If you have a friend or family member who is going through a drug addiction in Norman, Oklahoma, it can be easy to get frustrated. You may feel helpless while wishing they would change their behavior and get clean.
However, you need to remember that there are right ways and wrong ways to talk to your loved one if you want to have the best chance at encouraging them to overcome their addiction.
Below we’ll look at a few important tips on how to talk to a drug addict the right way.
1. Show Kindness First
The first most important thing you need to remember when trying to help someone with an addiction is to make sure you’re always showing them kindness and compassion.
No matter what you speak with them about, you should remember to show kindness in everything you say and do. By keeping your compassion in mind, everything you say will be more effective.
Chances are that you care about the person deeply, and that’s why you want to help them with their addiction in the first place. Kee[p this in mind at all times.
Even if you’re frustrated by their behavior, remember that you love the person. By showing kindness and compassion during each interaction or conversation with them, you’ll have a much better chance at encouraging them to overcome their addiction.
2. Listen More Than You Talk
While you likely have a lot that you want to tell your loved one, the reality is that genuinely listening to them can be just as effective or even better than trying to talk to them.
Show them you care, and be the person that they can turn to with their problems. Listen and don’t judge.
When you’re ready to have a conversation with the drug addict, remember you want to be doing about half of the talking, or maybe even less. Let them talk to you and be ready to listen.
3. Remain Calm
Whenever you speak to your addicted loved one, you should always remember to remain calm. Even though they may make you angry, worried, or emotional, it’s best not to show it to your loved one. Don’t raise your voice or get angry.
It’s important to remain calm so that you don’t risk making them feel emotional as well. When they ‘re going through hard times, it’s best that they have a solid rock that they can depend on.
Your behavior should remain constant and consistent every time you speak with them. Practice staying calm even in the face of frustration and worry.
4. Reserve Your Judgement
While it can be easy to judge someone who has an addiction, it’s best to hold back. Avoid the impulse to criticize them for their actions or accuse them of being immoral or irresponsible.
People become addicted to drugs for many reasons and it’s best to accept the person behind the addiction. Implying that they are “bad” because of their behavior will only serve to push them further away.
Instead, focus on how you can help them and continue showing them kindness and conditional love.
While you can mention that you don’t approve of their lifestyle, judgments about their character can push them further away. That’s exactly what you don’t want.
5. Demystify the Process of Getting Help
When you’re speaking with a family member or friend about their addiction, sometimes it can be a big help to simply educate them a bit about the process of getting clean.
Some addicts don’t seek help simply because they don’t understand the rehabilitation options that are out there. They may be afraid of the police getting involved or getting into trouble.
Do the research about the different rehab programs and clinics in your area. Have the details on where they can get help. Be prepared to share the information and demystify the process for them.
6. Keep Your Boundaries in Place
While you need to offer your addicted loved one emotional support and kindness, you need to remember to have strong boundaries. Don’t let them manipulate you.
Communicate these boundaries and limits to your friend or family member. Let them know how their behavior is affecting you. Don’t be afraid to communicate your feeling if you think that you’re reaching your limit on how much of their behavior you can take.
If you’re living with a drug addict, it’s especially important for you to show them your boundaries.
For example, if they’re using a substance in your home and it makes you uncomfortable, don’t be a pushover. Let them know that it bothers you and that it’s time to draw the line.
7. Avoid Enabling Them
When talking with an addict, you also need to avoid any enabling behavior that triggers substance abuse.
Although you may not realize it, you may be helping them to continue their addiction without intending to. If you bend to their will too often or don’t show them what your boundaries are, you may end up enabling their behavior and making their problem worse.
While you should be trying to offer them kindness and support, don’t let them manipulate you. Be wary of their behavior and make sure that nothing you do or say is allowing them to feel that you support their addiction.
Understanding How to Talk to a Drug Addict
It can be difficult helping someone who has an addiction. However, by keeping the tips above in mind, you’ll know how to talk to a drug addict in the best way. It’s important to be loving and supportive while still having your boundaries.
By using the tips above, you’ll have the best chance at influencing your loved one’s life for the better. You’ll be able to support them through a lasting change.
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