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How to bring up addiction?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by sarahxalex, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. sarahxalex

    sarahxalex Member

    How would one bring up addiction to a friend? You don't want to insult them or hurt their feelings but you want them to realize that they need help. What is a good way to bring it up?
  2. skullalif

    skullalif Member

    I usually start with myself or the news to regard his/her condition, like "i've been drinking too much and it's making me fuzz in between days man, what would you suggest?" or "Dude, seen that news about the drug abuse?, hope that won't happen in the neighborhood man"

    And if they eventually refuse to start a conversation about it just hang out and forget about talking about it the whole day, show some love and respect, they will eventually love and respect you back by being open (under patience, this might take several days or weeks).
  3. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    I think it also depends on how long this has been going on and the level of use. Most addicts might live in a state of denial for a time, but the reach a point where they know they have a problem--they just don't want to, or can't face it. That is why they go in and out of recovery so often. Most likely, if the addiction is bad enough, it has already affected work and relationships. When things get too out of hand, sometimes family and friends come together to do an intervention. But it is best to do this with a therapist or someone experienced with addiction. If you explain you are not being accusatory and want to be supportive, it might help. If they are in serious denial, they will get defensive. Either way, it is not a great situation. But you care.. and you need to convey this. Even offer to go to an AA/NA meeting with them. Offer them a hotline or literature. Another thing might be to ask an recovering addict with a few years of sobriety to talk to him.
  4. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    If they have been doing it for a while, then you need to approach them with caution as they are in another world and might deny having any problems at all.
    What you can do is ask them what is wrong or what has gone wrong in their lives to make them turn to addictions. If you cannot get an answer then perhaps find someone that is close to them to stage an intervention so that they can see that there is hope and there is support and that it is time to stop.
  5. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I would start by asking them how they are doing. Some people develop an addiction because they are using the substance to cope with something. If they say everything is fine, then maybe mention a couple of the odd things you have noticed that point to the addiction and see how they answer. Even if they deny it for a while once they catch on that you know, but you aren't mad at them or judging them for it, they may be more likely to open up.
  6. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    A good way to bring it up has to be a natural way, it can't be something forced, you just bring it into the conversation and see how receptive he is, if at all...
  7. Great ideas here. I think it's good to highlight one's own issues first before proceeding to mention the other person's addiction. People still feel offended when some kind of intervention is done on them. They feel betrayed and cling to their denial. I think the other post about mentioning something in the news first about an addiction is a great way to go about it.
  8. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    You'd to change how you interact with your friend. In everything talk doesn't do much. You need to show your friend that you care. If you notice something wrong with them, bloodshot eyes or something that shows they've been using some substance inquire about their sickly pallor and tell them their addiction is beginning to take a toll on them. This might or might not work at first but at least you'll be drawing in closer.
  9. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    I agree that proximity is the best, we need to be close if we want to bring it up. There is no magic formula though because every person is different.
  10. You are right. I think it is sad that there is no blanket formula for helping everyone out of their problems. I wish there was an easier way to share their burden with them; hold their hand and lead them toward the light at the end of their struggles.
  11. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    It's just the way it is. We can say it's sad or it's good, but until we manage to find the way that works with that specific person nothing will happen.
  12. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    If it were me I'd want my friend to ease into the topic. Talking about addiction is never an easy conversation and has potential to be dramatic or awkward. If they were a good friend I would appreciate their concern.
  13. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    True, it has to be a really close friend and the conversation has to flow, we have to feel that it's the right time and place to discuss it. If it seems something forced, it's because it is.
  14. GenevB

    GenevB Community Champion

    Well, you can try and make him or her feel the absence of a drug/alcohol by not taking it sometime. This way you can point right out that they are very addicted without them getting insulted.
  15. toppot44

    toppot44 Member

    I would ease my way into the topic by directing our conversation to drinking and do it in a very subliminal way. I would never just come out and say, "you have a serious drinking problem" I would just talk about how alcohol affects people and relationships and hope they would get a conscience and be open to discuss their drinking openly. Once I get my friend to open up about the issue, I would give my honest thoughts about his or her drinking and express my deepest concern. I would also use myself as an example of how I had to slow down myself.
  16. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    I guess bringing up your thoughts aren't necessarily an issue in itself. They after all, are only your thoughts. So if you just said to them that you wanted to bring up the issue, then as sensitive as it might be, I would hope they don't get offended. What they do with your observations is another matter.
  17. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Sometimes people need to hear it from the outside and perhaps they know that there is a problem but they are unaware of how to get help or find a way to work through it as they are or feel alone. Bringing it up might be the option or solution that they need to know that they have support and that they do have a problem.
  18. WAVWirmer

    WAVWirmer Member

    I think that as long as you dont pressure them to much its can be pretty easy to get someone talking about addiction. Some wont speak on it directly or will use examples or say i know someone etc. but they can start talking about it if you bring it up like other here have suggested in simple passive conversations. Just dont come off in a combative manner and speak openly without judgment. The method ive seen work most often is (Hey so and so Ive heard or read a report on how people are become more and more addicted to xyz. They say it starts off small and simple and that the person doesn't even realize till it becomes a bigger problem. Now that i think about it I think we know some people that may need help.) Here usually the person might start naming people or if they are up to it would even begin to open up about there own addiction. And remember its not about you or how there persons addiction is causing you problems its about helping them get over there addiction and or problems causing the addiction. Hope this helps.
  19. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think you should just try to approach it as calmly as possible. If the person sees it as being made into too much of a big deal then they might shy away from the conversation altogether. It's best to just talk to them as adults but I know that in some cases it's a lot easier said than done.