Communicating with someone who has an addiction can be difficult to navigate. Although people have discovered effective ways to have productive conversations with someone who may be suffering from substance abuse, you must tactfully choose your words to ensure you are not enabling or shaming them.
The secret ingredient to talking with someone who battles addiction is compassion. It is also essential to actively listen to what they tell you and to respond without judgment or disapproval. By showing your loved one support, they will be more receptive to getting help and hearing your concerns as well.
If you suspect your loved one may be struggling with addiction, there are a number of questions to ask both them and yourself. These questions may help you get a better understanding of what they may be facing as well as how you can help.
Eight Questions to Ask Yourself:
Before having a conversation with your loved one, ask yourself some questions first. By doing so, you will be able to process any feelings of unrest you may have due to the situation at hand. Asking yourself these tough questions is an important step when trying to help a loved one face addiction head-on:
- Has my loved one been withdrawing from and avoiding personal relationships recently?
- Has my loved one started showing a lack of concern about their personal appearance?
- Has my loved one lost interest in activities and hobbies that used to be important to them?
- How do I bring up the topic of drug abuse without being hurtful?
- Has there been a material change in their moods with a shift more towards anger, moodiness, irritability, and or depression?
- Does my loved one suddenly have issues with law enforcement?
- Do I know why they began using drugs?
- How can I help?
If you answer these questions and recognize your loved one is struggling with addiction, the next step is to reach out to them. Remember, every person and situation is different, and there is no set guideline on how to have this difficult conversation.
Seven Questions to Ask Your Loved One:
Here are a few examples of questions to ask your loved one:
- Have you noticed yourself struggling?
- Do you feel like you’re trying to escape or forget something?
- Do you know why you started using drugs?
- Do you know when using drugs started to interfere with your daily life?
- Have you tried to stop?
- Have you thought about getting help?
- How can I help?
Actions, Not Words
Sparking conversations with your loved ones about their addiction is one of the first steps to getting them the help they need. As difficult as these conversations may be, their recovery journey will be even harder. Leading a sober lifestyle is no easy task, and recovery is a lifelong process.
Follow up your words with actions to get your loved one the help they need. Remember, there is a difference between enabling and helping. Enabling may look like completing responsibilities for your loved one or making excuses for them. Instead, set boundaries, and act as a support for recovery efforts.
Seeking Help at Tennessee Wellness Center
If your loved one agrees to get outpatient help, our team is ready to walk alongside them on their journey to recovery. Our intensive outpatient program and partial hospitalization programs involve a range of therapies individualized to each client. We follow a whole-person approach to address every aspect of their overall well-being. With us, they can develop the necessary skills to move forward in their recovery process.
Tennessee Wellness Center recognizes the importance of family, which is why it is our goal to provide your loved one and your entire family with the personal attention and care you need. At Tennessee Wellness Center our family is dedicated to yours. Take the first step to wellness, and contact our team today.