Helping your friend to recognise the problem has to be the first step. Explain to them calmly why you think their behaviour is a problem and the effect that you see it having on them and other people around them. They may resist the idea, but your concern may plant a seed that they can respond to later.
If your friend is coming to terms with the fact that they have a problem, then It is not unusual for them to need help to quit the addictive behaviour as it is very hard to do, and even harder if they are doing it alone. Most people with a drug or alcohol problem need professional assistance or a treatment program to effectively control the problem.
Help your friend to find a treatment program by doing some browsing to find information and an appropriate service, such as a drug and alcohol service (check out the resources page).
Your friend has a much better chance of changing their behaviour if they follow some of these suggestions, which you can assist them with:
- Suggest they tell friends and family about the decision to fight the addiction. Those people who aren’t 100% supportive should be avoided.
- Avoid events where there are drugs/alcohol etc and try some different types of events that don’t involve the object of addiction.
- Addiction is hard to get over, if they fail at times encourage them to immediately deal with the addiction with renewed energy.
- Have a plan of action about what to do should your friend find themselves in a place with drugs/alcohol etc.
You can also help your friend by
- Offering to be there if they need to call when they are really finding it difficult to abstain. Encourage them to do this as they will find it very hard to fight the addiction alone.
- Talk openly about your concerns if you think they may be slipping back into old patterns and ask what you can do to help.
- Tell them how well they are doing when they have avoided drugs/alcohol etc. It is a great motivator!