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How do you get an addict to know their an addict?

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by Twinsmommy31, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Twinsmommy31

    Twinsmommy31 Active Contributor

    This has been a battle for over 15 years. How can I get my family members to understand that they are indeed an addict?
  2. 003

    003 Community Champion

    Addicts would really be stubborn to insist that they aren't not. They would always be at the denial stage. So it'd be no easy task to have the thought that they are injected into their heads. The simplest thing is to make them look at themselves in the mirror and have them reflect on their ambitions and where he is now to achiever his dreams. Torture him emotionally that because of his addiction, he's just hurting himself and people whom he love. But give him hope along with torture. Don't torture him because you are mad at him, do because you love him. It needs to have compassion.
  3. alfonso87

    alfonso87 Member

    This can be a lot more difficult than it sounds. Confronting someone about their addiction is very tricky, emotional thing. Most addicts have build this huge mentality justifying why they use and how its not affecting them negatively. Sometimes they just refuse to see the damage it is doing to them and their loved ones.

    You can try talking to them and being straight forward about it, which you might have already tried during your 15 year battle. In my experience this isn't the most effective method and usually results in a violent response. A more subtle approach would be writing a letter, this way you can say everything you want to say, and you can save yourself any negative responses that typically follow confronting addicts. If all else fails, another approach would be enlisting an addiction counselor or similar professional that could facilitate the confrontation for you. A lot of them are former/ recovering addicts themselves and have experience with these sort of things.
  4. Kteabc

    Kteabc Member

    That is generally something they need to conclude on their own. Find someone in recovery that has some of their same experiences that can talk to them. You'd be surprised at how similar events or feelings are very common amongst addicts. It's easier to talk to someone who really gets how you are feeling and living your life to make any type of connection.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    You can't.

    However compeling the evidence that they are addicted is, they will still deny it. No amount of persuasion will convince someone to admit that they have a problem if they aren't ready to admit it to themselves. I certainly would not recommend that you torture them emotionally. That's a recipe for disaster and is certain to result in either arguments or the mother of all drugs binges. @Kteabc I think that sometimes only someone who has had the same experiences is going to be able to help. Sometimes, it can be impossible to relate to someone who doesn't really know what you are going through.
    IrishHeather likes this.
  6. Nadeshiko

    Nadeshiko Member

    If they think they aren't an addict, challenge them. Schedule a screening with a counselor, and see what comes up. Normally, that's all people need for a wake-up call.

    That's very interesting though - because a majority of people that are addicts know that they're addicts.
  7. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    Addicts do not keep up with their schedule. They feel that they can get high everytime. You can find that one has stopped going to work because of indulging themselves in alcohol. Usually development programmes seem to be out of reach for many addicts and one can easily notice. Many people have lost their jobs because of being addicts. That is when they come to realise that they are in a different situation. It is sometimes difficult for addicts to approach you for assistance, but after noticing, it is your chance to approach them and help.
  8. lulu

    lulu Active Contributor

    Just try your hardest everyday to let them know you love them and you don't feel like they show you love. Let them know you are there and will never leave there's hard and takes time
  9. IrishHeather

    IrishHeather Active Contributor

    I also struggle with this situation. I have several family members addicted to different things. I overlooked it for so very long because I was an addict myself. During the height of my battle with addiction I was in a state of terminal denial. No one could tell me that I had a problem. The only one that can truly tell an addict that they have a problem is the addict themselves.
  10. Smarty

    Smarty Active Contributor

    That is the most important starting point - realizing the problem. In my experience, the most efficient way is try to dare them not use whatever they are addicted to... for a week, 2 weeks... perhaps a month. Of course, they will not be willing to do that just for the sake of proving they are right, so add some kind of a bonus, make a bet for example. If they endure it, they get something from you... That's a sure way to know what you are up against.
  11. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    I have a one word solution for you: intervention. Hold one and make it known that they are addicted and that their addiction is ruining their life and their families' lives.
  12. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    The only way, a person can realize that what they're doing is an addiction or slavery to a certain object or anything, it's the fact that they need it to live just like water and food. If they don't have it for a while, they will go crazy and they will do anything to get to it. Once they figure out they're in that state, they realize, they can't stop. When they realize they can't stop, that means it's an addiction.
  13. Smarty

    Smarty Active Contributor

    Confrontation. Dare them to live without it. If its absence doesn't seem to bother them too much, then things are probably fine. However, if the person becomes anxious, angry, irritable perhaps even crazy... then you've got a problem and there should be a big red light in your mind... and a sign saying TROUBLE. It's the only sure way to check it. Good luck!
  14. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    You're very right. But I don't think it's a way to necessarily let them know they are an addict. Confrontation is a tool to create regret and remorse, which results in repentance and change but not necessarily the recognition of an addiction, how can you confront someone who doesn't realize they're doing wrong and they're an addict? You only do it if they know it's wrong otherwise it has no effect.
  15. Smarty

    Smarty Active Contributor

    That's true, yes... I guess I am talking about the other person recognizing his friend is addicted, not the addicted person himself. I mean, this is the next most important step of course, getting HIM to realize that something's wrong. I was referring to the previous step - checking for yourself if your friend really has a problem or not. Hmm, you know it could even be done as a joke. You don't have to sound all serious and even bring out the topic of addiction. For example, something like: "Hey, I bet you can't stop taking that"... or "Hah, you don't have enough willpower to cut this off... I would challenge you but I know you are weak." This might look counter intuitive but provoke him in some way... That way at least you will know.
  16. cmleasure

    cmleasure Active Contributor

    That's actually pretty brilliant. Though, I am tempted to believe that a lot of people will often lie to you if you made that bet with them and say they had stopped but maybe didn't. I can see people making excuses to themselves as to justify their continued use. There is such a negative stigma associated with addiction, that people lie to themselves to not admit they do not actually have control over themselves at that point.
  17. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Community Champion

    That's absolutely true, especially if they're delusional. I know a lot of addicted people don't realize they're addicted due to the delusions they get often, it's really sad but I believe it can be overcome.
  18. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    I think that people know they just dont want to admit that they have a problem. I mean the best way to let a person know is by being truthful and letting them know that their behavior is not normal. This person would not want to hear it but the truth is just the truth.
    harold likes this.
  19. xpictoc

    xpictoc Member

    Addiction comes in many forms. Some feel like it's a natural part of their life, at least that's how they defend their subconsciously think about their need for a certain substance. Others know they're addicted but they fail to see the inherent dangers. My grandfather is a chain smoker and his reply whenever we bring up the topic of his addiction refers to a recent doctor's visit where his doctor said there's no way he smokes as his long volume was excellent. I think he fails to see past this because he has smoked for most of his life, so it's become a ritual for him. Sadly, I don't think he will ever quit. Let's hope he's right, even though we all know it's a lottery ticket with much "better" odds to lose.
  20. harold

    harold Community Champion

    This has been a true challenge for me. I have never found the right words to tell some close friends that they are addicts. I believe that you need to show the person love and respect while telling them their situation. I know friends who still strongly insist that they can stop their addictions anytime they wish. It is just so difficult to help such people. At the end of the day, you can't abandon your own. Thanks for all the contributions.