Legacy Healing Center Blog
Developing Skills to Discuss Someone’s Addiction Takes Patience
With nearly 20 million Americans suffering from a substance use disorder, you likely know someone struggling with substance use. Caring for someone struggling with addiction can bring up a range of emotions, from heartbreak to frustration, and you have probably experienced it all. Yet, learning how to talk to someone about their addiction in a way that is helpful is important.
As with everything in life, if you have not personally experienced addiction’s challenges, it may be difficult for you to understand or empathize with your loved one. Deciding whether to confront someone about their use can seem daunting and uncomfortable.
However, it is essential to remember that they are not their addiction, and they are worthy of a fulfilling life. Perhaps your encouragement may be what they need to jumpstart their journey to recovery. If you’ve decided to speak to your loved one about their substance use, keep reading to learn our tips for how to talk to someone about their addiction.
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6 Tips to Consider When Discussing Addiction
1. Utilize other family members and close friends: If you have concerns about your loved ones’ substance use, likely, others around you do too. Discuss your thoughts with your family and determine how you want to broach the subject. This conversation may be met with some resistance by the person you are talking to, so plan how you will address it.
2. Decide what you want to say to this person: Conversations like this are never easy to have, so it is essential to know what you want to say before you do so. If you get nervous quickly, it may be a good idea to write out a letter to read to the person during the conversation. Taking an empathetic stance will allow your concerns to be heard without making the person feel even more attacked. Use “I” statements to convey your message without coming off too strong. For example, “When you do ____, I feel ____.” Make sure that you are separating your love for the person and their troubling behavior. This method presents an excellent time to assess if they are willing to talk to a professional about their use and gauge their addiction severity. Maybe they are unaware of how their addiction affects their loved ones or don’t see an issue in their behavior. Having this conversation will help you learn where they stand.
3. Find an appropriate time to engage them: Find a private place where this conversation can occur. Ensure it is somewhere where the person is comfortable, so they are more receptive to what you say. Ideally, it is best to speak to the person when they are not already under the influence, so they do not get overly defensive or agree to something they don’t plan on following through with.
4. Be supportive but do not enable: Know the difference between helping someone and enabling. Inform the drug abuser that you are willing to help in any way, but do not allow them to continue to be self-destructive.
5. Remain calm and understand they may not be willing to accept help initially: It is difficult for anyone to learn that their family and friends are worried about their behavior, so do not be surprised if your loved one reacts emotionally. Let them know that you see they are upset, but your concern comes from a place of love. You want what’s best for them, and that is why you are voicing your worries.
6. Know when to consult professionals: Residential treatment programs have helped thousands of individuals struggling with addiction find their road to recovery. If your loved one expresses hope to the idea of treatment, reach out to an addiction specialist right away. Our addiction specialists at Legacy Healing Centers are always available online or by phone to start their path to recovery. If your loved one chooses to begin their journey with us, it will begin with a medical detox closely monitored by our treatment team and precisely tailored to their needs.
It may be challenging but it is worth it to talk to your loved one about addiction. Do not delay helping them get the care they need. Contact our team of specialists at Legacy Healing Center today to learn how we can help, (888) 534-2295.