It can be challenging at times to talk to a friend or a loved one who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Often times they are in denial about their addiction and will use deflecting techniques when faced with confrontation, such as denial, avoidance, anger, and aggression. Although it might not be easy, with patience, acceptance, honesty, and in some cases with the help from a professional, you can successfully communicate with them. Check out our blog for the following tips to help you get started!
Talk to Them and Stay Calm
The right time to approach and talk to your loved one is when they are sober. Many addicts are most clear-headed first thing in the morning therefore the best time to catch them is when they first wake up. When you start talking to them, make sure to go into the discussion with a calm attitude and avoid getting frustrated or impatient. The goal is not to have an argument, but to discuss the situation in a mature manner.
Put Judgment Aside
Although we are all guilty of it at one point or another, it is important to put judgment aside when talking to your loved one about addiction. It is hard to watch someone you care about slide downhill. There might be the urge to lecture them or come off too strong or harsh, out of love, but this will only cause them to get more defensive and can lead them more towards their addiction. The key to getting your loved one to listen and open up to you is by making them feel safe and loved. Be honest with them, but not in a way that pushes them away or makes them feel bad.
Be honest about how you feel and do not be afraid to express your emotions. People with addiction are usually very focused on themselves and are not aware of just how much their actions are affecting the people around them. So it is important to be straightforward and to let them know how you honestly feel. It is common to try to act strong and tough in order to protect them from the pain that their addiction is causing you, but that will only bring harm in the end. Make sure to remain calm and show empathy, but do not be afraid to hold back.
Consider an Intervention
If after sitting down and having an open talk with the person who struggles with addiction brings no results, it might be time to do an intervention. Sometimes simple one-on-one communication is not enough and professional help is needed. An intervention is when family and friends gather together to confront someone with addiction and give them options for getting help. Since interventions can be intense for both parties involved, it is advised to have a professional present that is experienced with organizing and leading interventions.
About Residence XII
Residence XII offers alcohol treatment and drug rehab for women that empower women while leading them on their journey to recovery. At Residence XII, we welcome all women (+18) and aim to provide the highest quality inpatient and outpatient treatment for addiction available. Residence XII also offers a family program aimed at helping family members and loved ones understand how to best help the patient in recovery. Contact us for a free drug and alcohol assessment or to learn more about how we treat women with drug or alcohol dependency. Residence XII is state licensed by CARF (commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) and a member of the NAATP (National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers).