How to Broach the Subject of Drug Taking with Your Family Member
If you have good reason to suspect that your family member or loved one is taking drugs and suffering from an addiction, naturally you will want to get them some help and support. For some, finding out their loved one has a drug addiction can come as a great shock, for others it’s almost a relief, as there is at last an explanation for their deceitful and erratic behaviour. How to speak to your loved one regarding this, is a question we are often asked. You are probably worried about saying the wrong thing and alienating them further or making things worse. Be reassured that speaking to them is the right thing to do, ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away.
Should I Speak to Them Alone?
This very much depends on the individual. If your family member has a tendency to be aggressive or violent, do not speak to them on your own. Ask for support from another family member or friend to ensure your safety. If your loved one is a very private person, you may wish to try to approach them on a one to one basis; you may find them more responsive to your questions. If your family member is part of your house hold, we would suggest getting other members of the house together and have a discussion. It is important that you are all on the same page; otherwise, there is room for the manipulation and deceit to continue. An addict will often play family members and loved ones off against each other, for their own gain; so keep communication open with other members of the house and family. If you approach the family member together as a united front, this sends a clear message…that you mean business and are keen to help support them.
Before speaking to your family member about an addiction, we would recommend that you educate yourself on the subject and find out sources of support and treatment options. This way you can keep the conversation positive with a helpful solution to offer. Tell your loved one what you know of their addiction and give examples you have experienced of them. Explain to them that they have an illness that likely needs professional help and support and that you will support them in getting that help. If they are not ready to engage in any treatment, it is wise not to push the matter, as any desire to get well and change must come from within them. We suggest you keep your approach non-threatening at all times and stick to the facts, explain the fears you have and the impact their drug taking and behaviours has on you and other family members. It is also wise to be prepared for excuses, your family member one may feel they cannot recover due to circumstances or stresses in their life, this is not the truth. With the right professional support, they can recover regardless of relationships, financial status or personal trauma. As long as they are willing, there is hope.
It’s important when broaching the subject of drugs with your family member that you keep your manor calm and try to remain non-judgemental. If the addict feels they are being attacked or judged in any way, it is very likely they will refuse to discuss the matter or become very agitated. The whole purpose of speaking to your family member is to reassure them that there is help and try to get them to talk about their addiction. This does not mean that it is okay for them to carry on, and if this is their intention, you will need to consider boundaries to keep the rest of the household safe.
What If They Refuse Help?
It is vital that you remember you are not responsible for your family member’s addiction, or their recovery. If they refuse help, you should not blame yourself. Denial is all part of addiction and sadly, it can be so strong that it takes them to their death. They simply cannot or will not see or admit that they have a problem. That being the case, there is little you can do, unless you want to consider a professional intervention. Addiction Helper have this exact service to offer, it is extremely successful in breaking denial and getting your family member to admit to rehab treatment.
If you decide you don’t want to intervene or you want to let your loved one reach their own decision on getting help, it is wise for you to get support and further guidance on how to safeguard yourself and your family from further harm. Many helpful organisations can support you in supporting your family member, or support you in looking after yourself. Please have a look at the various services available – very useful if you are looking for help for family solutions.
We Can Help
If you are still unsure of how to broach the subject of drug taking and addiction with your family member, or are afraid of how they will respond, please call and speak to a member of our team who will be happy to help and guide you. We will also advise you of what treatment options are available, should your family member decide to accept help for their problem. We can help support you each step of the way, ensuring that your family member accesses the best in addiction treatment and giving them the best start to their recovery.