or alcohol are put back into the system, a dramatically improved mood can be seen. These mood swings may become more frequent over time, but will be highly noticeable.

Financial Issues

Sometimes life leads to struggling financially and while one bad investment can be troublesome, it is not usually something that cannot be overcome. However, when money becomes a constant struggle, yet nothing obvious has changed, then addiction is likely to blame. Drug use, and less commonly alcoholism, can be expensive to maintain. You may see addicts draining checking, savings, and even retirement accounts with nothing to show for the money. This may start out small, like not having money to go out and eat or buy groceries for the family, but can balloon into not being able to pay rent or for basic necessities. You may also find the addict asking for or stealing money to account for the discrepancy. Even with this type of obvious sign, the addiction may be denied.

Family with Addiction

If you see the signs of addiction in a family member, you may be asking yourself how to live with the chaos that is addiction. You may want to help, but have no idea where to start. In order to best help you must be consistent, have boundaries, and take care of yourself. Addiction is a disease and you cannot cure it, but you can offer support when the addict is ready. Below you will find some specific ways to deal with an addicted family member.

Families play such a large part in recovery for the drug addicted. While it must be the addict’s choice to start recovery, the family can offer support along the way and after getting clean. This starts by the family helping themselves through…

  • Finding support groups
  • Learning about addiction
  • Family therapy
  • Managing expectations
  • Finding joy
  • Getting exercise
  • Getting rest
  • Being an advocate

Each Area Breakdown

Each of these areas is pretty self-explanatory. Find a support group or supportive people that understand what you are going through and can educate you about drug addiction as a disease. Attend family therapy with the drug addicted family member if possible and feel free to schedule private therapy as well to make sure you are handling things as well as possible. Furthermore, manage your expectations. Addiction did not happen overnight and it will not end that easily. A person may relapse and need help again, but this does not mean they cannot be helped.

In all the chaos that is addiction, find small ways to be joyful. This may mean taking time to relax and enjoy away from the problem. You should also make sure you are getting plenty of rest and exercise as dealing with addiction can bring about depression, anxiety, stress, and even poor health. The better physical shape you are in, the better your mental state will be as well. Finally, be an advocate for your loved one. This is not making excuses for poor behaviors, but being supportive of what they are doing and educating others about addiction realities.

Getting Help

How to Deal with a Drug Addicted Family Member

If you or a loved one are drug addicted and are ready to receive affordable, effective care at a luxury in-patient facility, then DARA is for you. With rehab facilities in many countries, DARA takes a holistic approach to healing and addiction. Providing each client with physical activity, a trainer, nutritious meals, education, and therapy mean that everyone receives personalized care toward their road to recovery. Clients leave DARA prepared to reenter their daily lives and live addiction free. When you are ready to receive quality help, give DARA a call, they are waiting 24/7 to get things in place.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.

Five Must-Do Things if a Family Member Is Abusing Drugs

Five Must-Do Things if a Family Member Is Abusing Drugs

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Abusing Drugs – What is Drug Abuse?

It is often difficult to understand why or how someone becomes addicted to drugs. You may be shocked to know that many addicts do not look like those portrayed on television. But like every day people you see walking down the sidewalk. Some may mistakenly think that those who become addicted lack morals, principles, or even willpower. But this is not true. In fact, many addicts may wish to stop and cannot. In reality, addiction is a complex disease that takes much more than good intentions or a strong enough will to stop. This is because drugs change the way the brain functions. The good news is that research has taught us more about abusing drugs in recent years than ever before. Including how the brain recovers. This means that former addicts can go on to lead productive lives after ending the active addiction.

Substance Use Disorder

Technically, drug abuse is no longer a diagnosis. Instead it is now known as substance use disorder. This does not change the meaning, just the diagnosis name. It is still a chronic disease that is characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive in nature, as well as difficult to control, in spite of harmful or negative consequences. For the most part, choosing to use drugs for the first time is on purpose or voluntary, but with repeated use this can lead to brain changes that affect the person’s self-control and ability to resist urges to use again. These changes can be persistent and long lasting which is why this is classified as a relapsing disease. Those that stop using are at an increased risk to begin using again.

Though relapse is common, it does not mean treatment did not work, but as with other chronic health issues, it must be ongoing. Treatment should also be adjusted based on how each individual responds. This may mean it needs to be modified with each relapse or over time to meet changing needs.

Must Do Things

If you have a family member or loved one that is using and abusing drugs then it can be hard to know what to do or how to help. Perhaps you have tried some options, but without success. It can be a scary to think that your loved one is struggling and you may want to do all you can to help. But some find that their help pushed addiction further. This is because some forms of help are actually enabling. Some of the must do things for family members of an addict will be shared and then explained below.

There are five essential things to do if your loved one has an addiction. Whether it be to gambling, food, alcohol, or drugs, these are essential to better understanding and actually getting help for your loved one.

  • Education
  • Do not allow abuse
  • Do not enable
  • Seek help
  • Self-care


One of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved one is to be educated about addiction. The old saying is true, knowledge is power. You should not only be aware of the clinical definitions of addiction, but the signs and symptoms that may be occurring that you have not noticed. It is often much simpler to overlook signs than to acknowledge that a problem may exist. Along the same lines, some symptoms and signs may not seem odd until taken in context with other signs. A crumbled-up piece of tin foil may not send up red flags, but if there are burn marks or other signs, then a meth addiction may come to light. This is why being educated is so important.

Do Not Allow Yourself to Be Abused

It seems weird to be concerned about yourself when someone else has a drug issue, but it is quite common for family members and friends of drug addicts to be abused in a variety of ways. Emotional abuse is the most common form of abuse as irritability and mood swings are common for addicts. Additionally, addicts often steal from those closest to them to support their habit. In some circumstances, physical or sexual abuse may also occur in relation to the drug abuse. Just because a person is using drugs is not an excuse to accept abuse. If abuse occurs then seek help from a counselor or the authorities as needed.

No Enabling

It can be tempting to hide an addiction from those outside the family or not confront an addict about their behavior, but allowing them to do things that are wrong, illegal, or abusive is not helping you or the person with the drug use issue. It is okay to allow the user to suffer the consequences of their behavior. In some cases, these may be an extreme consequence such as jail or job loss, but this could be a wake-up call for the person abusing drugs. Learn to set boundaries and stick to them. If the family has chores, rules, a curfew, etc. then expect the addict to stick to it or deal with the consequences. If the person is continually given a free pass then they will take further advantage.

There are many support groups for those with loved ones who have addiction issues. Groups like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon can help you learn to set boundaries and deal with the stress of having an addict in the family. Individual therapy can also be helpful for those uncomfortable with group settings. Just know that if an addiction gets extreme steps may need to be taken to cut the addict out of your life. You must take care of yourself.

Seek Help

Much like avoiding enabling the person, you must take care of yourself if you are being brought down by someone in your life abusing drugs or alcohol. If your life, livelihood, housing, or finances are being affected, then seek professional help immediately. Private counseling is an excellent resource for this.

Take Care of Yourself

Above all else, take care of your own health and well-being. It may feel selfish, but if your mental or physical health decline, then you are not useful for anyone else. This can be tough, but when you need a break, a day or a week or whatever, take it to relax, unwind, and renew yourself.

Getting Help

Five Must-Do Things if a Family Member Is Abusing Drugs

If you or a loved one are abusing drugs or have an addiction, then seek help. DARA offers an in-patient rehab with a luxurious setting in several countries that can help get life back on track, addiction free. DARA uses a holistic approach to getting into recovery. You and your loved one are worth the effort.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.

Cocaine Cravings from Withdrawal: What to Expect

Cocaine Cravings from Withdrawal: What to Expect

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Cocaine Cravings

One thing that most people who are withdrawing will experience are cocaine cravings. This is a strong desire to take more cocaine. Part of cocaine cravings is driven by the desire to reduce symptoms of withdrawal and re-experience the high of the drug.

People may also experience mood changes. Users in withdrawal may feel depressed, anxious, or irritable. This is known as a dysphoric mood or depression, which is common in cocaine withdrawal. This is almost the opposite of the euphoria of taking cocaine. These feelings usually pass once withdrawal is over.

Fatigue is also common and a normal part of withdrawal. The user will feel exhausted, which is a natural low after exhilaration produced by using cocaine. This can also be due to using cocaine over time and not sleeping properly as a side effect. This can lead to sleep issues. One common frustration is the difficulty of actually sleeping when in withdrawal. Despite being exhausted the person in withdrawal may struggle to sleep due to insomnia, vivid dreams, and horrific nightmares. On the other hand, some may have hypersomnia and sleep far too much.

Many will also demonstrate an increased appetite. This may be increased because those using cocaine do not often eat appropriately. During withdrawal it is important to eat a healthy diet to rebuild the nutrients lost while using. It is also necessary to manage portions so the body does not react negatively.

Cocaine Withdrawal

The initial crash that comes with cocaine withdrawal can vary in intensity and may last from hours to days. Though for some heavy users, symptoms can last for weeks or months. This long-lasting withdrawal is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).

Though everyone will experience cocaine withdrawal differently. There are some common features which will be outlined. One way that cocaine withdrawal can be better understood is taking out a loan for something you love (using cocaine). But the debt will come up due at some point (withdrawal). The debt is typically paid off at a much higher rate so you have to decide if the payoff is worth the loan. In the case of cocaine, this payback is much too high. Feeling worse after coming down off of cocaine is a rebound effect and is the way the body maintains homeostasis. Fortunately, the effects of withdrawal are not permanent, intense, but not lasting forever. You can feel normal again.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is one of those drugs that may seem non-addictive to some the first few times they use it in small doses. These people may not be concerned over withdrawal symptoms because they are only using occasionally or in small amounts. Some may even be able to only use on the weekends for a time. But cocaine addiction is ultimately impossible to control. Over time and with repeated use the user builds up a tolerance or a need to use more and more to achieve the same feeling as with the first use. With tolerance and increased use, a person may become dependent. Once dependence starts then if you stop using, withdrawal symptoms will occur. People who use cocaine have a disease, they are not defective in any way. These individuals need support and professional help.

Whether you have become dependent and want to know what to expect or are fully addicted and dread the withdrawal period, there is help available. First, we will explore what withdrawal from cocaine may look like, then explore how and where to get help.

Physical Effects of Cocaine Cravings and Withdrawal

Those in withdrawal often show a physical slowing or agitation. The slowing is called psychomotor retardation and will go away with time. However, some experience agitation and move faster or are unable to sit still or focus on anything for a length of time. The individual may also have chills, tremors, muscle aches, and nerve pain, especially in the early days.

What to Do

If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as cocaine cravings then seek medical attention immediately. If the addiction was strong there is a chance that you will spend a few days in the hospital detoxing. This may require intravenous fluids and medical tests to make sure no permanent damage has been done through drug use.

Getting Help

Cocaine Cravings from Withdrawal: What to Expect

Cocaine addiction is scary. As is cocaine cravings from withdrawal for those who have to suffer through it. This is especially true for those who used cocaine mixed with other drugs or used multiple drugs and alcohol at the same time. When you are ready for the help you deserve, give DARA great consideration.

DARA is an in-patient facility that offers four, six, and twelve week stays to accommodate your personal needs. Created to mimic a luxury resort in many ways, DARA is effective, yet discreet program that caters to those who need to start on the road to recovery without the intrusion of their business being broadcast to the world. Luckily, DARA centers exist in many countries and are highly affordable for nearly everyone.

DARA created an evidence-based program that combined cognitive behavioral therapy with the mind-body connection to allow patients to improve mentally, physically, and spiritually through the use of personal trainers, highly trained therapists, and well-organized support staff. Enjoy daily physical activities like a workout in the gym, yoga, or swimming, nutritious meals created by a staff chef, and group and individual therapy sessions. Through each of these activities you will improve in health and overall well-being to get a good start on your road to recovery. CBT is a supported for of therapy that helps people understand the link between thoughts, emotions, and actions. If you can change any part of this cycle then your behaviors can be changed as well. This has been found useful for not only addiction, but anxiety, depression, phobias, eating disorders, and much more.

Call Now

Take the first steps to improving your life by giving DARA a call. You are worth making the effort to get help. DARA can offer just what you need, but you have to take that step.

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.

How to Get an Alcoholic into Treatment

How to Get an Alcoholic into Treatment

Alternative Treatment, Articles, Australia, Education, International, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

How to Get an Alcoholic into Treatment

The decision to send a family member or friend who is an alcoholic into rehab for alcohol addiction is never an easy one to make. There may be fears related to rehab. Such as how will the person respond to being asked to go and to treatment, and how to find a rehab that will work for the person?

There are many resources that can help you or your loved one. Knowing and understanding the process a bit better can help you make an informed decision. Ultimately, the challenges that present themselves are offset by the hope that rehab will change the life of the person you love and allow your family to heal.

When it is Time for an Alcoholic into Rehab

It can be difficult to know when it is time to send a family member to rehab. However this is the first step to making that choice. You must recognize and admit there is a real problem. It can be a challenge to recognize when a loved one is drinking too much. Not just over drinking on occasion. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are a few signs to look out for to make this determination. They include:

  • Missing work or school because of drinking or being hungover
  • Spending lots of time drinking
  • Regularly getting into dangerous situations while drinking (like driving)
  • Continuing to drink even when it causes problems with family or friends
  • Feeling physically sick when drinking is stopped (withdrawal symptoms)

Any alteration in behavior that causes concern or happens with regularity can point to a problem with alcohol.

Choosing a Treatment Option

When the time comes there are many options for treatment for alcohol issues. It may seem counterproductive to choose a facility or type of treatment before confronting your loved one, it is important to do the research ahead of time. For those with a mild drinking problem an out-patient facility may work well. This is a facility that is will see your loved one for group and individual sessions, often weekly, but sometimes more often.

In-patient facilities are the best for moderate to severe alcoholics. These facilities typically have a set time in which you are in a given program. Some are four or six weeks, while others last up to 12 weeks. Choosing the right in-patient facility means doing your research. Look for one that is affordable, that will meet all your loved one’s needs, and one that is out of the general area of the addiction if possible. Many times, leaving the area for just a short time can help your loved one get control over addiction.

How to Get the Alcoholic to Agree

Now that you have identified the problem and found solution options, you must convince your loved one to enter some form of rehab. Many times the alcoholic will not even realize their own problem or will actively deny it because that would be admitting a problem exists. There are a couple ways in which the subject of rehab can be addressed. These will be discussed below.

The first is to sit down and speak calmly with your loved one. If you start by asking how they are feeling and if any physical issues are occurring, then they may open up about some issues. Slowly introduce the idea that this may be linked to drinking. Your loved one may admit there is cause for concern and you can mention that rehab facilities are available. If they deny it, then it is best to leave the topic for the time being because a fight can push them into further denial.

The next step or possibly the first step if the opportunity presents itself is to discuss concerns after a big life incident such as a DUI or alcohol poisoning. This incident can open up the lines of communication and help your loved one to seek help. This can also come at a time when legal charges are filed as your loved one may be looking for a way out. Rehab can go a long way to reducing a sentence or charges. Though this is not the ideal situation, with addiction you take the opportunities as they come.

There is a chance your loved one will admit the need for help and you can support this by offering rehab options and supporting them in their decision. This is not likely for many, but is always possible.


Another option that may take one try or many is that of an intervention. Interventions should have the help of a professional and include only those who love and care about the individual. Those who cannot be supportive should not be included as they may be detrimental to the process. Review other articles to learn how to properly handle an intervention. If the intervention is successful it is best to send an Alcoholic into treatment at a rehab immediately.

Remember if your loved one refuses rehab then not all hope is lost, keep trying. Forcing someone into rehab is not usually beneficial as the person must desire help for it to be long lasting. Never use guilt to try to convince your loved one that rehab is best as ultimatums, lecturing and guilt are very ineffective and put the person on the defensive. Remain positive and analyze where you are and what the next steps are in the process. If needed, set boundaries and take some time for yourself to relax and regroup before trying again.

DARA Rehab

How to Get an Alcoholic into Treatment

If your loved one is ready to attend rehab then consider DARA. DARA has locations around the world with programs ranging from four to twelve weeks in length. DARA has been created for those seeking a comprehensive, yet discreet program that cannot be matched. The program is evidence based with a team of skilled individuals that will tailor the program to fit each individual client. All clients are expected to willingly participate in both group and individual therapeutic activities where clients will be encouraged to look at the causes and roots of their alcohol dependence. Together with staff, they will address problematic behaviors and behavioral patterns that have led to alcoholism. Through this process DARA can help to build enduring recoveries.  

CLICK HERE to get a Free Confidential Addiction Rehabilitation Assessment. Alternatively, you can click on the live chat icon to chat with someone right now.