Addiction is a chronic condition that can affect many aspects of your life, including your physical and mental health, relationships and career. There are two main forms of addiction: substance use disorders and behavioral addictions, with alcohol use disorder as the most common substance addiction in the United States, followed by nicotine and marijuana. About 10% of people aged 12 or older in the U.S. have alcohol use disorder.
Many people consider addiction to be a problem of personal weakness, initiated for self-gratification and continued because of an unwillingness or lack of sufficient willpower to stop. However, clinicians and scientists alike now think that many people engage in potentially addictive activities to escape discomfort — both physical and emotional.
If you suspect a loved one is battling an addiction, here are some ways you can gently start a conversation with someone you’re concerned about, focusing on your own observations.
Sometimes, trying to help a family member who is addicted to alcohol or drugs actually winds up doing the opposite.
If someone who means the world to you is addicted to alcohol or other drugs, you may feel you’ll do anything to help them. Here’s what enabling looks like.
Remember: there is life after addiction. Most people do recover. A study published by the CDC and the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2020 found 3 out of 4 people who experience addiction eventually recover.
If you or a loved one need to talk to someone, call our support line at 844-YOU-OKAY. A trained counselor is waiting for your call. The call is free and confidential.