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addiction, substance abuse

1. Discuss the problem with your family member. Any addiction is a cause for concern, and some may be deadly as well as devastating every aspect of daily life. If your loved one admits that there is a problem then professional treatment can be sought. If the individual is in denial then additional efforts may be necessary.

2. Arrange for substance abuse treatment and then present this as a fact to your loved one. It may be more difficult for them to refuse help when this is presented as a fact and the arrangements are already in place.

3. Do not enable your loved one with the addiction. We often want to take care of those that we love, and to make things easier for them. If you enable the substance abuse you are not helping your family member and you could make things worse instead of fixing it for them.

4. Arrange for an intervention. This step may help bring your loved one to their senses and make them realize what their addiction is doing to those close to them that they care about. Often the individual will not be honest about the complications that their drug or alcohol use has on others until an intervention is performed.

5. Seek professional assistance from your family physician. Discuss your substance abuse concerns and brainstorm with your physician about how to get your family member the help that they need and deserve. The physician may be able to come up with solutions that you have not considered up until this point.