Addiction Recovery - Relationships in Recovery

7 Great Ways to Support Someone in Active Addiction

Have a loved one addicted to drugs and alcohol? Here's 7 ways to support them without enabling. The Edge Treatment Center can help your loved one.

7 Great Ways to Support Someone in Active Addiction

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

January 17, 2023

The Edge Treatment Center

Drug addiction is a temporary way to cope with stress and relieve emotional and physical turmoil. Therefore, it is necessary to comprehend that several external factors contribute to an addiction. This includes mental illness and stress. However, when an individual is in active drug and alcohol addiction for prolonged periods, one must be compassionate to help them recover.

This article details the best ways to support someone who is in active addiction and explains how to maintain a healthy lifestyle ahead.

What Is Active Addiction?

Active addiction implies psychological dependence on alcohol or any other substance that develops over a period due to continuous usage. It means the person is actively into drug and alcohol addiction despite knowing the negative consequences of the same. These individuals are unable to stop the consumption of alcohol on their own and continue to intake drugs, alcohol, and other substances despite losing their work, family, and relationships.

What Are the Symptoms of an Active Addiction?

Active addiction comes with a host of symptoms that vary from one individual to another, depending on their consumption and body metrics. Some of the symptoms of active addiction that involve drug and alcohol abuse are discussed below.

  • Cutting away from society, ignoring responsibilities, and reducing interaction with people

  • Individuals tend to increase their drug and alcohol consumption over time to create a euphoric effect

  • Cravings that cause one to consume alcohol regularly and repeatedly

  • Attempting extreme and illicit measures to procure drugs, which include indulging in crime or stealing

  • Experiencing urges to consume or inject prescription drugs more than directed by medical practitioners to block out an emotion or pain

  • Experiencing extreme withdrawal effects whenever a person tries to stop drug and alcohol addiction abruptly

  • Being highly secretive and not including family or friends in any aspect of life

  • Missing out on school or work and poor performance level

  • Losing interest in hobbies and skills that once was a passion

  • Sudden weight loss or gain, lack of energy and motivation

After learning and identifying these symptoms, it is necessary to proceed with immediate treatment and support someone who is in active addiction.

What Are the Best Ways to Support Someone with Active Addiction?

One of the most challenging aspects is that the one who is into drug addiction is not the only sufferer. The ill effects of drug and alcohol abuse extend to family, friends, and all others associated with the person who faces behavioral issues and other problems in the addict.

Here are the 7 best tips to help someone who is into drug and alcohol addiction.

Tip 1: Educatingyourself About Addiction

An effective strategy to help a loved one who is in addiction is to educate them about the negative effects of the drug. Knowledge is power, and the more one learns about the consequences of active addiction, the more one will try to eliminate it.

It is crucial to understand the symptoms of the abuser to guide them toward better treatment. There are many government websites, libraries, and support groups that provide huge information on the same.

Tip 2: Interacting with Like-Minded People

Supporting someone who is undergoing drug abuse and mental health issues is quite challenging. Often, the one who is into addiction might hesitate and be reluctant to share or communicate. In such instances, contacting like-minded people who have undergone suffering and are in recovery will be beneficial.

Tip 3: Avoiding Temptations and Peer Pressure

As soon as one learns about the triggers of drug and alcohol addiction, one must guide the addict to avoid circumstances or environments that can cause chances of a relapse. One must support someone suffering from active addiction by surrounding that person with positive influences and people so that there are no triggers or distractions from the path to recovery.

Tip 4: Learning the Triggers of Addiction

Trigger refers to an emotional reaction that tempts or urges a person to develop drug and alcohol addiction due to a stressful event in the past. As per studies, extreme childhood traumatic experiences, certain people, places, or even an object can act as a trigger. Therefore, identifying the triggers and working accordingly will help a person immensely.

Tip 5: Consulting a Therapist/Counselor

After educating oneself about active addiction and understanding the symptoms, one must opt for behavior counseling and therapy sessions. In this case, contacting a rehab will be beneficial as they provide tailor-made drug and alcohol addiction programs. Apart from that, they conduct sessions that assist in healing mental illnesses that come along with active addiction.

Tip 6: Changing the Environment

There are certain instances where an individual tends to fall prey to relapse even after recovery. This mainly happens if that person stays in the same environment that triggers them to use drugs and alcohol.

Additionally, they may return to similar surroundings or interact with people belonging to similar groups that have risks of leading them to drug and alcohol addiction. Therefore, changing the environment is a necessity.

Tip 7: Taking Action Against Relapse

Approximately 60% of people under drug and alcohol addiction or any other active addiction suffer a relapse. Therefore, taking severe action against relapse and prohibiting one from indulging in any instance that has a chance of relapse is a must. In addition, consulting a professional or seeking help from a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center is a must.

Apart from following the above tips to support someone in drug and alcohol addiction, it is also essential to understand the risk factors that cause the same.

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What Are the Risk Factors that Contribute to Active Addiction?

The reasons for drug and alcohol addiction are person specific. However, identifying the risk factors of drug and alcohol addiction is equally essential, which includes the following:

  • Genetics: Genetics plays an important role when picking up any habit or addiction. Unfortunately, this means that if a family member is a drug addict, chances are that the other members of the family, especially children, and teenagers, will pick up on the practice too.

  • Trauma: Any physical or mental abuse creates trauma in a victim or the witness. To curb the emotional and physical pain, the person might opt for drug and alcohol addiction. This is where active addiction begins.

  • Mental Illness: To get temporary relief from pain and suffering caused due to depression, anxiety, or other mental distress, people often fall prey to addiction. They find a way to self-medicate either by injecting, smoking, or crushing the substances.

  • Environment: As said earlier, the surrounding a person grows up in play a significant role in picking up any addiction. Peer pressure is another problem and to "fit in," teenagers often adopt active addiction leading to teen drug abuse.

Understanding these risk factors is crucial since these are clues leading us to the reasons behind someone taking to addiction. This helps in determining which substance abuse the person is into and helps immensely during the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.

What Are the Difficulties Faced While Supporting Someone in Active Addiction?

Helping someone who is highly into drug and alcohol addiction is a strenuous job. This is because of several reasons and difficulties that the person may have to experience while extending support to the abuser.

They include:

  • A person who is addicted may not agree or be hesitant to share their problems with another person. Thus, they may start to oppose treatment and support.

  • Because of active addiction, chemical changes affect the brain of an addict. Thus the addict often acts without rational reasoning, which prevents them to refrain from addiction.

  • An addicted person may fear the consequences of sharing their issues with someone. This includes losing their job or a relationship.

  • Sometimes addicted individuals may feel hesitant to share issues with a doctor or a professional as they feel it to be personal.

  • They may engage in other addictions to avoid dealing with mental illnesses.

How Does Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle Help in Eliminating Addiction?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the key to fighting against active addiction and its relapse. Here are the following things one can suggest to a person who is an addict:

Meditation and Yoga

Throughout the recovery phase, therapists use yoga and meditation as effective treatment methods. Yoga and meditation ease the mind and body, provide clarity, allow one to sleep well, and remove negative feelings. It is a healthy and effective way to prevent drug and alcohol addiction.


Creativity broadens the perspective, polishes skills, and allows people to engage in positive aspects of life. Be it painting, gardening, or dancing, a doctor suggests that a person should indulge in creativity to distract the mind from active addiction. Creativity helps to prevent relapse.

Writing Down Inner Thoughts and Issues

Emotional turmoil is an effective trigger that may force someone to engage in active addiction. Writing down those feelings and emotions can help immensely during the treatment of active addiction. One can write down their feelings and allow their mind to remain stress-free.

Conduct Exercise

Conducting regular exercise is another significant way to deal with stress. Since the body releases happy hormones (dopamine and serotonin) while exercising, it ensures peace of mind. Rehabs teach and engage people in exercises, so they know to deal with their stress positively.

Support Network

Including an addict in support groups where people share their experiences can be helpful during recovery from active addiction. One must know that nobody is alone in their journey of healing. This boosts self-confidence and motivates people to accept challenges of mind rather than indulge in any addiction.

Apart from all these, eating healthy and maintaining a balanced diet are additional efforts one needs to recover. In addition, since the body becomes too weak during addiction, eating a balanced diet filled with essential nutrients is necessary to keep the body hydrated.

Here are all the details on how one can assist someone suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. Furthermore, a caregiver must identify all the symptoms of active abuse and refer to a professional treatment center for multispecialty care and an all-around recovery. Moreover, post-recovery aftercare is a must, and the addict must be monitored closely to eliminate any chances of relapse.

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We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

Do you have more questions about how to support someone in active addiction? Reach out.

Support and Care for Addiction at the Edge Treatment Center

The Edge Treatment Center provides expert dual diagnosis care for addiction and anxiety. They do this through individualized treatment plans, evidence-based care, and building a sense of community. We also conduct frequent trips, social events, and adventures to strengthen bonds, create new healthy relationships, and prove recovery can (and should be!) fun. Contact The Edge Treatment Center today to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an intervention help in active addiction?

An intervention is an effective method, often performed under the supervision of professionals, to cure someone of drug and alcohol addiction. Experts formulate a treatment plan based on the symptoms and behavioral patterns before starting the process.

What not to do while helping someone in active addiction?

As per reports, almost 78% of U.S. adolescents consume alcohol, but only a few seek help. Therefore, a family member must identify the symptoms of abuse and reach out to professional care for support.

Can Community Reinforcement and Family Training help an addict?

Several rehabs for drug and alcohol addiction follow the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) method. This evidence-based procedure allows family members to intervene and help their loved ones with the right approaches.

Why is it necessary to establish trust while helping someone in active addiction?

People into drug and alcohol addiction often do not open up to their family or friends. Building trust, regaining, and maintaining it is essential to guide the addict in the path of recovery and follow-up rehabilitation.

What to do if someone who is addicted to drugs refuses to accept help?

If an addicted person refuses to accept help, one must not be impatient. Instead, one should contact professional counselors from authorized rehab centers and extend support to build trust. This will guide an addict on the path to recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.

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