One of the most difficult things you can experience is coming to the realization that someone close to you has a drug addiction. However, once you recognize that a person with whom you have a relationship, whether it’s a close friend, your child or even your significant other, you will want to do all you can to help them. A good way to start is to help them realize they have an addiction problem. Knowing how to approach the subject can be challenging, but there are a few ways you can do it.
Do it Immediately
While it can feel confusing and intimidating even just thinking about speaking with someone about their drug addiction, the best thing to do is to do it immediately. Don’t delay as it can have dire consequences. The longer you wait, the longer it may be before the individual recognizes they have a problem and seek help. Even if you feel awkward, keep remembering that you want to help this person. They’re an important part of your life and you care deeply. Think about if things were the reverse and you were the one struggling with a drug addiction. Would you want someone close to you to wait to talk to you and try to help?
Approach the Subject with Compassion
It’s so important to remember that addiction is as much a disease as cancer or heart disease. As a result, when you broach the subject with the person, be compassionate. You are also more likely to get a response and engage in a discussion when you show compassion and let the individual know that you’re there for them. However, don’t be surprised if they initially lash out at you. Many people with drug addictions may not immediately acknowledge that they have a problem. If this is the case, keep showing compassion and never criticize or shame the person.
Be Patient with Them
Drug addiction is a serious problem, so you should expect difficulty, especially early on. Your loved one might flat-out deny that they have a substance abuse disorder and may show intense anger toward you. People who are addicted to drugs frequently feel as though everyone else is looking down on them and that they will lose everyone and everything important in their lives. When you show unmitigated patience, it will show that you definitely care.
Even while you’re compassionate and patient with the person, it’s also important that you are completely honest with them. Depending on the situation, you might even want to be blunt. At the same time, if you do exhibit some bluntness, continue to be caring. You have to avoid sounding negative and as though you’re blaming them.
If dealing with a drug addiction that’s close to home is new to you, you might want to educate yourself before speaking with the person. Not having any prior experience with someone dealing with addiction can be confusing. You may not know where or how to begin, but if you read up about substance abuse disorder and treatment, it can help. It gives you a better chance to talk to the person in an informed manner and allows you to be even more help to them.
Recognize a Co-dependent Relationship
Many people who struggle with drug addiction have a co-dependent relationship with someone else. That person could be a romantic partner, a close friend or even a family member. Unfortunately, this type of dynamic can make addiction even worse, especially if the other person is constantly around your loved one. You may have to talk to the person if you recognize that they have a co-dependent relationship that is fueling their drug addiction.
This can be difficult and you might need help from someone else who’s close to both of you. However, it’s important to stay calm and not come off as ganging up on the person. These are only a few tips that can help you talk with someone close who has a drug addiction. Once they have come to realize that they do, indeed, have a problem, they might be ready to get help. If they are finally ready to take that first very important step, they can get started by calling 833-820-2922.