10 things you can say to your addicted loved one

It can be challenging to talk to someone suffering from addiction to drugs or alcohol. Several defense mechanisms can protect you and your loved one.

The majority of addicts will resort to various techniques to distract you from the actual issue. They might resort to anger, rationalization, avoidance, guilt, and any other methods that could prevent you from having an honest conversation.

Talking to an addict needs courage and patience. Addiction is a disease. Treatment will often be necessary for recovery. 

Here are some tips to help you talk to someone you love about their addiction.

#1 You’re different now.

Talking to your loved one about change can be an excellent way to discuss the subject openly. But, it’s essential to be cautious because too much negativity will make them defensive. 

Discuss how happy and friendly they used to be without implying anything negative. Recall specific occasions where you were there as a support system.

If it’s necessary to make a negative comment, be specific. Bring up specific dates and events. It will set the tone for the entire conversation and avoid unfocused criticism.

#2 Give love. 

Studies have shown that many addicts feel insecure about how you feel towards them. Pushing someone away or using harsh love can often exacerbate the problem. Show your loved one you love them, and let them know that you still care about them.

While you might have to decide to save yourself at some point, you can still show your love and support them if they are willing to accept help.

#3 We’re in this together.

It is important to show compassion. Unfortunately, many addicts feel isolated and alone. They should know that you will listen to them without judgement.

#4 Everyone needs a little help.

It’s not something to be embarrassed about getting help. Nearly 10% of Americans suffer from addiction at some point in life. 

Many don’t seek out help. Many more fall victim to the addiction when they give up on seeking help. Talk to your loved and say that getting help for yourself is the most courageous decision they can make.

#5 It’s no one’s fault.

Addictions like substance abuse and alcoholism can be a deadly disease. The person does not want to become the addiction. Explain that you understand the situation is not their fault.

Although an addict may not be accountable for being an addict once they are one, they will need to take responsibility for their recovery. Stop pointing fingers. Instead, take responsibility for what has caused the addiction to continue.

#6 Things will get better. 

Addiction can appear hopeless. If you can take the time and assure your loved one that things will get easier, it can significantly impact their perspective. Addiction can often be painful. It is essential to remind your loved one that it doesn’t have to end up in the worst possible outcome. Tell them that there are better ways to live if they are open to receiving it.

#7 We need love plus more.

Love can’t heal addiction alone. Addiction isn’t something that a hug can cure. We could end addiction in days if that were all it took. It is essential you encourage your loved one to get help as soon as possible.

#8 We are picking you, not the addiction.

If you have never experienced addiction, choosing drugs over your loved ones can feel easy. You must understand this.

Addiction has a devastating effect on the brain. Physically, addiction alters neurochemicals and receptors, leading to an insatiable hunger for more drugs. 

Your loved one isn’t making conscious decisions about drugs but is tied to an unstoppable beast.

#9 We want you to stop.

It may not look like it, but your loved one wants to quit using. The truth is that quitting is not always as easy as it sounds. The mental and physical effects of withdrawal can be severe and even life-threatening.

Imagine lying in bed for hours with your stomach rumbling while your body produces copious amounts of sweat. Your body’s bones ache; your core temperature swings between high and low. Even though you aren’t eating or drinking, you can experience vomiting and diarrhea.

It’s like a whisper that says, “You can end all this misery.” So you give in.

#10 Can I Help?

It is possible that your loved one won’t accept help. However, offering support can help them get on track to overcoming their addiction. 

While money is not something you would want to offer, financial help could be in the form of helping to look after a pet, providing professional treatment, or just listening when they are honest. 

You should be available and prepared to assist them when they need it.

Addiction Help

It is hard to support a loved person with an addiction. An addict must choose to overcome their addiction. You can be there for them, but it can be frustrating and challenging because you have little control over their choices.

While it can be hurtful to watch your loved one suffer, you won’t be able to fix the situation. Many do not recover until they get professional help. 

Peter Marinelli & Through the Archway are here for you. Our South Florida-based team serves guests from across the United States and international communities. With decades of experience, we can help you achieve permanent sobriety and other personal goals.