Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Overcoming prescription drug abuse can be challenging and stressful, often requiring the support of family, friends or organizations. Here's where to look for help:

  • Trusted family members or friends
  • Twelve-step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
  • Your church or religious organization, which may have a Celebrate Recovery program
  • School counselor or nurse
  • Support groups, either in person or on a trustworthy website
  • Your employee assistance program, which may offer counseling services for substance abuse problems

Ask family members and friends for understanding

You may be embarrassed to ask for help, or may be afraid that your family members will be angry or judgmental. You may worry that your friends will distance themselves from you. But in the long run, the people who truly care about you will respect your honesty and your decision to ask for help.

Helping a loved one

It can be difficult to approach your loved one about prescription drug abuse. Denial and anger are common reactions, and you may be concerned about creating conflict or damaging your relationship with that person.

Be understanding and patient. Let the person know that you care about his or her well-being. Encourage your loved one to be honest about drug use and to accept help if needed. A person is more likely to respond to feedback from someone they trust. If the problem continues, further intervention may be necessary.

Intervention

It can be challenging to help a loved one struggling with drug problems or other destructive behavior. People who struggle with addictive behaviors are often in denial about their situation or are unwilling to seek treatment, and they don't recognize the negative effects their behavior has on themselves and others. An intervention can motivate someone to seek help for addictive behaviors.

An intervention is a carefully planned process involving family and friends and others who care about a person struggling with addiction. Consulting an intervention professional (interventionist), an addiction specialist, psychologist or mental health counselor can help you organize an effective intervention. This is an opportunity to confront the person about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her to accept treatment. Think of an intervention as giving your loved one a clear opportunity to make changes before things get really bad.

Oct. 11, 2012

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