Realizing someone you care about has a problem with addiction is no fun. Once you get over your denial and recognize there is a real problem, you need to take action. But what can you do? Addicts are often in denial too. The first step is to talk to the person and help them recognize that they have a serious problem. Then you need to help them understand that they can overcome this problem, one day at a time, if they take the right steps. Let’s discuss important things to consider as we explore how to talk to an addict about addiction.
Talk When They Are Sober
You probably won’t make much progress if you try to convince a person that they have a problem while they are suffering under the influence of the very problem you want to talk about. Occasionally you might get a response, but any revelations made under the influence tend to be short-lived. Try to predict when the person you need to help will be sober and catch up with them then.
Everyone wants to be understood. Everyone wants to be heard. A lot of what addicts will say when you talk to them about addiction will be evasion, denial, or rationalization. It is all important. You need to let them discover and express all the ways they want to duck out of realizing they have a real problem. Only by doing so can you address these dodges. If you don’t listen, they can keep their excuses hidden. And if their excuses are hidden, you can’t explain why they are not good reasons for being an active addict.
Trying to help an addict can be frustrating. Very frustrating. If you get emotional, that is going to put stress on the person you are talking to. An addict under stress is going to be tuning you out and thinking about how to get back to the safety of addiction, not hearing your plea for them to start taking care of themselves.
You are trying to help. So focus on being helpful. Don’t get mad or try to punish the addict. That is not helpful. Be careful to avoid shaming the addict. A person who feels ashamed will lack confidence and will to change. Shame and addiction LINK make a vicious cycle and you need to help the person that you care about avoid that self-destructive whirlpool, not throw them into it.
Explain How Their Addiction Affects Other People
Addicts, as previously noted, as masters of denial. You may be amazed at how an addict is able to ignore the impact they have on other people. Many addicts suffer from believing they don’t deserve to be happy, so trying to convince them to stop harming themselves can be very difficult. In these cases, pointing out how they are harming others may help them realize that they have a problem.
By a definition that is broadly accepted by people working to help people overcome addiction, an addict cannot beat addiction on their own. Some outside help is needed. Maybe an addict can succeed in recovery just by going to AA meetings. Other people may need individual therapy, and some people need full on in-patient rehab to succeed. One way or another, help is needed. Try to get the person to commit to taking specific steps to seek help in the form of evidence-based addiction treatment.
Consider an Intervention
Sometimes one person talking to an addict is not enough. And sometimes a lot of people is not enough either. But a lot of people who care working together under the guidance of a skilled therapist will often succeed where other approaches have failed. So if you cannot convince an addict to seek rehab on your own, you should definitely consider an intervention.
Learn More About Our Addiction Recovery Program
Seasons Bali offers support for people struggling with all types of addiction. You are here reading this, so it is probably time for you or someone you care about to take the first step towards a much better life. It takes work but you can leave the unfulfilling cycle and the suffering behind.
If someone you care about has a problem with drugs or alcohol or any other form of addiction, talk to someone who understands. We are here to help. Call one of our experts today at (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 +61 398045757 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.