If you know that someone you love is on drugs, congratulations! You’ve done one of the hardest things ever. You saw through them.  Know that they probably put forth their very best effort at hiding it from you.  You are past the denial stage. You’ve opened your eyes, and because of that, you’ll probably be able to help this person you love.  Congratulations.  Good job.

Now that you know, let’s figure out how to confront them.  Before you do make sure they know you’re coming from a place of love.  Plan to share your struggles. Plan to tell them something you’ve had to work hard to overcome.  Don’t hold back either.  When people can relate to one another, they listen to one another, and they heed each other’s advice.  They seek support in one another. Seek first to establish that kind of relationship.

Find out what kind of drugs they are addicted to.  Do research on the effects of the drugs.  How long does it stay in your body?  Are there ways of hiding, and what are they? Can they fake drug tests? What affects are there on the body and mind? Are they long term? I could sit here and give you a list of the answers for many of the popular drugs, but that wouldn’t empower you.  Go find out on your own.  Go make that commitment.

Next, help that person find out why they need the drugs in the first place.  Are they struggling to cope with something? Are they trying to escape something? A memory? Something they’re embarrassed about?  Dig deep. Know that this will take time, and probably hours of prodding.

Explain to them that any time they need help they can come to you.  But also be on the lookout for ways that you can safely confront. Don’t let them get away with anything you don’t like or approve of.  Tough love is exactly what they’ll need.  Restrict access to money, your car, your house. Don’t ever cover for them. Reach out.  Offer support, but never ever ever ever enable them to hurt you or themselves.  When I dealt with drug abuse in my family, I found it was easier to deal with a minor because I had more power in terms of forcing them into rehab.  I had more power because I provided food and shelter.  It will be harder if you’re dealing with an adult, but you can still do this. Find out what treatment programs are available in your area. Many times they are free.  Seek the help of behavior specialists and counselors who are made available to you through your insurance company.  Call probation officers.  Call marriage and family, and substance abuse counselors and open up dialogue.  You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn by just talking, even if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Last but not least, pray.  Pray like a soldier, for your loved one to get exactly the kind of help they need. Pray that the help will drop itself at your doorstep.  And, be open to seeing the gifts when you get them. One more thing, never give up.  When my son was dealing with his use, his probation officer told me that the one thing people need is each other.  When we don’t give up, we don’t allow them to give up.