How to help an addict: Psychologist Emma Kenny offers her advice

Closer psychologist Emma Kenny on how to help your loved one cope with addiction...


by Closer staff |
Published on

Addiction is commonplace in our society. We all hear about celebrities who seem to live in rehab. So, what do you do if you find yourself good friends with, or in love with, someone with addiction issues like Sharon Osbourne with husband Ozzy?

Firstly, remember that trying to help them get better is an exhausting and, at times, thankless task. You need patience- and lots of it. You also need to be intolerant of their drug of choice- so, if it’s alcohol, don’t drink around them.

Addiction is not only painful for sufferers, but for their families and loved ones too
Addiction is not only painful for sufferers, but for their families and loved ones too

The person you knew is no longer in control and they will act in selfish and dishonest ways, which will make you want to reject them. Therein lies the challenge- being able to love and hold on to the person you know they can be while living with the person they’ve become through addiction.

How to cope…

Equip yourself with information by visiting or, surround yourself with friends and look after your own needs first- self-preservation is essential.

Decide if you can stick it out. If it’s costing you emotionally and leaving you with a sense of hopelessness, it might be time to admit defeat. It’s a difficult road, but a worthy one, and with your help, an addict can confront their demons and get well again- but only if they’re really committed.

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