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The topic of addiction can be uncomfortable for people to discuss with their loved ones. Conversation sometimes becomes even more difficult when a loved one can not come to terms with their addiction. It can be challenging for those with substance use disorder (SUD) to recognize the signs of addiction within themselves. That’s why people must start discussing addiction with their loved ones, especially if they recognize the signs. Still, starting that conversation isn’t something anyone knows how to do naturally. 

You can learn how to start discussing addiction with loved ones with the help of resources, professional guidance, and support groups. Further, contact West Coast Recovery Centers to start learning how you can help your loved one with their addiction today. 

The Impact of a Loved One’s Addiction

Addiction affects everyone in a social circle, including friends and family. In the case of exposure to addiction, individuals must learn to be honest with their loved ones – and this certainly isn’t easy. That’s why you must be able to start the conversation. Not only does it help to strengthen your bond, but it’s also a great way to clear the air and ensure that the lines of communication are open regarding such a sensitive subject.

In the same way that it’s important for your loved one to acknowledge their struggle with addiction, it’s also important that you acknowledge how the addiction is affecting you. Yet, before you can discuss addiction, you must determine if you think your loved one is struggling with SUD. 

Considering Whether or Not You Think Your Loved One Is Struggling With Addiction

If you’re thinking a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s probably because you’re witnessing some signs or odd behaviors. Still, you are probably asking yourself, what can you do? Upon recognizing the signs, consider approaching your loved one via these six steps recommended by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 

  • Talked to your loved one 
  • Be open 
  • Show compassion 
  • Be sure to care for yourself too 
  • Seek support 
  • Remember that mental health and SUD are treatable 

Of course, how you begin discussing addiction with others depends on the person you’re talking to. For instance, talking to a child struggling with addiction will be different than talking to a parent. 

So what do these different conversations look like? Let’s dive into these conversations a little deeper. 

Discussing Addiction With Children

If the loved one you’re trying to connect with is your child, discussing addiction can be exceptionally challenging. No parent wants to see their child struggling with SUD. More than anything, they want their child to get the help they need. Unfortunately, getting them that help or convincing them they need help can be more than you bargain for. Still, the first step toward getting them help is talking to them about it. 

That conversation looks a little different depending on the situation. Yet, in any situation, you must approach your child with love, empathy, and compassion. Then, you can:

  • Ask them questions and avoid lecturing them
  • Try to understand their reason for using substances 
  • Acknowledge if there’s a history of addiction within the family 
  • Express your concerns for their wellness, health, and safety 
  • Discuss with them your willingness to help them seek treatment and follow through by supporting them on their journey 

Discussing Addiction With Your Parents

Same as discussing addiction with a child, you must approach a parent who has an addiction with love, empathy, and compassion. Consider using the same steps such as trying to understand their reasoning, expressing your concerns, and discussing potential treatment options. 

Talking to your parent about their addiction can be more difficult than you realize. Parents are supposed to take care of their children, not the other way around. Yet, there does typically come a point when the tables turn. 

Start by doing your research and becoming more knowledgeable. Set aside time and find a private place to express your concerns. If you’re afraid, you may consider professional help. In that case, consider reaching out to a professional to help you host an intervention. Doing so can be an integral first step in helping your parent seek treatment. 

Continuing to Support Your Loved Ones Throughout Their Treatment

Discussing addiction is only the first step in a much longer process. Recovery is ongoing and requires constant effort. Constantly trying to stay sober can be exhausting, but doing so with the support from loved ones can make the journey more bearable. You must be willing to support your loved one through the long haul, which means maintaining open lines of communication and consistently discussing addiction. 

To learn more about discussing addiction with any friends, family, and loved ones who may be struggling, consider professional counseling. Consider reaching out to us at West Coast Recovery Centers to learn more and find treatment for your loved ones today. 

Sometimes, individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) fail to realize how much it impacts others. Friends, children, parents, partners, and other loved ones are all affected when they know someone struggling with SUD. Still, discussing addiction is not something that comes easily. How you discuss it depends on who you discuss it with. With every conversation, you must broach the conversation with love, empathy, and compassion. It is not a time to lecture, judge, or criticize. This conversation is a time to ask to better understand their struggle and determine how you can help. If you are struggling with discussing addiction, consider professional help. Call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 to learn more today.