How to Approach Somebody About Their Addiction : Talking to someone about their addiction is difficult. You may be concerned that expressing your worries could cause the other person to get enraged, defensive, lash out, or just deny that they have a problem. In reality, all of these are typical reactions. But, it isn’t an excuse to remain silent.
Your loved one’s drinking is unlikely to improve on its own; instead, it will likely worsen unless you intervene. While it’s critical to be upfront and honest about your worries, keep in mind that you can’t make someone stop taking narcotics or seek treatment. You can’t compel them to change, no matter how much you want to and how difficult it is to see them travel down the wrong road.
They have the option to choose. You may, however, provide them with options for dealing with their situation, such as phoning a hotline, speaking with a doctor or counselor, enrolling in EAP Programs, or attending a group meeting.
Advice on How to Talk to a Substance Abuser
It might be tough to have unpleasant conversations with someone in your life who is addicted. How can you express your love and support while avoiding misunderstandings and remaining true to yourself? Though no two addicts are the same, there are a number of communication skills that might help you show compassion and support.
Our society frequently holds people responsible for their own addictions, as if it were a moral failing on their own. Before communicating with your loved one, make sure you understand addiction as a problem. The more you know about addiction, the more effectively you can communicate.
Addiction is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as “the inability to quit taking a substance; failure to satisfy employment, social, or familial duties; and, depending on the drug, tolerance and withdrawal.”
Addiction is now more commonly referred to as “substance use disorder” by medical professionals. Learn as much as you can about addiction from reputable medical sources, and attempt to comprehend your loved one’s perspective.
Addiction still has a lot of stigmas attached to it, such as being selfish, lazy, and destructive. Keep an eye on your tone of speech and make sure you’re not blaming or accusing your loved one.
However, don’t believe you know everything there is to know about their addiction just because you performed some research. Each person suffering from an addiction is an individual with their own story to tell.
Speak with compassion to demonstrate care and understanding. People with addictions typically anticipate others to condemn, ridicule, degrade, and reject them since addiction is so stigmatized in our culture.
You may begin to create bridges to forgiveness and rehabilitation by embracing the person with an addiction, even if you don’t accept their conduct.
Avoid using phrases like, ”You should be ashamed of yourself,” and instead offer, “Everyone needs help at times.” and “You are not required to feel ashamed of your addiction.”
Choose Your Words Carefully
Remember that language is important, and speak with as much respect as possible. Avoid using language that reinforces harmful addiction stereotypes. Some statements can have a detrimental impact on how addicted persons feel about themselves and their capacity to recover.
For example, the term “clean” is frequently used to describe someone who is drug-free. However, the term “clean” suggests that the individual who is addicted is “dirty”. Avoid using terms like “addict” or “junkie” to describe them.
Remember to Listen
Addiction should not define a person’s identity. It may be demeaning to be labeled an “addict”. Use terminology that is focused on the person, such as “person with an addiction.”
Listening to what they have to say is a vital component of communication. Try to listen without interrupting or judging them, even if you disagree with what they’re saying.
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