Talking with a friend or loved one about their drug or alcohol addiction can be extremely difficult. Because it can be such an emotional topic, it’s not uncommon to fear rejection, loss of friendship, anger and physical violence. However, family and friends often play a critical role in encouraging loved ones to get help for their addiction. Here are seven tips to help you overcome your hesitations. Educate yourself This is the essential first step to talking to a loved one about their alcohol or drug addiction. By researching the emotional and physical symptoms of the substance, you can more easily relate to your loved one’s situation and better understand what they are going through. It also serves to display how much you care for the individual with the substance abuse problem. Some helpful resources for friends and family members:
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse (SAMHSA)
- The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Don’t be judgmental When talking to a loved one with an alcohol or drug addiction, it is important to remember not to use judgmental language. Your goal is not to cast blame or induce guilt, but to encourage them to get help. If they think you are judging them for their addiction, you will face increased resistance. Remain patient Remember that you may not be successful in getting your loved one to check into a detox facility the first time. If you find that the conversation quickly escalates to anger, pull back and try again at a later time. Think of it as planting a seed that may take some time to grow. Encourage them to get help, but avoid being overly pushy. It can take time for an individual struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction to come to terms with the idea of getting help. Think positive It can be easy to doubt your loved one’s ability to remain sober. But instead of being pessimistic about their chances, encourage them and let them know they have your full confidence and support. It is a long, difficult journey to recovery and your loved one will need your reassurance. Don’t Blame Yourself There is only one person who can force a person struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction to get help: themselves. Don’t enable your loved one financially or emotionally, but also remember that they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for their addiction. You should not feel guilty for being unable to solve their problem. Get help Don’t do it alone. Enlist the help of other friends and family members and encourage them to be a positive influence on your struggling loved one. A large support group shows love and empathy for the individual with a drug or alcohol addiction. The group also serves a dual purpose as an encouragement to you. Don’t give up Most importantly, and above all else, don’t give up on your loved one. Whether they have sought treatment and relapsed or have yet to acknowledge a need for detox, it is important that you remain consistent and insistent. Even if it feels fruitless, don’t give up. It could be the next time you talk to them that they decide to seek assistance with their addiction. Is your loved one ready to take the first step to recovery? Contact Gallus Detox and begin the road to healing today.