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Various urban outlets are reporting soul crooner El Debarge recently checked himself into Rehab.  This news may come as a surprise to many because of his inspiring testimony and recent accomplishments of his current album, Second Chance.

If you’ve been fortunate to see Debarge perform the past few months, you’d think all is well in his life. Apparently not. According to the USA Today, the singer stated “he hates to disappoint his fans, but voluntarily checked into the center “to deal with issues stemming from many years of substance abuse.

Debarge was scheduled to kick off a national tour this Friday with fellow Michigan native KEM and Ledisi.

Alcohol and drug addiction are possible to conquer with support, love and understanding.  You may have someone close to you in your family or close friend circle that needs to end this bad habit.   You may feel helpless and don’t know how to assist.  Spiritual offers 5 ways to help an alcoholic or drug addict.  Check these out, maybe these can be helpful for you or someone you love.

1 – Understand addiction in order to help addicts

This is a logical and very necessary first step. Before you can learn how best to help a struggling addict or alcoholic, you need to understand the nature of addiction. There are several models of addiction that attempt to describe what it is and why it affects people, but none of those models are entirely accurate. Many people have heard of the disease model, which does a fairly decent job of describing what we see in the real world. For example, even addicts or alcoholics who have stayed clean for several decades can relapse and be right back to their old level of consumption within a matter of days.

Also note that addiction can affect potentially anyone, including those who:

-Have no apparent genetic predisposition for addiction or alcoholism

-Have very little environmental risk

-Have no moral shortcomings or laziness about them

Even if you do not believe in the disease model, learning more about how it works is a necessary foundation in learning about how you can potentially help a struggling addict or alcoholic. If you want to know how to help alcoholics then you need to learn about the condition.

#2 – Get help yourself in order to help the addict

We cannot control a drug addict or an alcoholic, but we can control our own behavior–including how we behave in relationship to a sick and suffering (and possibly manipulative) addict or alcoholic. Therefore, the best thing that you can do if you want to help someone in your life is to get yourself to an Al-Anon meeting. The people there can listen to your situation and give you the best specific advice on how to go about handling things. Educating yourself on how to set limits and boundaries is one of the most important things that you can do in this case.

#3 – Establish boundaries and set limits with the addict

One example of setting a boundary is telling a close friend that you prefer they not be around you if they are drunk or high. Notice that it is specific, and you have to sit down and communicate this type of request explicitly with someone. Setting a boundary like this is difficult because there is this tendency to hurt other’s feelings. But that is part of what is keeping you sick–caring more about this person’s feelings than your own personal well being. Setting boundaries is about putting your own personal well being first, and letting that be a guiding example of how to live. You know you are setting effective boundaries when you are taking back control of your own life and starting to regain your own sanity–instead of being all wrapped up in the problems of a struggling drug addict or alcoholic. This is a crucial distance you must learn to keep when learning how to help a recovering drug addict.

Click here for tips #4 & #5

If you or someone you know would like more information, please check out the organizations below:

Drug Addiction Helpline

Teen Drug Abuse

Addict In The Family

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