Five Tips for Having Honest Conversations About Addiction

Family conversation

It can be incredibly difficult to watch a loved one struggle with addiction. It can make the loved ones of a person with an addiction feel powerless to help. This is especially true if they have already tried to bring up the issue to no avail previously. After all, it can be difficult to speak to someone about their addiction when they are not rational about it. They may not even realize how bad their addiction has become or the effects it is having on their life and the lives of their loved ones.

There are several factors to consider when speaking to a loved one about their addiction, and we have put together some tips below to help you get through it.

Have a Sober Talk About Alcohol and Drug Addiction

When looking to talk to someone about their alcohol or drug addiction, the most important thing is to do it when they are sober. It may seem like the person is always using, but there will be periods when they are sober, such as when they first wake up or before they have had a chance to get to use.

Trying to get through when they are under the influence is typically not going to achieve anything. It could even make things worse, as they will then be on the defense from then on.

Maintain Your Boundaries When Offering Drug Addiction Help

Of course, it is important for loved ones to communicate that they want to have an open and supportive conversation about addiction, but boundaries must be put in place. Make it clear that you will not tolerate the addiction and related behavior, but don’t try to be a superhero.

It can be tempting to attempt to “rescue” the person with an addiction by covering for their behavior or solving their problems, but this should not be the case. Be there for support, but be sure to maintain personal boundaries as well.

Be Firm Yet Compassionate

When talking about the addiction, be clear about the issue and how it has affected others, but express compassion as well. Make it clear that the talk comes from a place of care and wanting to help. It can be easy to let loose the anger and heartbreak that come with addiction, but this can also result in the person with an addiction closing up and getting defensive.

Encourage Alcohol or Drug Addiction Treatment

Ideally, the conversation results in the person with an addiction getting help or ceasing their use, but this is not guaranteed. The best you can do is to encourage the individual to get into a treatment program and help facilitate that in any way, but this does not mean they will agree.

Sometimes, the initial conversation is just to get the individual thinking about their addiction and its effects. It could take multiple conversations to convince them to attend treatment finally. The most important thing is to maintain resolve and don’t give up on trying to get them to seek help.

Consult with an Interventionist If Needed

If there have already been multiple conversations, it may be time to consult with an interventionist. This is a professional who has ample experience in talking and working with those struggling with addiction. They know the best ways to have this conversation and the most effective methods for convincing an addiction into treatment.

Alcohol or Drug Addiction Treatment with Narconon

If you are seeking comprehensive addiction treatment, Narconon is here to help. We have helped thousands of people break free from the chains of addiction, and we would like to do the same for you or your loved one. If you have any questions about our program, you can call us or request a free information pack.


Suncoast Staff