In the year ending in September 2021, more than 104,000 American overdose deaths were attributed to drugs. There’s a fundamental belief in our society that addiction is a choice.
People can choose whether to start taking drugs or alcohol and also choose when to stop. Drugs and alcohol just won’t be out of their systems on their own. They need help, but help requires reaching out.
This is where talking to a family member can be difficult. Addicted family members often avoid the people that care about them. They do this because they feel guilty or ashamed of their alcohol or drug addiction.
When you need to speak to an intoxicated relative, it can be difficult to judge their level of cooperation. Below are a few tips to help you get a conversation going.
Express Yourself with Compassion
Before talking to a family member when they are under the influence, take a moment to breathe and remember that they can not control their emotions. Express yourself with compassion. Be understanding and patient with them.
Share that you are sorry to see them in that situation and that you are there to help. Offer them a listening ear and a safe space to talk.
Do not be judgmental, but instead offer kindness, empathy, and understanding. Aim to communicate that you care about their well-being and that you are willing to be there for them no matter what.
Provide Resources for Help and Support
When attempting to talk to a family member who is under the influence, it is important to remain calm and offer support. It is crucial to always provide resources for help and support. This is to ensure family members can gain help to control their addiction.
This could involve suggesting a visit to a healthcare specialist for group therapy or an outpatient treatment center for them to understand the positive impacts of group therapy. Family members can look for support services such as community-based or online support groups and counselling. It’s also important not to be enabling or seeking attention when having these conversations.
While family members are under the influence, be sure to focus on conveying understanding and empathy to keep the familial bond strong. Provide positive reinforcement and support as well, knowing small acts can show someone that they are not in it alone.
Suggest external options and rehabilitation centers that provide proper support for addictions. Be there and have an open conversation to help shift the family member’s mindset.
It is important to manage boundaries and be clear on the benefits of getting help. It is important to be respectful even if the conversation is difficult. Showing love can help the person feel heard and understood.
Be direct in what you want to say, avoiding the use of hard-hitting words like “should” or “must”. Offer clear boundaries around their behaviour when they are under the influence and be prepared to follow through with consequences. It’s important to be an advocate for family members while also pushing them to take responsibility for their well-being.
Helping a Family Member
Talking to a family member who is under the influence can be a difficult experience. Offer them support and understanding, and remember to have a calm and level head.
Set boundaries for their behaviour and make sure they are not in any danger. Seeking out counselling if you need guidance on how to handle the situation.
If you find this article helpful, check out the latest blog posts on addiction, alcohol abuse, and drugs on our website.