Help Someone



How to Help a Loved One

Living with addiction can be stressful and painful for family members and loved ones. It can impact the stability of your home, the health of individuals and the family, and even finances. You can take steps to help your loved one, your family, and yourself. 




Steps to Take

  • Understand substance use disorder as a disease
  • Talk to your loved one about your concerns and offer them your help
  • Speak up and educate others on drug abuse issues
  • Offer support, love, and concern to those in need
  • Develop support networks among family members and friends
  • Recognize recovery as an ongoing process and stay involved
  • Remember to take good care of yourself

Steps to Take



Actions to Avoid

  • Do not argue with your loved one while they are under the influence
  • Do not expect your loved one to stop using when you want them to
  • Do not try to make loved one feel guilty
  • Do not take on your loved one’s responsibilities.
  • Do not lie or make excuses for their behavior
  • Do not lecture, make threats or bribes with your loved one in order for them to stop using.

Steps to Take



For more information on what to do if someone you care about is abusing drugs please visit the The National Institute on Drug Abuse website . To learn more about addiction, visit .


Know the Signs and Symptoms




  • Sudden change in weight
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blood shot or glazed eyes
  • Slurred Speech
  • Dilated or constricted pupils
  • Paleness of skin
  • Headaches
  • Hyper-activity
  • Irregular heart beat



  • Mood Swings
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Compulsion
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Memory loss
  • Over sensitivity
  • Resentfulness towards others
  • Irritability



  • Loss of interest
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Financial issues
  • Involvement in criminal activity
  • Change in habits
  • Problems at work / school
  • Increased secrecy
  • Changes in personal appearance
  • Loss of control
  • Risk taking


Signs and Symptoms

For more information on what to do if someone you care about is abusing drugs please visit the The National Institute on Drug Abuse website.  

Life Saving Measures


HuggingBe prepared. If your loved one is abusing opioids they are at risk for overdose. Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.

Naloxone is available, without a prescription, at most Ohio pharmacies. If you cannot afford to purchase Naloxone contact your local health department to learn how to receive the medication free of charge through Project DAWN.

Project DAWN is an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) program. Program participants are educated on the risk factors of opioid overdose, how to recognize an opioid overdose, and how to respond to an opioid overdose by calling 911, giving rescue breaths, and administering nasal naloxone. Eligible participants are given FREE naloxone kits containing two vials of naloxone hydrochloride medication

ODH Project Dawn webpage