Addiction exacts a heavy toll on your loved ones. Admitting your loved one has an addiction can be stressful. Over time, many addicted individuals lose control of their careers, relationships, and lives because their insatiable appetite for drugs or alcohol supersedes any other desire. Consequently, pleas from their loved ones may never reach them, no matter how serious their loved ones are.
If your loved one has an addiction, there are different ways that you can create awareness for this fact. Remember that labeling someone as having an addiction can exacerbate an already difficult situation, and people don’t want to identify themselves with it. By approaching loved ones the right way, you can help them move beyond addiction and back to a sober life.
Don’t talk to loved ones while they are using or immediately after they have used. A drunk or high state will inhibit them from absorbing what you have to say. They may even feel harassed, which could make the situation worse. Instead, you want to wait until they’ve become lucid. The morning after use would be a good time to start a conversation. Your loved one could feel a little more remorseful during that time as well, which means they might be more willing to hear what you have to say.
It’s also a good idea to include someone else that has seen how addiction has affected their lives. Having a second voice could help them see that you’re not alone in your beliefs, which could help make them more accepting and willing to listen.
No matter how irritated you are with your loved one’s actions, you don’t want to start any conversation about their addiction in an angry way. When you start a conversation in an angry state — either you or your loved one — both parties will likely be more defensive. In that state, they’re not going to listen to you and you’re less likely to listen to them. Instead, approach the conversation in a caring way at a time when you are both in a calm frame of mind.
To ensure your loved ones know how bad the problem’s grown, you should be as specific as possible. Be sure to use “I” statements and offer specific examples of concerning behavior. Instead of sweeping over problems broadly by saying things like, “You’re losing control,” bring up specific times that their addiction has caused issues. For instance, “I’m worried about you. I heard you call out of work because of your addiction,” or “I felt frustrated when you canceled on the family dinner so you could use instead,” or something similar.
It’s important to not directly blame their addiction for problems you’re having. Make it about them. Don’t make it about you.
You know your loved one has an addiction. You know he or she needs addiction treatment. And you can motivate them to get that help. Discuss the treatment options available through Lakeview Health and how our services can help. You can also provide our telephone number and have them speak with a counselor directly.
Find out what Lakeview Health can do to help your loved one overcome addiction. Call us today at 866.704.7692 . We can help.
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