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It’s difficult to watch someone you care about destroy their lives with alcohol or substances. However, you can’t force them to get treatment for addiction. They have to come to this realization themselves and take the first steps to get help. 

On the surface level, talking to someone about addiction might seem easy. But when someone you care about shows signs of alcohol or substance abuse, then you know that talking to them about it can be one of the hardest things in the world to do.

Everyone struggling with addiction needs someone by their side advocating for their best interests and helping them see the need for treatment. If someone you know is walking this path, here are some tips that can help you start the conversation with them:

Create a safe space for discussion

It is important to create a safe space for discussion. People suffering from addiction may benefit from hearing from you and being able to respond. If other people are going to be involved in a conversation, let the person who is struggling with addiction know that a few of you would like to talk in a safe place and that you are willing to hear them out as well. 

Express concern; don’t accuse

It’s easy to get emotional when confronting someone about their addiction. Without preparation, your emotions can get the best of you, causing you to come across aggressively and accusatory. 

Rehearse ahead of time how you would like to express your concern. Avoid saying things like “You did [blank]” or “You’re an addict.” Instead, say things like “I am concerned about how [blank] is affecting your health” or “I have noticed that you seem to be using more [blank] than before.” These types of statements are more neutral and factual, opening the doors to conversation rather than scaring the person off.

Show them the path they are going down

A person who is addicted to substances or alcohol may not recognize the patterns of addiction in their lives that are obvious to you from the outside. You can attempt to help them see how their addiction is affecting their family, friendships, work and education. This can often open their eyes to how everything may likely play out in these areas if they continue to misuse substances or alcohol. These types of realizations can be a powerful tool for helping someone recognize the need for treatment.

Be patient

You might not get through to them after the first conversation. Maybe not even the second or third. But it’s important to remain patient and diligent. Your diligence demonstrates your care and the weight of your concern, which can ultimately help them make a decision to seek treatment.

You may also need to be ready for any defensiveness. Someone who is addicted to a substance or alcohol is not usually open to giving it up. They will deny obvious problems, accuse you of misjudgment and even get angry at you. It’s important to listen and let them express themselves, but you ultimately need to continue to be firm in your conviction that they should seek treatment.

Help your loved one find freedom from addiction at Tulip Hill Recovery

It’s hard to watch someone you care about destroy themselves with addiction, which is why the time to take action is now. If you believe someone you know is struggling with addiction, you can contact Tulip Hill Recovery today to find out how we can treat them and how you can approach them about contacting us for treatment.

Please contact us online or call us at 877-845-8192 to get in touch with our team and help your loved one take back control of their life.