If you want to know how to help a meth addict, let’s start here: don’t call them a meth addict. Yes, meth is an extremely addictive street drug, but we want our loved ones to understand they are not defined by their use of methamphetamine. They need to be reminded of who they really are and why they should muster up the strength to stop using. This is particularly important with this substance because the physical effects of meth use can be very apparent. Plenty of people will remind them of how drug use has altered their physical appearance, but not many will express how it has affected their personality and relationships.
If your parent, child, friend, or anyone you care about is using meth, you are right to want to try and help them. However, be prepared for the reality that the recovery process will not be easy or fun. Here are 5 things you can do to help:
Educate yourself on meth use, addiction, and recovery
Take a moment to learn about meth, what it is, what the effects are, and why it is so addictive. Also, look into what treatment looks like so that you can appropriately answer questions and provide valid insight to your loved one. If you have no idea what you are talking about, then it is much easier for someone using meth to brush your efforts off.
Approach them with a sense of compassion and concern
Avoid making the user feel attacked or judged about their actions. Someone who uses meth is very likely to withdrawal from their typical social groups and activities. This is most common when they feel that they may be judged, looked down upon, or shunned for their substance use. Of course, meth use is objectively bad and should not be supported, but asking questions and avoiding judgment is often a much more productive approach.
Your loved one may not be ready to admit they have a problem or to get help. That doesn’t mean that they won’t ever be ready. Eventually, your persistence can pay off. Many addicts eventually hit a point where they don’t want to use drugs anymore, but they don’t know how to stop. They may have even tried to stop in the past, but ended up caving in to the cravings. Continue to be a person who they know will be there to support them in seeking recovery.
Practice active listening
Active listening can make a person feel heard and understood, even if they are under the influence of drugs. Creating a safe space to talk openly and honestly will make it easier to build trust and open their mind to the possibility of treatment. It can be beneficial to try and approach the user when they are not high. Catching them in the morning or early afternoon when they are waking up may be the best time to talk.
Reach out for professional help
You are not alone in this journey. Our team has extensive intervention experience and we are here to assist you in getting your loved one the help they need. Regardless of where you are in the process, we can provide guidance and resources on interventions for substance abuse & addiction. Addiction treatment programs can offer a wide array of options that are not available to the everyday person. Call our helpline now to talk with someone who can help.