Do you have someone close to your heart who is suffering from addiction? Are you looking for practical ways to help this individual? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make this someone feel better about himself? Of you answered yes to all these, be sure that you will know how to communicate well with the said person. Keep in mind that one wrong word coming out from your mouth can have a big impact on your friend or loved one who is suffering from addiction. “For family and friends of drug- or alcohol-addicted individuals, addressing the addiction is one of the most difficult aspects of helping the addicted person seek treatment,” says Steven Gifford, LICDC, LPC.
Before anything else, we want to encourage you that the secret to dealing with a person with an addiction is to start communicating effectively. If possible, learn how to think twice before you utter a sentence. Train your mind to keep on thinking about it until you can say it out loud to several people. Take note that addiction is something that is beyond the control of the person affected by it. As such, you must make it a top priority to be careful of the way you communicate with him. Here is a list of the things that you can let the other person know:
“I Understand What You Are Going Through”
Nothing is more relieving than hearing someone say these sweet words. When your friend or loved one hears this line, he will start to realize that you have stayed with him through ups and downs. At the same time, he will also be reminded of the fact that there is someone in his life that he can open up or talk to anytime he wants. Aside from this, he can also feel a sense of comfort, knowing that you understand his issues and concerns in life. The best thing to do is to let the other person become who he wants to be and to allow him to continue to offer an explanation as to the kind of life he chose to live.
“I Can Help You See A Therapist”
If you believe that your friend’s condition has become worsened, the next thing that you need to do is to find a way to encourage him to see a therapist. Let him know about the benefits and advantages of seeking professional help. Take note that there are signs and symptoms for addiction that you need to give attention to immediately. Otherwise, these will end up getting more severe than ever. If you want to prevent your friend or loved one from suffering a lot because of addiction, be sure to find a way to convince him to see a therapist or counselor. “The therapist must encourage the family to help the alcoholic end the dance by realizing they cannot control and enable the drinking and that only when they reach out for help outside the family system may they be led into the stage of transition,” says Steve Greenman, MA, LPC, NCC.
“I Am Always Here”
Another way of giving assurance to the other person is telling him or her that you are going to stay by his side no matter what happens. This includes doing everything you can to avoid judging him for his choices and attitude. Keep in mind that his personality may have been changed because of the effects that his addiction has contributed in his day-to-day life. If you want to help him become better truly, you need to make him see that you are always going to in his life regardless of the situation. As what Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT shared, “There is hope, and there is help for the addict and for codependent family members.”