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How to help someone suffering from addiction.

The RISE Foundation is dedicated to supporting families who are suffering the devastation and heartache of having a loved one in addiction. Since you’re here, you probably have a loved one or friend whom you are worried about. You will want to know the following:

  • It is important that we work on changing our own behaviour first, not our loved one who has the problem.

  • This may be hard to understand at first, but the reality is that we are probably not going to be able to directly change our loved ones behaviour.

  • Manipulating or threatening the person in addiction will only drive them deeper into isolation and heavier into their addiction.

  • If we try to control another person’s behaviour in addiction we are going to experience a loss of control and real powerlessness.

  • Instead, if we focus on changing our own behaviour, we will experience full control and an empowering mind-set.

  • This is how we go about helping our loved one in addiction: by focusing on our own behaviour and how we choose to interact with our loved one with the problem…not by focusing on how we can change this person.

Please remember that your loved one’s addiction is NOT your fault and you are not alone.

If you are worried about a family member or would like to find out more about our Family Programmes please fill out an enquiry form


E-mail: support@therisefoundation.ie

Telephone: +353 1 764 5131

Mobile: +353 87 966 1919


  • Using more at more frequent intervals.

  • Having to use more to get the same effect.

  • Broken promises to control or stop using.

  • Lying to cover up the amount of alcohol / drugs usage.

  • Rationalising to cover up and explain away using.

  • Denying that drinking or drug taking causes problems.

  • Avoiding going to places where drink/drugs is not available.

  • Spending excess money on alcohol/drugs.

  • Needing to drink or take drugs to cope with worry, anxiety, and stress.

  • Erratic behaviour – mood changes, short-temper, personality change.

  • Change in personal relationships.

  • Employment/work problems.


  • A pre-occupation with gambling activities and obtaining money to gamble.

  • An irresistible urge to gamble with an investment in the high or buzz provided by such activity.

  • An increase in the frequency and amounts spent on a bet and taking greater risks to achieve the desired excitement or escape.

  • Loss of control over the time and money spent on gambling – eventually risking more than they can afford to lose.

  • Developing an emotional dependency on gambling as a strategy to cope with anxiety, tension, worry or stress.

  • Denial of the problems.

  • Compulsive gamblers often do not seek help until they are a year’s salary or more in debt.

  • Compulsive gamblers often (but not always) have strong feelings of wanting to commit suicide.

Check out this link to an excellent article on the major increase in gambling addiction during the recession and the devastating impact and financial repercussions on families.


There are three easily identifiable Eating Disorders:


  • Restriction of food to the point of starvation

  • Progressive and uncontrollable weight loss

  • Maintaining ‘thinness’ as an ideal

  • Disturbance in body image

  • Exercising and using laxatives to control weight

  • Frequent hospitalisation due to weight loss


  • Routine and regular bingeing on food, followed by purging

  • Using laxatives to control weight

  • Regular dieting followed by periods of bingeing

  • Obsessive pre-occupation with food and body

  • Self-evaluation, excessively influenced by body shape and weight

Compulsive Over-Eating (Binge Eating Disorder)

  • Routine regular eating of large amounts of food

  • Obsession with food to the exclusion of other dimensions of life

  • Overeats and comfort eats to the point of obesity

Is Your Loved One Abusing Drugs or Alcohol?

Here are 12 key questions to ask yourself about the behaviour of your loved one. These questions centre on the kinds of changes that are commonly seen when people succumb to alcohol/drug abuse or addiction.

  • Have you noticed a dramatic change in sleeping habits – either staying up all night, or for days on end, or seemingly never getting out of bed? (Note: lethargy is also a frequent warning sign of depression.)

  • Have you noticed a sudden change in appearance, or a loss of interest in dressing well or personal hygiene?

  • Have you noticed any sudden loss of interest in longstanding hobbies or activities that used to be much enjoyed?

  • Is your loved one having sudden financial problems? Does he/she always seem to be short on cash or borrowing money (for vague reasons)? Are things missing around the house?

  • Has your loved one been reprimanded or in trouble at school or work?

  • Are there obvious signs of intoxication or does he/she frequently look stoned or drunk, or smell of alcohol?

  • Has he/she gained or lost weight suddenly?

  • Have longstanding friends been replaced by new associates?

  • Is he/she touchy when you bring up the subject of drugs or alcohol?

  • Has he/she become more withdrawn, wanting to spend far more time alone, (or away from you) than previously?

  • Does your loved one seem to get hurt more often than before? Does he/she come home with bruises, breaks or cuts and have vague explanations for how he/she got them?

  • Has your loved one been in trouble with the law recently (maybe involving some form of intoxication?

The more ‘Yes’ answers you score, the greater the likelihood that substance abuse may be causing the changes you see in your loved one. This test will never prove addiction, but it may validate your concerns and strengthen your resolve to take the next necessary steps to confronting the situation.

The RISE Foundation runs both residential and non-residential Family Programmes with a team of experienced addiction counsellors. We provide individual and group counselling services to people adversely affected by a loved ones addiction. To find out more about our Family Programmes please fill out the enquiry form.


Facts About Addiction

The following facts highlight the extent of addiction in Ireland and the impact on families:

  • Up to 104,000 children are currently living in families adversely affected by alcohol alone (Ref: Alcohol Action)

  • Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to become alcoholics and 50% will end up marrying an alcoholic.

  • 33% of children of alcoholics go on to develop related problems in adulthood.

  • 55% of domestic violence incidents happen in alcoholic homes and drink is a factor in 90% of child abuse cases

  • Alcohol-related harm costs this country approx. €3.7 billion a year - that's €3,318 for every tax payer! (Ref: Alcohol Action)

  • An average of 7 people in every 1,000 in Ireland are defined as problem opiate, or heroin, users

  • The percentage of heroin users in treatment, at 50 per cent, is very high compared to other EU countries.

  • Children of problem gamblers have been shown to have higher usage levels of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and overeating than their classroom peers

  • It is estimated that about 200 Irish people a year seek help for sex addiction