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Addiction: Helping Others

How to Find Help for Someone

​​​​​​​​​If someone has a problem with alcohol, other drugs, or gambling, it can become a problem for many people. Many people around the person who has the problem can be affected. Often friends, coworkers, and loved ones can see a problem developing before the person with the problem sees it.

Talk to the person about your concerns. If willing to get help, support the person. Take the person to a 12-Step meeting (e.g., Al-Anon, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, or Gam-Anon). The SMART Recovery® Program is a free, self-help support group.

If you are concerned about someone’s alcohol or other drug use or gambling, there is help. The person you are concerned about might not be ready to admit there is a problem and might refuse help. There are still steps you can take toward positive change. Think about these steps:
  • Get information. Read about how a person develops a problem and learn the steps to take towards recovery.
  • Stop hiding the problem. Sometimes people around the person with the problem may try to cover up the problem. If this happens, it helps the problem continue.
  • Get help for yourself. You can get support, even if the person with the problem doesn’t want help. Alberta Health Services offers information sessions and individual and group counselling for family members. There are also 12-step programs for family members (e.g., Alateen, Al-Anon, Gam-Anon).

Take care of yourself to help you, your family, and the person with the problem.

To find out how to get help and make a change or to find an addiction services office, call the 24-Hour Helpline (Alberta only).

Current as of: May 7, 2019

Author: Addiction & Mental Health, Alberta Health Services