When it comes to things like drug addictions, it’s a sensitive topic, and it can be hard to handle when it’s someone you care about that’s addicted. Difficult life situations and poor decisions can lead to serious addictions, and you may feel as if it’s your responsibility to help them to get away from it. To help someone away from an addiction is the right thing to do, but it’s a lot of work to commit yourself to, and you should understand that it may be an uphill battle.
Pick a good time
If you’re going to talk to your friend about their addiction, you should make sure you’re picking the right time to do so. As it’s a sensitive topic, you may find they get defensive about it, so you should be sure that they’re both sober and relatively relaxed. You have much more chance of getting through to them when they’re not using the drugs they’re addicted to, which is important if you’re going to be able to help them.
At the time of approaching them, be sure that you don’t start by scolding them right off of the bat. You have to be supportive with your point and let them know that you care for them and want to see them healthy. It can help to deliver your point for them to know that you’re doing it to help them.
Being supportive doesn’t mean putting yourself in the firing line, and you shouldn’t have to deal with anything that you’re not prepared for. As vulnerable as they may be, you are still entitled to be treated with the same respect.
Do not enable
It’s important that when you are supporting them and trying to help them that you don’t do anything that enables their addiction. Don’t help them or be present at times where they’re using the drug, else they may start to get mixed messages about what your goals are. It’s best to make sure that they’re aware that you don’t agree with it in any way, and that you want to see them away from it.
Find out why
During your talk, you should talk to them about how they came to be addicted and why they chose to do it. A lot of the time, addictions are picked up as an escape from the troubles that they’re facing in their life, and your friend might be experiencing things that you’re unaware of. It’s important to be understanding of their reasons and to help them figure out better solutions that aren’t as harmful as drug usage.
Talk to a professional
If you’re not sure how to approach them, it can help to speak to someone who knows a little more about it. Speaking to a healthcare professional can shed some light on the situation, and can give you an idea of the health risks they’re facing, as well as how you can better help them out. You don’t have to disclose any personal information when speaking with someone, so you can get the information you need without putting your friend at any risk.
Knowing the dangers can also help you to make a more convincing point when you approach your friend about the topic.
A huge part of the point you’re making to them while trying to help them is to get them the help they need. Drug addiction isn’t a habit that most people can just get rid of and never look back, and it often requires a helping hand from a rehabilitation center. Sometimes even therapists are involved to help reverse the effects of the addiction and find a new way to think about things.
You could find a selection of different help methods and talk through them with your friend, that way you’re much more likely to find an agreeable option. The first step is getting them to agree that they need help right this moment, rather than them brushing it off as something to fix another time.
If you’re going to help them with this, you shouldn’t tell everyone you know about it. These issues are sensitive and should be kept between you and your friend. In some cases, it might require a lot of people that they care about to confront them over it for an intervention, but often times it’s better to keep it to yourself. It would break the trust between the both of you if you were to gossip or unnecessarily spread information.