Watching someone you love suffering with addiction can be incredibly heartbreaking. You aren’t afraid to say anything for the fear of pushing them away. It’s not easy to bring up the topic of drug addiction however it can be easier than watching them suffering.
Addiction is a complicated psychological issues that must be handled with tact and care. It’s very important to not approach the person with judgement, hostility and blame. Treating someone poorly due to their drug addiction is likely exasperate problems and make things much worse, not least your relationship with that person. If you want things to get better genuinely then you need to do this sensitively. Here are some things you can do to address the problem.
Learn about addiction and the various treatment options which are available
Learn as much as you can about the signs and symptoms of drug abuse so you have an idea of the severity of the situation. If you know the type of substance that the person is using research that specific drug and the associated long term effects of misusing it. Use this information to support that you care speaking from a place of concern not judgement.
Educate yourself on treatment options so you are able to give them a hope for the future and a solution to the problem of substance abuse. When a person living with the addiction decides to enter treatment they should do so immediately. If you’re equipped to help them through the process of recovery and treatment, they can get the care they need without delay.
Express your concern for their addiction calmly
Change is unlikely to occur if no one does anything about it. As Isaac Newton says An object will remain in state of rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force – where is that external force going to come from?
Start the conversation with the person suffering from addiction. Remain calm and open, listen more than you talk this can provide them with a sense of safety and security. Letting them know that you are there for them no matter what, even if they are not ready to deal with their addiction. Beginning down this path will mean that eventually there is the need to pursue proper recovery channels like drug rehab. rehab cliniscs or AA.
Tell them that you are concerned form them and be specific on certain points. Present the facts about what their addiction is doing to them rather than being vague and general ‘I am worried about your drug use’ etc.
- Be supportive but firm, in encouraging their healing in a gradual process.
- Be careful as to not to encourage or show support for drug abuse
- Don’t blame yourself (and dont put blame on them either)
- Encourage the search for treatment
- Approach and communicate when they are sober
- Take care of yourself – don’t allow yourself to be overly negatively impacted by this
Make sure that you don’t angrily lash out when someone’s having issues, it can seriously make matters much worse. If you are supporting someone financially it’s important that you aren’t financing their drug and alcohol habit tough love can be vital when dealing with addiction. Sometimes the kinder choice is to not give in to what the other person wants and instead stand up for what they truly need deep inside.