Many times when people know someone suffering from addiction, or have addiction in their families, they don't know the first place to turn for help. Now the Today Show has offered helpful hints from reporter Jen Simon, who is also a recovering addict.
The first piece of advice is "approach from a place of compassion," and as one addiction expert adds, "Never judge or accuse." Also meet in a safe, neutral place to talk, and "start the conversation by what your friend might care about most in life, like their family, children or career. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict."
Don't support the addiction. "If a friend asks you for pills, don't give them to her." If you suspect your friend could be an alcoholic, "try to avoid inviting her to events that involved or are focused around drinking."
Other key steps include encouraging your friends to get help, encouraging them to talk to a doctor or their significant other, and putting together a list of resources where they can get help, like AA.
And of course, encourage your friend to get into rehab. "Remind them that finding the right 12-step meeting or therapist is like dating - the first one may not be the best fit, but it's essential to keep trying until you feel comfortable. Let them know it's often easier for loved ones to see there's something wrong than it is for the person with the problem.