About Novus Detox®

Getting Help for Someone on Drugs or Alcohol

How Do I Talk To Someone About Getting Help?

When speaking to groups of people about drug abuse or appearing on panels or on talk radio, there are a number of questions that we receive. Some of them are:

  • “My son knows that heroin is ruining his life and that he is risking jail. How can I help him stop?”
  • “My daughter took methadone and is becoming more listless every day. She says that it is too painful to stop taking methadone. What do I do?”
  • “My wife is drinking more and more all day long. She needs help. How do I get through to her?”
  • “My husband is taking OxyContin for an injury but the doctor keeps giving him more and more and now he can’t think or function. He says that his pain is increasing. How can I save him?”
  • “My daughter has been abusing prescription narcotics and her doctor recommended that she go to a methadone clinic. To me, this is substituting one drug for another. How can I convince her that she needs to stop taking any drugs?”

Generally, the person asking the question admits that they have at various times tried to reason with, beg, threaten, yell, or scream at the substance abuser, but to no avail. They believe that if they can’t get their loved ones to get help, that jail, a ruined life, or an early death is inevitable.

Hope Of Success In Getting Off Drugs Or Alcohol

Here are some commonly held beliefs from many people with substance abuse problems:

  • Because they tried and failed to stop drinking or using drugs, there is no hope for them getting sober.
  • They don’t believe the relationships they’ve damaged or destroyed because of their substance abuse can be repaired.
  • They believe that they have ruined their lives and have no shot at a normal life.

No matter what you say, unless the person has some hope of success, most will not risk failing again. This is something that you have to help the person realize is still possible if you are going to have any real chance of success.

Talking To Others About Their Addiction

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer on how to speak with other people about drug use, but over the years we have put together some guidelines that we find extremely helpful.

No matter how hard it is, you have to decide not to be a parent, wife, child, or another relative, but simply to be a friend. Albert Camus, the French novelist, said,

“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
  • All of us more easily accept help from people we regard as our friends.
  • Why? Because our friends want us to succeed.
  • None of us accept help easily from someone that we feel doesn’t understand us or is simply trying to get us to do something to make them feel better.

Understand that the substance abuser is convinced that the use of the substance is helping with a problem that the abuser has or thinks he or she has. The problem may be:

  • At school
  • With their friends (a way to be popular)
  • With their family
  • With their job
  • With some shortcoming that the abuser believes that he or she has

While this problem may seem trivial to you, or even non-existent, it is very real to the person abusing a substance. The substance abuser truly believes that, because of the problem, taking the substance is the right thing to do or the only way they can survive. Humans always try to find a way to explain to themselves and others that what they are doing is right.

We may kick the dog for no reason, but if questioned about it, we say that it was the right thing to do because the dog was about to attack. We have a car wreck, and the cause was not because we took our eyes off the road but because the brakes were bad or the other person stopped too soon. The substance abuser truly believes (or did believe at one point) that using the drug or alcohol is the right thing to do.

Fear Of Withdrawal From Addictive Substances

After the loss of hope, the biggest impediment to getting help is fear. Some of the most common fears people addicted to drugs or alcohol include:

  • The pain of withdrawal
  • How they are going to confront their problems without the substance
  • They are afraid that without the drug and/or alcohol, they will not be able to face life or, in some cases, be able to tolerate the pain that they believe is there

Assuming that you agree with the above points, how you apply them when you speak to your loved one is very dependent on the individual situation. However, simply telling the substance abuser that they must stop taking the drug seldom, if ever works.

How You Can Help Someone Who Is Addicted

First, and most important, decide that you are going to be their friend; second, decide that you are going to make it safe enough for them to tell you the problem that they are trying to solve.

This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with what they are doing, but it does mean that they need to understand that you really care and want to provide any help that they are willing to receive. Sometimes they will tell you if you ask, “What is ruining your life?” Remember, it is not important what you think of the problem, only that it is what the substance abuser says is the problem. Accept it at face value and proceed. Once you have helped them to identify the problem, acknowledge that it is a real problem and that you can see how abusing a substance might seem to be a solution.

The next step is to gently direct the person to look at some other possible solutions. Remember, after years of facing problems and experiencing life through the altered perceptions caused by alcohol and drugs, most addicts are terrified of how they are going to react to problems after they are off drugs or alcohol. What will their personality be like? Will they be able to experience joy and how will they react to issues on the job, or with their spouse, or children, or friends?

Environment can be an important factor in their recovery. If the person can be made to look around their environment and spot things that are adding stress, they may find a person or even a thing, like an unreliable car. Maybe it is where they are living and they need to move. Maybe they need a new job or even a new school. Maybe they need to find new friends. Taking these stresses out of their life will often free enough energy that the person will see things more clearly.

Education is another important factor. At Novus Medical Detox Center, we have found that few of our patients understand what the substance is doing to their bodies. It is a big mystery, an unknown, and all of us tend to fear the unknown. This is easily handled, and there is a wealth of information available on the internet and on our website. Telling someone that a substance is bad for them is no substitute for showing them data explaining what effect the substance is having on them. Here are some articles that you might show them:

It’s also important to help them get a thorough medical exam. Let them know that one of the reasons that many have a substance abuse problem is due to a physiological problem. At Novus Medical Detox Center, we recommend that our patients see a type of medical doctor who practices Integrative Medicine or Holistic Medicine. These doctors are willing to take the time to find the cause of symptoms and not just treat the symptoms.

Sometimes, getting someone hydrated eliminates most of their symptoms. Sometimes changing the diet or repairing vitamin and mineral deficiencies will make marked changes almost immediately. We have found that a person abusing a substance has underlying medical and nutritional issues that, once resolved, will make it much easier for them to stop abusing the substance.

Once the substance abuser has a solution to the problem, has removed as much stress as possible from their environment, has educated himself or herself, and has benefited from a medical handling, then the new problem for the substance abuser is how to confront the pain of the withdrawal from the substance.

Again, many substance abusers have tried to withdraw, but couldn’t carry through with it because of the pain. Fortunately, Novus Medical Detox Center has developed protocols that safely and more comfortably allow people to withdraw from these substances. One way to address this problem is to show the substance abuser the success stories of patients who came to Novus to come off the same substance.

Read some of our patients’ success stories here.

This next point is vital: You should have a plan for the withdrawal and treatment. If the substance abuser decides to withdraw from the abused substance, then they should be immediately taken to detox because stopping the drug or quitting drinking could cause medical problems or if the pain of withdrawal would be too much, or they can just go directly to rehab.

You can call our counselors at (855) 464-8550 and they will guide you as to whether a detox is needed or provide you with some referrals to rehab facilities. Whenever they agree to get help, stop and take them to treatment. If it happens after they become educated, then take them to treatment.

The activities of our lives can change the way we see things almost from one moment to the next. This is why you cannot wait even a day to allow them to get things ready, because it is highly likely that they will change their minds about treatment and you will have to start over.

Remember, the reason people don’t get help is almost never the time required to detox and complete an effective rehab program. It is also never the money it costs for detox and rehab. When you consider what the abuser is spending on their drug and/or alcohol and what it costs them and their families, detox and rehab are great financial investments and are repaid many times over because in the end they save the addicted person’s life. How do you put a price on saving someone’s life? How do you put a price on getting a spouse back? How do you put a price on getting a father or mother or child back?


If you decide that you want to help someone handle their substance abuse, the important thing is to really want to help the person. Real help is also real listening. It is real caring. It is not talking at someone but talking with someone. Have a plan and a solution that you can present if the substance abuser agrees to get help. This may be one of the most important conversations that you will have—it may save a life.

If you are not comfortable having this conversation, then enlist the help of your pastor or another friend or hire an interventionist. Done correctly, you will provide the gift of a life — a drug-free life.

The Beatles’ John Lennon was a heavy user of drugs and alcohol. After he handled his addiction, he had a message for addicted people. He said,

“The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? Why do we have these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that’s making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it? If people take any notice of what we say, we say we’ve been through the drug scene, man, and there’s nothing like being straight.”


We develop an individualized medical detox program specifically for each of our patients, which means no recovery will look the same. Our delicious food, nutritional IVs and supplements, and specialized detox protocols are all designed to quicken the healing process. We understand that various addictions present a number of issues for the human body, so we create our IVs and diets to fit the needs of specific withdrawal symptoms.

Our process is all about you, which is why we have private and shared rooms available for our residents. Each room is outfitted with a TV, telephone, and access to the internet. We also provide educational classes that will show you how the drug or alcohol of your choice affects your body. We believe that to effectively fight off your withdrawal symptoms, it is important to know what you are fighting against and what to be prepared for.

To learn more about how we can help you,
call (855) 464-8550 today!

  • Personalized Detox Programs
  • Quality, Patient Focused Care
  • Medical & Personal Support with 24/7 Accessibility
  • Enjoy a Therapeutic, Spa-Like Environment
  • Our Programs Combine the Best Medications & Holistic Supplements
  • We Offer Private or Comfortable-Shared Rooms

Read Our Patients' Stories

  • “They cater to any little need to make sure you are as comfortable as can be!! This is the best decision I’ve ever made, choosing my first and last ...”


  • “This is the best detox I have been to because they really care. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.””


  • “Complete absence of judgment. Encouragement and genuine compassion!”


  • “I feel Novus is an amazing facility that helped me take the first step towards recovery in the best way possible. I think everyone saved my life here ...”


  • “[At Novus] withdrawal can be managed medically and safely with the most qualified medical staff, as well as other personal problems/needs.”


  • “Each and every staff member, from nurses to admin to kitchen to techs to housekeeping, literally went out of their way to show personal interest in ...”


  • “Thank you for helping me get into a program, I am going to take advantage of this! All the staff made my day awesome!”


  • “I would recommend Novus to anyone who needed this level of care. Thank you for everything and I will come visit once I am a new sober man!”


  • “You guys truly made my experience at Novus as comfortable and helpful as possible. Thank you so much, I cannot emphasize that enough.”


  • “I’m too hard headed to have a breakthrough in 4 days but I would share with everyone that the care and treatment I received here was world-class. I ...”


  • “Everyone on the staff was great and compassionate throughout my stay.”


  • “Your low pressure and sincere approach to your patient’s progress and well being was truly the difference between Facility and any other treatment ...”


  • “Best place ever. They all need to understand how well they (Novus Staff) do. Love them all.”


  • “I was truly amazed at how quickly my time here passed. I was extremely comfortable at all times. Each and every one of the staff members were overly a ...”


  • “Every staff member was friendly and helpful. My stay was healing and relaxing.”


Success Stories

For a Sustainable Sobriety™
  • Addiction vs Recovery: There's Lots More Good News than Bad

    This Thanksgiving, let's celebrate the good news in recovery. With the "opioid crisis" and "overdose deaths" in the news almost every day, you might ...

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  • Vicodin Detox Successes - Telecommunications (Vicodin)

    The entire staff is extremely helpful and go out of their way to make sure I was as comfortable as possible. I believe it will help me to utilize the ...

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  • Oxycontin Detox Successes - Student (OxyContin, Hydrocodone)

    Everything was great at my visit here. I was doing 180-210 mg of OxyContin a day . It became ridiculous spending most of my money on pills and ...

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