Why do you confront an addict?
You know something is wrong. You have found drugs, drug paraphernalia, or you just know. You are worried.
But how do you confront a drug addict?
As a parent, relative, or spouse of a drug addict, you have tried your best to cope with the situation. You know because of the hours they keep, the lack of money, motivation, and obvious health deterioration of the addict. But how do you confront the addict?
The first step is understanding the Pattern of Addiction. Understanding how an addict becomes an addict gives you the understanding you need.
The next step is take action. Each case is different, but our trained counselors can help you get through this to a satisfactory result.
Getting help for an addict is tough but worth it
Don’t expect any hugs of gratitude or warm, fuzzy thank-you notes for trying to help someone with an addiction. At least, not right away. Getting treatment for a loved one or friend with a substance-abuse problem can be frustrating, infuriating and heartbreaking, since they often deny they even have a problem.
Typical addicts will get defensive or come up with a very convincing explanation, often believing their own lies. They may lash out at the loved one who suggests they need help. They’re adept at redirecting the spotlight on the people and situations around them. Trying to help an addict requires incredible strength, caring and patience. But the effort is usually worth it if there’s a chance you can save the person and your relationship.
Most people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol need an outside force to break through their denial. Very few people ever decide to stop drinking or using drugs on their own. Ultimately, however, people with substance-abuse problems are responsible for their own treatment and recovery. Loved ones must realize they cannot control the addict. They didn’t cause the addiction, they can’t cure it, and they can’t force anyone to go into treatment.
If you feel you need an intervention, read these tips on a Successful Drug Intervention.
Addiction treatment experts offer the following tips to guide you in helping someone who has a substance abuse problem.
- Check out insurance coverage. See if your insurance (if the addict is a family member) covers any portion of drug or alcohol treatment.
- Confront addicts only when they’re straight and sober. Approach them in a gentle way. You don’t have to be angry or nasty or self-righteous about it. Just try to be helpful. Talk non-judgmentally about your feelings about their drinking or drug abuse. Point out problems that their behavior has caused, but do it in a caring way.
- Offer information about several treatment options. The Atlanta Recovery Center offers variety of addiction-treatment programs – from 28-day residential settings to day and evening outpatient programs or we can help arrange a program closer to you.
- Don’t do anything that supports the continuation of the addiction problem. Don’t “call in sick” for them if they’re hung over. Don’t pay their bills if they’re delinquent. Don’t make excuses for their erratic behavior. It’s time to let them face their responsibilities and face the consequences. If you do everything for them, they have no consequences, so what’s the motivation to change?