Tips for Talking to a Loved One about Substance Abuse
Addiction is a disease, and despite it being a disease, it is a hard topic to discuss. Friends and family shy away from talking about the issue with the patient. It is essential that the support system is firm and recognizes the problem before it completely escalates. Having face-to-face conversations is the ideal way to have a conversation rather than on the phone. It is normal for you to be overwhelmed with emotions before a conversation. Creating a safe space free from judgments when conversing with a loved one about substance abuse is vital.
Some of the tips include:
Be Clear on Your Point of View
In any conversation, not beating around the bush is essential, be straightforward in your conversation with your loved one. Explain how you feel about the situation and ask them ways in which you could help. Explain your worries and frustrations about the addiction. When explaining, be calm and collected.
Give Them Time
Calmness is very important in conversations, allow your loved one to explain the situation, how they are suffering and where the problem began. Sleeping pill addiction is a problem that is creeping slowly into society. It begins by taking one pill after a long day at work to induce sleep or because of insomnia. The dependency on the drug grows stronger by the day, and you cannot function without them.
Educate Yourself on The Issue
Once you realize addiction is a disease that many people are suffering from. Take the initiative to educate yourself on how to conduct yourself around your loved one and the various drug symptoms. Every drug has its symptoms and the potential to become addictive. For example, sleeping pills. They’re consumed regularly by many people, who eventually develop a dependency to the medication. There are also different behavior patterns associated with every drug. The sooner you educate yourself, the better you learn what someone is going through.
For sleeping pills, for example, the associated symptoms include itching, high anxiety, forgetfulness, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, nightmares, and hallucinations. If your loved one is struggling, inform them that there are sleeping pill addiction treatment options available for them.
Have a Clear Head When Talking
There is no good or bad time to have an addiction conversation. Take advantage of when both of you are in a good mood and calm. Most people will be afraid to ruin a good mood, like during parties or gatherings. Take the person for a walk or a quiet room and have a conversation.
Take Action Together with Them
After a successful conversation with your loved one about the addiction problem, agree on how you will deal with the issue. Be an active participant in the recovery journey. Let them see your effort in the process. The patient may be receptive to seeing a counselor, taking them, paying for them, and waiting outside to have the conversation. Other ways include attending support groups and doing research on treatment options.
Treat Them with Respect
Always hold your loved one’s dignity highly. Listen keenly to what your loved one says, avoid having a judging tone during the talk, do not force or shout at the person about their addiction, and do not label your loved one as an addict.
Avoid Giving Threats or Ultimatums
Certain things should be avoided during an addiction conversation with your loved one. Giving demands, threatening the person, instilling fear, and giving final ultimatums. Compose yourself before having any conversation. It will speed up the recovery process.
Addiction recovery is a gradual process with many ups and downs, don’t get discouraged. Having a conversation with your loved one about substance abuse may not be received well at first, have enough patience to go through the process.