Addict in the family Addict in the family
How to Talk to an Addict in the Family

How to Talk to an Addict in the Family

Do you suspect a family member or friend has a substance abuse problem?

August 5, 2017

Intervention is a hard but a necessary step. Here's how to talk to an addict you love.

More than 21 million Americans over just 12 years of age struggle with addiction—every year. 

Is someone in your family one of them? 

We know that it's difficult to know how to talk to an addict. Things can be especially hard when you want them to get help. Television shows like Intervention may make the process look straightforward, but the truth is that no intervention is alike.  

Read on to learn how to talk to an addict in your family and convince them to get the help they need to survive.

Wait Until They're Sober

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's easy to let your anger get the best of you and confront an addict when they're not sober.

Do everything you can to table the discussion until your family member is sober, or at least somewhat stable (depending on the level of addiction.) 

Also, talking to an addict when they're using may increase the chance that they have a negative, even violent, reaction. 

Focus On Love

Of course, when you suggest that the addict in your life get help, it's coming from a place of love. But they will likely see it as an attack. 

They may even deny or try to minimize their addiction.

Make it clear that you're suggesting treatment because of all the amazing things they have to offer you. Focus on highlighting what's great about them, and what you'd miss if they passed away. 

Come With Examples

As stated, many addicts will try to deny a problem exists. To counter this, have a list of things you've observed them do or negative behaviors you've seen from them when they use. 

Again, the goal here is not to attack, but to help them see that, no matter what they think, the problem is very real. 

Let Them Talk

No one likes being lectured, or feeling as though they don't have the chance to share their side of the story. 

If the addict in your life doesn't get the chance to ask questions or speak about what they're going through, they're not likely to take you up on your offer of help. 

Always give them the space to respond, and really listen to what they say. 

Have A Concrete Plan

Even if an addict wants to get help, the process can often feel overwhelming and confusing. You need to remove the sense of "work" that comes with figuring out a treatment plan. 

Provide them with pamphlets on treatment centers you've researched. Talk to them about why this specific center is a good fit for them. Explain you can leave whenever they're ready. You may even want to pack a bag for them. 

Make the process of saying "yes" to help as easy as possible. 

Know How To Talk To An Addict

Thanks to this post, you can now hold an effective intervention to attempt to help the addict in your family. 

Even if the intervention doesn't have the desired outcome, approaching the intervention the right way will give you peace of mind that you've done everything you can.

Plus, your loved one may still consent to treatment later. When the time comes, spend some time on our website or get in touch with us to learn about the next steps.