How to Talk to a Loved One About Addiction

Every day, people across America participate in addiction treatment programs during their recovery from substance problems. There are programs available to combat the effects of all forms of addiction. However, many of those who need help never enter a suitable program. If you know someone affected by addiction, what’s the best way to talk to them about seeking treatment? Experts offer a variety of recommendations to support you in this crucially important task.

Tree House Recovery is here to help make talking about addiction easier. Reach out for the support you need at 910.812.1728.

How to Talk About Addiction: Understanding the Nature of Substance Problems

One of the key steps in talking about addiction is understanding the subject yourself. To reach this understanding, it helps to know some key facts. First, addiction is a chronic disease of the brain. This disease doesn’t occur all at once. Instead, it’s the end result of a series of steps that include:

  • Repeatedly using excessive amounts of drugs or alcohol
  • Undergoing changes in the brain that lead to physical substance dependence
  • Going through further brain changes that lead to psychological dependence
  • Compulsively seeking out more drugs or alcohol and using them over and over

Addiction is part of a larger condition known as substance use disorder, or SUD. People with SUD may also be affected by non-addicted substance abuse that causes them serious harm.

Talking About Addiction

Making a Plan

Planning is a key factor in having a fruitful conversation about addiction and treatment. It’s important to have a good idea of what you want to say. It’s equally as important to think about how you want to frame your words. 

As part of your planning, you may want to get advice from an addiction or intervention specialist. These professionals can help you formulate an approach that makes talking about addiction easier. You may also want to run through practice conversations by yourself or with another person. 

Choosing the Right Moment

Your loved one may be aware that they have a serious substance problem. However, they may also be unaware of their situation. In either case, it’s vital that you pick your moment when talking about getting help. 

What’s the right moment for this conversation? As a rule, addiction specialists recommend that you:

  • Avoid starting a discussion when your loved one is actively drunk or high
  • Choose a setting that’s as free as possible from noise or other distractions
  • Don’t bring up treatment when your loved one is arguing with you or anyone else

No moment is guaranteed to lead to a productive conversation. Still, by following these guidelines, you typically increase the odds of being heard.

How to Talk About Substance Abuse 

You may know someone who uses drugs or alcohol excessively but is not yet affected by addiction. In this situation, actions you take may help reduce the odds that addiction will occur in the future. This means that it’s also important to know how to talk about substance abuse. Fortunately, the steps that support positive conversations about addiction will work in this context, as well. 

Learn More About Addiction Treatment Programs at Tree House Recovery

These are just some of the steps you can take when talking to your loved one about addiction. For more tips and advice, talk to the treatment professionals at Tree House Recovery. We’re standing by with the support and expertise you need.

Tree House Recovery is committed to making substance treatment as holistic, accessible, and productive as possible. Whatever your loved one’s situation, we help make the recovery process part of a workable daily routine. To learn more, just call us today at 910.812.1728. You can also complete our brief online message form.

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