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Helping someone realise they have a problem

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by drc52, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. drc52

    drc52 Active Contributor

    I'm sure this is not a new concept. What would be the best way to help someone who does not know they have a problem? Another friend of mine told me he did not realise he had an alcohol problem until he stopped drinking involuntarily and suffered from withdrawals. Would it be ok to put someone in that situation to help them realise they are in denial?
  2. JohnBrock

    JohnBrock Active Contributor

    I think discretion is key when it comes to helping people with a potential substance abuse, you have to tip-toe gently around the issue, perhaps approach them on an equal ground using your friend as an example.

    Most people don't realise they have an issue, and if 'accused' will become defensive and it may just worsen the problem overall.
  3. olb1213

    olb1213 Member

    This is something I struggle with as well. If you flat out tell the person, "Look, you have a problem and you need help," it can make them defensive and angry. However, if you say nothing it is also they will continue to spiral deeper and deeper into their addiction. A lot of the pain from caring about someone with a substance abuse problem is the helplessness that comes from not being able to do anything about it!
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    No it would not be OK. For one to permanently stop using drugs something bad must happen first. Most of the time that's what forces addicts to combat their addictions. Making them learn they've become dependent on drugs might help them know what they got themselves into but they might still not be willing to quit because they are yet to find out why drugs are bad for them.

    I'd recommend advising the addict but you shouldn't hope for much.
  5. drc52

    drc52 Active Contributor

    Thanks for the advice. I think you misunderstood the point I was trying to get across but the advice is well fitting. It's always a tricky situation when someone doesn't realise that the drugs are bad for them, especially if that person believes them to be having a positive effect.
  6. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine Active Contributor

    If they are really showing signs of abuse of a certain substance then I guess it justifiable to put them in this situation since it is also for their own good. As a friend, we cannot say that we are totally responsible for a person because they may take it the wrong way when we interfere in their lives, unlike family members. But for me, true friends will go beyond their boundaries just to make the lives of their friends better.
  7. p4lse

    p4lse Member

    My best guess is tell them in a polite way, in a way they'll understand. It might sound rude or impolite but deep down they'll realize that you're trying to help them some day or another.Be direct and be patient in your approach.
  8. OGRICHBOI

    OGRICHBOI Member

    One of the tips I like to give is not to be too harsh on them. Tell them the truth, but do not resort to screaming and yelling. This will only make matters worse. I suggest slowly introducing the topic to him, but not in an agressive way. DO NOT blame him for the problems he currently has/had.
  9. bombshell

    bombshell Member

    I think for the most part, deep down, a person knows it is a problem. Denial is usually a front they put on for others. I am a pretty straight forward person and if I think I have a friend in crisis I bring it up and try to approach it on a non judgmental way. I don't nag and bring it up constantly, but I will think about the way I want to say it, plan what I want to address so I can talk about it all at once and leave it in the other persons hands.
  10. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I find the best way to make someone realize something is not by telling them but asking them questions that can lead to self reflection. It might not have as much of a straightforward effect as just being told something but at the same time I think the effect could prove to be more potent as the person you are talking to will not have to feel the need to keep his or her guard up since they won't have to feel like they are being attacked.
  11. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    True that some just realized there is something wrong or they are addicted when it is already too late. Like if they already suffer from a disease or something bad already happen. Hard to convince or make someone realize they have a problem if you will just tell that to them.