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How to Convince Someone to Get Help for Drug Addiction

Drug addiction and overdose are among the world’s leading causes of death among young adults and youths. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths hit 70,630 in the United States in 2019, a 4.8% increase from 2018. Drug addiction is serious and often life-threatening. It can have a colossal impact on the individual and everyone surrounding the person. While seeking medical help is appropriate, persuading the individual to seek help may be overwhelming and tiring. 

Convincing someone to go to rehab is one of the most challenging and most delicate things you can do for an addict. You will face vehemence and, sometimes, get into altercations. The worse thing is you may feel unsure of how to help them.

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How to Convince Someone to Get Help for Drug Addiction

If you have a friend or a family member battling drug addiction, here are some steps you can take to convince them to seek help;

Understand Addiction

You can’t convince someone to get help if you have no idea what addiction is. Addiction is a complex condition that affects the CNS and behavior. Several factors, such as trauma, genetics, and the environment can result in addiction. You need to understand that people with addiction have an insatiable appetite for drugs, despite knowing the adverse effects it can have on their lives. If you understand these, you are one step into convincing them to get help.

Express Your Worry

Let the individual know you care about them and their worrisome drug addiction. Use “I” statements to avoid being too aggressive. When conversing, share your observations and concerns about their drug addiction and specify the moments where they exhibited some behaviors that caused you to worry. It is crucial to focus on the negative consequences of addiction on their health and general well-being. Then you can talk about the benefits of addiction treatment, such as improved relationships and quality of life.

Know the Available Treatment Options

Apart from understanding addiction and its effect, educate yourself on the available treatment types. This includes learning about evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and medication-assisted treatment. Knowing these will prepare you to answer any questions the person may have.

Be Compassionate

When talking about addiction, approach the conversation with compassion. Addiction is a delicate and an emotional topic, and your loved one may feel ashamed. Listen actively without being judgemental and confrontational. Express your concerns clearly without pinning any blame on the person.

Offer Support

In cases regarding addiction, you need to show the person love and support. Let them know you’re there to help them to overcome their addiction and that you believe they will. Offer to accompany them to appointments or therapy sessions and help them make the necessary arrangements.

Avoid Enabling and Set Boundaries

While we said you should show them your love and support, you shouldn’t provide the person with money or any resources that could aid their addiction. Opt to pay for the person’s treatment or purchase the “supposed” items they requested. In most cases, they will trick you into believing they need something they don’t just to fuel their addiction. Let them know you won’t help them anymore until they get treatment.

Be Patient

Deciding to seek treatment is personal and may take some time. Avoid pressuring the person to get help, but continue to offer support and emphasize the benefits of seeking treatment.

Seek Formal Intervention

Sometimes, your efforts to convince your loved one to get help may prove futile. You may consider a formal intervention in severe cases. This includes involving other concerned individuals to encourage the person to seek treatment.


Conclusively, if you cannot convince them to seek help, you must seek professional help. Talk to a therapist, support groups, or an addiction specialist, about your situation. They can help you navigate the situation and advise on the best action.

Convincing someone to seek medical help to overcome addiction can be difficult. Still, there are ways you can go about it. Following the above steps can help your loved one take the first step toward recovery. Remember, you can’t force them to seek help, as it’s a personal decision. However, your encouragement can put them on the path to sobriety.

If you want a therapist to talk to about your loved one’s addiction, we at CFC can give you a listening ear. We are experienced in addiction treatment and can help to convince your friend or family member to seek help.