How to Help Somebody Suffering From Substance Dependence

How to Help Somebody Suffering From Substance Dependence



If you know of a relative or a friend undergoing the crisis of being substance dependent, then you will need to be aware of certain considerations you might have to take to help him/her get through the process of withdrawal and recovery.


Getting over a substance can prove to be yet the most challenging experience for him or her. It’s best that you are there to provide the utmost support he/she needs. Below are some suggestions…


  • Stay with the person. You don’t really have to say or do anything. Sometimes your mere presence is enough for reassurance. Being there counts.


  • While the person is experiencing withdrawal, always comfort him/her by reminding that the symptoms are only temporary. Gradually they will disappear.


  • Be aware that safety is the most important goal towards recovery. Substance abusers usually resort to taking in these things because they think it gives them relief from their problems. Without these substances, the person is faced with a situation he/she cannot escape from. At this point, suicides are highly probable.


  • Be conscious of your own response. The person may have bouts of irritability or anger. Its best that you keep your own judgment objective. Don’t respond in anger or irritability also. What that person needs is understanding.


  • If the person is hallucinating (seeing or hearing things that are not really there), be sure to present reality. Never ask them to talk about these hallucinations. It would be the same as acknowledging that these hallucinations are real when they’re not.


  • Let the person express his/her feelings or concerns. Don’t interrupt or give advice. Simply listen. By doing so you might come to understand why he/she resulted to using a substance to cope with the stress he/she is going through.



Although a lot of the recovery depends on the person, it would mean a lot if he/she has significant others involved in the goal of overcoming substance dependence. You just might prove to be a vital instrument in making someone’s life better.