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How to Talk to Your Friend about Their Drug or Alcohol Addiction

John Templeton Jr. - October 23, 2020

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There are just some conversations that no one looks forward to. For example, no one likes to inform a colleague that they’re fired or break the news to family that a loved one passed away. However, these difficult conversations are necessary. And in some cases, these conversations can be lifesaving.

If a friend is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, talking to them could literally be the catalyst they need to get help and turn their life around. But how do you get that conversation started? What are you supposed to say? We’re going to dive into some helpful tips that you can use to get the most out of this crucial conversation with your friend.

6 Tips for Talking to Your Friend about Their Addiction

1. Kindness Goes a Long Way

From the moment the conversation starts to when it ends, it’s important to be kind. Remember that this isn’t a time for judgment or critiques. The stigma of addiction is still strong in our society, and you should try your best to be understanding.

A big part of being kind in this situation is accepting your friend for who they are and recognizing that addiction doesn’t define them. Even if you don’t condone their behavior, the focus should be on what they do next instead of previous actions.

2. Be Consistent with Your Words and Actions

When you’re talking to a friend about their drug or alcohol addiction, your words and actions have to match. For example, if you’re talking to your friend about their alcohol abuse, you shouldn’t invite them out to the bar next time you go out.

Stay consistent with your words and behaviors. If you talk about addiction treatment with your friend, don’t leave them hanging; instead, help them find the right rehab center for them.

3. Wait Until Your Friend is Sober

There is a right time and place to have this conversation with your friend. If your friend is drunk or high, wait to talk to them until after they have sobered up. Not only will they be easier to talk to, but you’ll be far less likely to get frustrated and start the discussion off on the wrong foot. If your friend is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s more likely that they will get defensive about what you’re saying.

4. Listen to What They Have to Say

When you’re talking to your friend about their addiction, it’s easy for things to turn into a lecture. Give your friend plenty of time to share their experiences and the struggles they’re going through. In fact, it’s a good rule of thumb to try to listen more than talk in this situation. The more you listen, the more likely your friend is to open up and tell you what’s going on.

5. Be Patient

When you have a conversation with your friend about their drug or alcohol abuse, it won’t be like in the movies. This is a process, and it’s likely that your friend will need time to process what you have to say. In fact, it might take many conversations with you to realize that they have a problem and need help.

6. Be There to Help Them

While you can’t do the work for your friend to reach recovery, you can support them along the way. The good news is that there is a wide variety of ways you can support your friend. Once they agree, a good place to start is to help them find a reliable and trusted addiction treatment center like Footprints Beachside Recovery. You could also go with them to the doctor or therapist for added moral support.

Your Friend Has the Potential to Reach Lasting Recovery

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we’ve been through addiction ourselves. So, we can relate to what your friend is struggling with. Our addiction treatment center in Florida was created to give people just like your friend a way to restore their life.

We will take the time to get to know your friend on a personal level. That way, our expert staff can create an individualized treatment plan to help them reach lasting recovery. Nestled in the old beach town of Treasure Island, your friend can discover a welcoming and beautiful place to privately heal their mind, body and spirit.

Contact our admissions team today. We can give you more advice on how to talk to your friend about finding help.

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