Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Overcoming an addiction and staying drug-free require a lot of effort. Learning new coping skills and knowing where to find help are essential. Here are some steps you may want to consider:

  • See a therapist. Drug addiction is linked to a number of problems that may be helped with counseling (psychotherapy). You may have other underlying mental health concerns that need to be addressed, or you may have marriage or family problems you need to work through. Therapy may help you regain your peace of mind and mend your relationships.
  • Join a support group. Support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, can be very effective in coping with addiction. Compassion, understanding and shared experiences can help you break your addiction and stay drug-free. You may find support groups in your community, and there are also several available on the Internet.
  • Seek treatment for other mental health disorders. Because people with other mental health problems, such as depression, are more likely to become addicted to drugs, seek immediate treatment from a qualified mental health professional if you have any signs or symptoms of mental illness.

Staging an intervention

Because many drug users deny they have a problem, they won't seek help on their own. Family members, friends or co-workers may need to persuade the user to seek treatment. If you have a friend or family member with a drug problem who won't get help, you may need to take steps to organize a planned intervention.

An intervention is a carefully planned process in which family and friends, teachers, clergy members, or others join together to confront someone about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her to accept a treatment plan. A successful intervention involves careful planning, research and teamwork. If you think you need to set up an intervention, learn how to do it correctly. A carefully organized intervention can be very successful, but a poorly planned confrontation can make the situation worse.

Oct. 01, 2011

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