How to Talk to Your Loved One Addicted to Drugs

September 14, 2021 - Addiction Treatment, For the Families, Substance Abuse

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It’s difficult to know how to communicate effectively with someone in your life who is addicted. So how can you show your love and support while also avoiding miscommunications and protecting your boundaries? While you cannot force someone to overcome their addiction, your love, support, and patience can help them recover. You can learn to back your loved one’s efforts, set the necessary boundaries to protect your own health and well-being, and find some stability for both yourself and your loved one addicted to drugs by following these guidelines.

Understand Your Loved Ones Addiction to Drugs

People begin using substances for a variety of reasons. For instance, many use drugs or alcohol to cope with the emotional distress of mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people may know they have a mental health problem but cannot find healthier ways of dealing with it, while others go undiagnosed and use drugs to handle particular symptoms. This approach is known as self-medicating.

Others use certain substances to change their feelings, perhaps fit in, or relieve monotony or dissatisfaction with their lives. Finally, some become addicted to drugs due to a doctor’s efforts to treat a medical condition. Regardless of your loved one’s motivation for starting abusing a substance, you should know that even casual use quickly escalates into obsession and addiction – a dark hole from which most people may feel too weak to emerge.

How to Speak With Your Loved One Who is Addicted to Drugs

The way you communicate with them can decide the relationship you’ll have with your loved one addicted to drugs once you approach the topic. Here are some ways that will help you handle the situation best.

Don’t Put Off Speaking to a Loved One Who is Addicted to Drugs

Don’t wait until your loved one reaches rock bottom – to be fired, arrested, have a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselves – before speaking up. The sooner a dependence is addressed, the better. 

Be kind to Your Loved One

Show them that you care by acting with kindness and understanding. Addiction is so stigmatized in today’s society, addicted people often expect others to criticize, belittle, insult them, and for friends and family to reject them. Accepting the addiction of your loved ones even if you don’t get their behavior, can help pave the way for forgiveness and recovery. When speaking to a loved one addicted to drugs, avoid using words like ‘addict’ or ‘junkie.’ Addiction should not define who a person is, as these terms imply. Being labeled as an ‘addict’ can feel dehumanizing to someone suffering from substance abuse. Keep in mind that language is important, so communicate with them respectfully.

Clearly Express Your Concerns About Your Loved One’s Addiction

Make it clear that you care about them and are concerned about their well-being. Provide specific examples of your loved one’s drug-related behavior that has caused you concern, and be open about your feelings. 

Even if you disagree, take the time to listen to what they have to say rather than arguing or confronting them. If your loved ones feels heard, they will see you as sympathetic and someone they can trust.0

Demonstrate Unconditional Love and Concern

Tell your loved one struggling with addiction that you still love and care about them, regardless of how severe their dependence is. Show that you care about their well-being regardless of whether or not they receive assistance. Of course, you should not tolerate their behavior if doing so is harmful or dangerous for you. 

Seeing Denial From Your Loved One During Difficult Conversations

Your loved one may become defensive or hostile, refusing to talk about their drug use. When confronted with their behavior, many people feel ashamed and try to deny they have a problem. Don’t argue with them; instead, return to the subject at a later time.

Don’t Punish Your Loved One Addicted to Drugs

Avoid lecturing, threatening, bribing, or punishing your loved one. Getting angry or making emotional appeals will most likely increase their guilt and bolster their compulsion to use.

Offer Information on How to Help Someone Recovering

Look for information on how they can address their drug problem, whether it’s calling a helpline, speaking with a doctor or counselor, enrolling in a treatment program, or attending a group meeting. 

Dont Expect One Conversation to Solve Your loved One’s Addiction to Drugs

This is likely to be the first of many discussions you’ll need to have about your loved one’s drug use. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for addiction recovery. It may take a few conversations to admit they have a problem, which is the first step toward recovery.

Support a Loved One Addicted to Drugs Recovery Process By Getting Help From DreamLife

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to drug addiction recovery, and it is rarely a quick or straightforward process. While you can encourage and support your loved one’s treatment, you cannot force a change on them or control their decision-making. Once they are ready and want to turn their life around, DreamLife can offer them a safe, healthy, and caring environment. Our programs will help your loved ones eliminate the substances from their system and help them work on their mind to find healthier ways to handle cravings and eventually get rid of them entirely.

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