Addiction can be an uncomfortable topic, especially when it comes to talking to your friend or loved one about their substance abuse or their plans for treatment. For those who have never struggled with addiction, the behavior of someone in active addiction can be incredibly hard to understand. However, when someone you care about tells you they have a substance use disorder or have decided to seek treatment, it is important that you respond in a healthy and supportive way to preserve your relationship and encourage their success.
Approaching Addiction with Compassion
While it can be helpful to educate yourself as much as possible about addiction, the most important thing to understand is that a substance use disorder is not a moral failing or a character flaw. Your loved one may be dealing with deep emotional pain and using drugs or alcohol to cope — or they may have simply become physically addicted to a substance that many others have been able to casually experiment with. No matter the reason, if someone comes to you to talk about their addiction, you should avoid words that may insinuate they are somehow less worthy of care and respect because they have an addiction.
Although choosing loving and gentle words when discussing addiction with a friend or loved one is crucial, it is just as important to avoid common phrases that many people with addictions must endure from the people around them who don’t know any better. Avoid talking about who is to blame, suggesting that they work on their willpower, or suggesting that having an addiction makes them a certain “type” of person. Additionally, try not to offer any advice that you are unqualified to give — instead, encourage them to seek the advice of trained professionals. Let your loved one know you are there for them by listening with an open mind and heart, and commend their courage and strength once they decide to seek treatment.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help. At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals who understand addiction in all its forms. The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan. We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us today at 844-413-2690.