How to Ask for Help when Addicted to Substances
Addicts are no longer in the stereotypical category that we have seen in the past. Most addicts have jobs, families, and seemingly function on the surface. Addicts struggle in silence and are fearful about asking for help, especially when they have fooled everyone to believe that they are ‘ok’. When preparing to ask for help, you should have some guidelines that will help you stay committed to the process. The cycle of addiction is characterized by frustration, pain, loss of control, guilt, remorse, shame, and broken promises which will all be present when seeking help. It is important to follow these guidelines and keep in mind the end result is better than your present situation. Guidelines for Asking for Help:
- Admit that you have a problem. Acknowledgment that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol will have a positive impact on your presentation to an individual. It is extremely humbling to recognize that the addiction has taken over your life. This humility will translate when you are asking for help.
- Think about your options. When getting ready to ask for help, explore what options you have to be part of the solution. This will help with staying on track in the conversation since the person you choose to share this information with will be hearing it for the first time.
- Think about whom you trust and can picture yourself talking to about your problem. Oftentimes, family members can be too emotionally charged regarding addiction. It may be good to find a friend that you can practice by telling before you tell your family. A trusted friend may also accompany you for support when telling family members or significant others.
- Simply ask for help. Acknowledge that you have a problem, offer your solutions, and ask for his or her support as you get help. For example, “I am addicted to opiates and I need help. I have explored addiction treatment options and will need to decide on a direction. Will you support me in my decision to get help?” This format humbly communicates the need for help while being accountable.