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Health & Wellness Wednesdays

Dealing with Addictions

Approaching a Friend Who May be Battling Addiction

Addiction is a funny thing. It doesn’t just affect the person who experience is it the strongest, but ripples out to their family and friends. In fact, sometimes these people notice the addiction before someone notices it themselves. In this case, how do you talk to someone about it? What’s an appropriate, kind way to speak to a friend about a substance-abuse problem they may or may not have admitted to themselves yet? 

First and foremost, be extremely delicate. It’s a sensitive subject, always is, and as this is something they may not understand yet, coming on too strong can be perceived as accusatory or condemning. This will only prevent someone coming to terms with the condition. Instead of using language like, “you did “or “you are “, stick to things like “I’ve noticed” or “it seems”, with an awareness that this will undoubtedly be an emotional issue. 

Keep in mind that well you may have your suspicions, you probably have no idea what’s going on inside their heads. You may know exactly what’s going on in their personal lives, or you may not. This may be a new thing, or it may not. don’t push too hard, and don’t take on an air of authority or claim to know the situation. Make sure your friends knows that you care about them more than anything, and that’s why you’re bringing this to them. That you want them to be healthy and happy, and want to support them in whatever ways you can toward that goal.

Recommended Book

An Elephant in the Living Room

Apr 19, 1994
ISBN: 9781568380353

Interesting Fact #1

Over 90% of people battling addictions started drinking or using drugs before the age of 18.


Interesting Fact #2

Deaths due to overdose have more than tripled since 1990.


Interesting Fact #3

Roughly 6% of American adults are addicted to alcohol (about 15 million people) - but only 7% of those will ever receive treatment.


Quote of the day

One of the hardest things was learning that I was worth recovery.

- Demi Lovato

Article of the day - 5 Tips for Talking to a Friend about Addiction

Drug Addiction Help

Watching a friend struggle with a drug addiction can be overwhelming and heartbreaking. You want to help, but you’re not sure how to. Different scenarios of how to approach your friend’s drug addiction may run through your mind: what if you say the wrong thing? Is it the right time to say something? What if it ruins your friendship?

Talking about addiction sooner rather than later can make a difference in a friend’s treatment and recovery.

A drug addiction is complex. Its effects can linger over months or years, and trigger other problems down the road. Oftentimes, a person struggling with an addiction will distance themselves from family, friends and the activities that used to bring them pleasure. It’s also the time they most desperately need the support and guidance of those around them.

Don’t wait. Talk with your friend about their drug addiction and help them get their life back on track.

Helping a Friend with a Drug Addiction

There’s no exact formula for telling you how to talk to a friend who’s suffering from a drug addiction. However, other people in similar situations have shared their stories on how they got the conversation started.

Here are the top five things to keep in mind when talking to a friend about addiction:

Talk when they’re sober

Initiate a conversation when your friend is sober. If they’re under the influence of drugs during the discussion, they are less likely to be understanding of the matter.

Set a time where just the two of you can talk. Discuss your concerns, but understand the conversation is a two-way street. Give your friend time to voice their feelings and listen to what they have to say. Your goal is to bring awareness about their addiction, not accuse them of wrongdoing.

Give examples

Sometimes specific scenarios can provide a clear explanation for your concerns. For example, maybe you and your friend attended a party together where they took drugs. You may have been responsible for making sure your friend got home safely and saw firsthand the negative consequences of their drug use.

You may even be able to discuss how their behavior changes after using a certain drug. Be honest about what you enjoy when your friend is sober and how circumstances change after they use the drug.

Show love and support

Let your friend know you’re always there for them no matter what. Your unconditional love will express that you have their best interest at heart.

Realize, however, that your love and support doesn’t mean you should act as a doormat to anything your friend does or says. Set boundaries on not hanging out when they use drugs. Explain how your friend’s addiction makes you feel. If you ignore their drug use, they won’t see any reason to overcome it.

Keep words and actions consistent

When talking with your friend, it’s important to keep your message clear and consistent. For instance, don’t discuss how your friend’s drug addiction worries you, then watch them partake in that activity. In doing so, you’ll send a confusing message that can complicate matters.

Additionally, be sure to steer clear from making accusations and criticizing. Rather than jump to conclusions, show empathy in their situation. Saying “you messed up” will only make your friend feel defensive. Instead, try using phrases like “I’m worried about your health” or “I noticed some difficult situations you’ve been facing lately.”

Encourage treatment

Lecturing your friend on the negatives surrounding addiction will only increase their anxiety. Try, instead, talking about the benefits of treatment and living sober. Offer to help research treatment options and various community resources available.

Provide reassurance when they participate in counseling, support groups and other recovery services. Sometimes your friend may need a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen. Taking an interest in their long-term recovery and sobriety plan will encourage them to keep going when times get tough.

Finding Drug Addiction Resources

If your friend is ready to overcome their drug addiction, there are various treatment options available. As their friend, stand beside them during both the good and difficult times that treatment may bring. It can truly make all the difference in a person’s life.

Recovering from a drug addiction takes time and commitment, but can be successful with a comprehensive treatment plan.

Get started now by finding a treatment center near you.

Question of the day - If you could say one thing to encourage someone struggling with addiction, what would you say?

Dealing with Addictions

If you could say one thing to encourage someone struggling with addiction, what would you say?