In an industry that often promotes and encourages partying, recognizing that you or a loved one needs help can be the hardest part.
Here’s a guide for Do’s and Don’ts when speaking to a loved one about addiction.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO FIND PROFESSIONAL HELP: Maybe offer to attend a meeting with them, show a desire to learn.
ENCOURAGE THEM TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THEIR ADDICTIONS: Learn about triggers, symptoms, warning signs.
COMMUNICATE USING “I FEEL” STATEMENTS: Refrain from saying things like “you make me feel…”, instead try saying “when this happens, I feel…”. Try to avoid guilt.
SPEAK WITH POSITIVITY, OPTIMISM, AND LOVE: This could help your loved one feel the comfort and encouragement they need.
ASSUME IT’S EASY FOR SOMEONE TO TALK ABOUT THEIR ADDICTION: Lots of feelings including sadness, shame, guilt, anger may be occurring.
ASSUME ADDICTION IS A CHARACTER FLAW: Addiction is a chemical imbalance and illness.
ASSUME CERTAIN “TYPES” OF PEOPLE GET ADDICTED TO SUBSTANCES: It can happen with people from all backgrounds, high paying jobs, families, etc as much as anyone else.
PUNISH THE PERSON IF THEY RELAPSE: Addiction is an ongoing process that has both successes and failures.
Preferred Language Resource: Words Matter: Preferred Language for Talking About Addiction | National Institute on Drug Abuse
National AA Finder: Alchoholics Anonymous
National NA Finder: Narcotics Anonymous
National Al-Anon Finder: Al-Anon Family Groups