A Difficult Conversation: How to Talk About Addiction With Your Friends

Addiction is a disorder, and those who suffer from it can easily be overwhelmed by its effects on their entire life. Even highly-functioning addicts need help, and the loved ones around them can play a crucial part in their recovery.

If one of your friends is showing signs of alcohol or substance abuse, you can help by initiating a very difficult conversation about their problem and show your support.

If you are seeking guidance on how to talk to a friend about their addiction, read on.

How to Tell that Your Friend Has an Addiction

Often, it’s not easy to identify an actual addiction, especially when it involves alcohol abuse, which is seen as socially acceptable in many environments.

Here are some of the most common signs that someone is struggling with addiction.

  • They are always interested in events where they can get access to their alcohol or drugs;
  • They are struggling with their job, at home, or have legal problems ;
  • They stop seeing some of the people in their life or doing activities they used to enjoy;
  • Bragging about their alcohol or substance abuse and seeking approval for it;
  • Driving under the influence and refusing to give up their car keys;
  • They change their personality while under the influence;
  • They frequently have blackouts and don’t remember conversations or events;
  • They have money problems and they might ask you to lend them money;
  • They are showing secretive behavior, hiding themselves, and being different when returning from their absence.

As you can see, there are no certain ways of knowing someone is addicted, unless they tell you that themselves. Unfortunately, because of the stigma associated with addiction and the difficulties it brings, those who suffer from it are often denying it, refusing help, and ready to give up on friends if they are confronted about it. Contact rehab cape town today for more information on substance use disorders.

How to Talk to an Addicted Friend

It’s hard to find your words when talking about someone’s addiction, no matter how close you are to them (and maybe exactly because of that). When opening this conversation, make sure you do it when your friend is sober.

Be compassionate and assure them of your unconditional love and support, no matter how many times they have wronged you because of their addiction. Avoid meeting them in spots where they have access to the substance they are addicted to and don’t blame or criticize them.

Be specific about the things you observed in their behavior and tell them how you perceive the effects of their addiction. Give examples of things they are missing out, or that are damaged by their substance abuse.

In an ideal scenario, they would welcome your offer of help and you would have a constructive conversation about their problem. But, oftentimes, addiction is coped with denial or even resistance. If this happens, remind your friend that you are there for them and if they ever need help overcoming their addiction, they can turn to you for support.

If you need more support in dealing with a loved one’s addiction, seek advice from rehab cape town professionals and look into what treatment options they have. And, most importantly, don’t give up on your friend, as long as you are practicing self-care and are not affected negatively by their disorder.

Treatment for sex addiction is also available at Harmony Clinic.