Having an effective, meaningful conversation about a loved one’s addiction starts with a healthy amount of education, patience, and self-awareness. Tensions will be high in these conversations. Therefore, if you are aware of your own personal triggers, it’s easier to move through them without getting angry when they arise. There is no easy way to begin the discussion and no script to read from. Talking to a person about their substance use disorder will probably offend and embarrass them, no matter how delicately you approach the issue. Things that are obvious to you aren’t obvious to them. This is because they’re on drugs.
The goal of an intervention is to show the person the destructive effects that alcohol and drugs have had on their life up to this point. After that, your role will be to offer a hopeful, reasonable alternative. They may get angry or lash out at you. They may lie about how much they use or promise to cut back. Don’t hold their reactions against them; relationship turmoil is a side-effect of substance use disorder. However, if your loved one threatens to hurt you or lashes out physically, you need to protect yourself. Contact the police if you feel threatened. And don’t be ashamed to put yourself first. Contact Rise Above if you need assistance hosting an intervention by calling (877) 641-0717.
Confronting a Loved One About their Addiction
Denial Is Complicated
Many dangerous symptoms are present in people with substance use disorder. One of the most harmful psychological symptoms is denial. Many people who struggle with substance use disorder have a hard time admitting the extent of their problem or even acknowledging that they have a problem in the first place. Addictive drugs and withdrawal from these drugs affect people’s cognition. What is obvious to you will not become obvious to them until they’ve completed inpatient detox and are working on the 12 steps. The following addiction treatment programs can guide people into recovery: