Establish trust by being an honest person
Addiction has an incredible tendency to damage relationships. This becomes heightened when the individual doubts your confidentiality and maturity in their interactions with you. Addiction is a serious issue that requires a business-like disposition to tackle. Hence, it is helpful to be trustworthy at all times.
Don’t shy away from talking about their addiction
As much as they would want to discuss their struggles with you, don’t shy away from discussing with them. Talking is in itself a therapy, the more they converse with you, the more sense of belonging they feel and this can boost their mental health.
Before you start talking, study well about their addiction
Everyone fighting an addiction needs help, however little it might be. If you are close to anyone of such, try and study more about it to learn how you can help them to snap out of it. This will give you a sense of belonging in their eyes.
Don’t be judgmental
It takes a lot of effort to come out and confide in someone about a struggle especially an addiction. It is a privilege and you should treat it as such. One way you can abuse this privilege is by being judgmental. Doing this will potentially make the person retreat back into their shell, damage their self-esteem further, and weaken their self-belief and inner strength to overcome the addiction. As much as possible, avoid name-calling and don’t be a hypocrite
Listen to them more
As humans, it's so easy for us to assume our reality is the same with everyone else, yet our struggles are so different. When they approach you to talk, don’t be quick to give advice. At times, it's so easy to say things even when these things are unrealistic. Talking is a therapy in itself. Try and listen more and rarely give advice except when solicited by them.
Draw them out from their corner
Seclusion is a common phenomenon among addicts. It is an escape route for them to avoid reality and indulge their passion even if it is unhealthy. Addicted people always want to avoid activities that separate them from their addiction. When you notice seclusion and social avoidance then you can intervene by keeping their company. Don’t be forceful with it, but be friendly and warm in your disposition towards them. You can play games, watch movies, and any other social activity that draws them away from solitude.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t respect their privacy
An average human being can become irritated at undue and excessive closeness. Everyone loves a private time to themselves. In fact, your attempt at helping them can easily be jeopardized when they perceive you are invading their privacy. Spend quality time with them but don’t be in their faces all the time.
Set goals with them, but don’t place too much expectation on them
Beating addiction is tough work. Overtly, it may seem as simple as just stopping an action or activity but it is much more difficult than it seem. Help them to set simple and easily achievable goals but keep your expectations low so that if they fail to meet up to expectation you won’t get frustrated.
Help them get support
One thing addiction does is that it nibbles at your self-esteem so much till you become weak and vulnerable mentally. Ensure to help anyone you know going through that phase seek the help they really need and as much as possible keep encouraging them not to give up the fight.
Don’t give up on them
Overcoming an addiction is not an ignoble task; at times it would take several repeated efforts. At times both you and the addict may get discouraged and feel it’s a lost cause, but the moment you lose hose is when it really becomes a lost cause. Self-doubt always damages morale and when morale is low then even the simplest task seems so difficult.
Above all, get help too
Living with someone struggling with addiction can leave you bitter and confused. Constant exposure to the cause of the addiction be it a substance or a particular action or behavior can leave you vulnerable to trying it out. Do not refrain from helping anyone undergoing an addiction but at the same time, never hesitate to seek therapy if you are feeling overwhelmed.