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How To Talk To A Loved One About Addiction

April 19, 2024

It’s quite common for you to detect the signs of substance use in someone you love before they do. Having problems dealing with commitments, becoming secretive or defensive about using, or looking pale and unhealthy can all be signs of addiction.

But how do you approach them about this uncomfortable topic? The one thing you don’t want to do is push away a person who is battling with substance use. Here’s how to talk to a loved one about addiction and how to get them started with recovery.

Plan To Talk About Their Addiction Somewhere They Will Be Comfortable

Confronting someone you love about their addiction is called an intervention. This is when you inform them that you know they have a condition and want them to find specialized treatment.

Discussing their dependency will undoubtedly be challenging for them. Allow them to feel at ease by holding the intervention in a familiar place, like their residence or a well-liked meeting place. If you wish to have some assistance, invite other people who know and care about this individual. You also should pick a time when you’ll have enough time to discuss.

Be Direct And Truthful

When discussing alcohol or drug disorders, you need to be straightforward. Don’t dance around the matter or rely on perplexing euphemisms. Tell your friend or family member that you have concerns about their alcohol or drug use. Relate the signals of addiction you have observed, such as being less than forthcoming, withdrawing from others, neglecting commitments, or partaking in dangerous activities. Be forthcoming about the withdrawal symptoms that you’ve witnessed, like how they become sick and irritable when they go without their substance. Impress upon them that you have concerns about their health, love them, and want to help.

The individual you’re trying to help could respond in a negative fashion. In spite of how lovingly you make your point, they might feel embarrassed, ashamed, or angry. Continue to speak firmly but civilly. Avoid arguing or shouting. Keep in mind, your goal is to help them better their lives, not feel more inadequate.

Allow Them To Speak

Your friend or family member may feel under attack or overwhelmed if you dominate the conversation. Give them an opportunity to reply when they appear to want to. They might not have much to say at first. Or, they could be quarrelsome. Allow them to speak their mind and avoid passing judgment. Don't push them if they aren’t set to participate or get help today. Tell them you’re able to converse when they want, and you will take it up again soon.

Create And Hold Your Boundaries

A substance use disorder is damaging to more than the person using drugs or alcohol. If your friend’s or family member’s addiction is affecting you, tell them. Create limits to prevent it from impacting you more. That might include telling them you will not supply them with additional money or they aren’t allowed to approach susceptible members of the family until they start recovery. If they don’t agree to those limits, be firm. These limits shield you and demonstrate how resolute you are about this situation.

Make An Offer To Help Them Get Treatment

Requesting treatment for addiction is intimidating, so offer to help your friend or family member. This is among the most essential facets of how to talk to a loved one about their addiction. Investigate substance use treatment centers and be prepared with the details you find. Offer to make the phone call, give them a ride, or help cover the cost of treatment, if feasible. If they turn down treatment today, tell them you’ll hold onto the resources you uncovered and help them the moment they’re ready to move forward.

Learn More About How To Talk To A Loved One About Addiction

Need help locating drug or alcohol use treatment for someone you care about? Evolve Recovery Center is your respected local substance use disorder treatment provider. Call us at 888-369-7727 or complete the form on this page to talk with us right away about getting started. We pick up the phone 24 hours a day, all year long. We’re ready to assist you and the person close to you whenever you need us.