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How to Confront Someone About Addiction

Hand of a person on the shoulder of another while confronting someone about addiction

Addiction causes difficulties and awkwardness where it doesn’t have to exist. If you had a friend or a family member who was waylaid by any other prolonged illness, you would probably be there to lend a hand. But when someone you care about is abusing alcohol or drugs, knowing the right things to say or do can be challenging. But someone close to the substance abuser might be the only person in a position to influence them to seek drug or alcohol addiction treatment.

So where can you learn how to confront someone addicted to drugs? How can you know what to do when confronting someone about addiction to alcohol? How can you bring up addiction treatment programs that may help them overcome their problem? To answer these questions, call 888.296.8976 to speak with someone from Northpoint Recovery’s knowledgeable team of professionals in Idaho.

Why People Don’t Confront a Loved One Struggling with Addiction?

It’s not easy talking to someone close to you about their drug or alcohol use. There are many reasons why you might have reservations about broaching the subject, such as:

  • “It’s none of my business” – Put simply, you don’t want to appear to be telling your friend what to do.
  • “I don’t want to push them away” – Like it or not, addiction has already created a barrier between you. Substance abusers always suffer from feelings of isolation and alienation. Dishonesty and denial on their part only widen the gap. The solution is honesty, and it has to come from you.
  • “I don’t know what to say” – Talking to someone about their private disease will never be easy.

When you try to talk to your suffering loved one, ensure you do it from a positive place. The real message—that you only want the best for them—will get through.

What You Can Do to Help a Loved One Struggling with Addiction

To maximize your chances of success when you talk to your loved one, there are a few things that you can do to prepare. This can be as informal as just the two of you talking over breakfast at a restaurant or as structured as a professionally-directed intervention with the whole family in attendance. Either way, there are some practical guidelines that you can follow:

  • Remember that the behavior is wrong, not the person – Your loved one suffers from a disease that takes away their ability to choose or make good decisions. Even if their actions are unacceptable, you are still there for the person.
  • Do your research – Read everything you can about addiction. Talk to a professional counselor. Everything you learn will help you know what to say and act.
  • Don’t talk to them while they’re under the influence – They won’t fully grasp what you’re trying to say. They might become unreasonable, and you might get angry or frustrated.
  • Be as specific as possible – Don’t quote statistics or research. Don’t say vague things like “your drinking is a problem.” Instead, bring up real things that have happened and talk about how they’ve hurt either their life or yours.
  • Break the ice with positive sentiments – Start the conversation with expressions of love and support. Remind them that you have a positive history, which is why you feel you have to say something.
  • Be ready to offer a solution – Don’t just show up to talk about how lousy addiction has been in everyone’s life. Offer your loved one a way out. Beforehand, get information about local drug rehab programs.

If you’re not ready to stage a full intervention, have another concerned friend or family accompany you. If you don’t want to go that route, ask someone from a 12-step meeting to come with you.

Confront Someone About Addiction with Northpoint Recovery

Addiction is not easy to face. But if you’re confronting someone about addiction, it can be done in a way that preserves relationships. At Northpoint Recovery, we understand how hard it is to confront someone struggling with addiction. If you need advice on how to talk to your loved one about their substance abuse, contact Northpoint Recovery today at 888.296.8976.