The Truth About a friend you think needs help for addiction?

Are you an Addict who needs Help or does a Friend need help for Addiction?

There are many forms of addiction, and it covers a wide range of obsession and dependence. From enjoying something as apparently innocent as shopping or working – all the way to alcohol and hard drugs, they are all degrees of enslavement.

I enjoy my work, and my wife loves shopping. Does that mean we’re addicts? No, not necessarily, but the devil is in the detail… if we consistently seem to be enjoying those activities over and above all others, then I believe we would need to take a good hard look at the possibility of being addicted.

You may have heard the horror stories of having to share a life with an Alcoholic, but please understand that an obsessed Shopaholic in the family can be just as devastating and need help for addiction.


  1. Dependency
  2. Habit
  3. Obsession
  4. Passion
  5. Infatuation
  6. Mania
  7. Love
  8. Enslavement

Addiction – a variety of choice.


  1. Alcohol
  2. Drugs
  3. Inhalants
  4. Medication
  5. Tobacco


  1. Gambling
  2. Sex
  3. Internet
  4. Shopping
  5. Working

Each item on these lists has sub-categories, so there are many ways to lose yourself and those closest to you.

I consider cigarette smoking to be a relatively benign form of addiction. I was sucking down 3 packs a day when I quit years ago, yet today I still unconsciously reach for a smoke after enjoying a good meal. So I’m an addict who probably still needs help for addiction.

Help for addiction  -with your family and loved ones?

So, what behavioural characteristics should one look out for to understand whether you or a loved one or family member has a benign or malevolent form of addiction? The more serious the addiction, the more prevalent the mood swings. It’s difficult to spot because addicts can be quite cunning at concealment, but if you suspect an addict needs help, keep an eye out for these give-away signs

Personality changes:

  1. Activities that were once enjoyed are no longer of interest
  2. Missing appointments and other dates
  3. Chronic fatigue and changing sleep patterns
  4. Ignoring friends and neglecting family and loved ones
  5. Taking days off work for no apparent reason
  6. Over-reacting to helpful comments from others
  7. Becoming secretive and devious.

Signs of changes in health:

  1. Red tired eyes
  2. Bad skin & hair
  3. Weight loss
  4. Forgetfulness
  5. Sweating
  6. Irritability
  7. Aggressiveness
  8. Depression

So what’s next in your search for help for addiction?

Once you’re convinced that the addict is indeed in need of help, it’s best if you can have a one on one discussion with him or her in a quiet area with no distractions or disturbances. Address the problem as you see it, showing understanding, compassion and an honest desire to help, offering to share your genuine concern for their wellbeing.

Ask them to share their burden. If they are receptive to this, gently endeavour to steer them toward seeking professional help. Be kind and sympathetic always, never hard and argumentative, even if their response is sometimes quarrelsome.

Houghton House help for addictionShould this first attempt be unsuccessful, don’t rush it. Suggest you chat again another time. Meanwhile. make contact with a professional at Houghton House addiction centre to talk with a counsellor. Discuss the problem and ask for guidance regarding the feasibility of getting a small group of concerned friends and loved ones together socially – ostensibly for a meal . More of a love-in, really, with all participants groomed to play it cool and easy, but concerned.

If this proves successful in at least getting an agreement from the addict to talk to a counsellor at a reputable rehabilitation centre, like Houghton House and arrange an introductory meeting – with yourself attending.

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