Relationships are a complicated aspect of life. It can make people feel strong emotions that they haven’t felt before. Genuine relationships with family, friends and special someone are the ones that we can treasure forever. Their unwavering love and support can get you through the ups and downs.
But what can you do to intervene if you suspect your loved one has a drinking problem? How can you talk to them without goading them? Can you calmly start a conversation without giving judgments?
Skyward Treatment understands that alcoholism or substance abuse disorder (SUD) also affects the people around the individual who struggles with addiction. This article will give insights on how to talk with a loved one suffering from SUD. But first, let’s learn what SUD is.
What is Substance Use Disorder?
Individuals who are diagnosed with substance use disorder use alcohol or drugs regularly. This recurrent use of substances is causing damage, including health problems, disability, and inability to fulfill work, educational, and family obligations.
It is important to note that whether you suspect your loved one has SUD and they don’t, only a trained professional can diagnose SUD. The only way to undoubtedly know is to visit a rehab facility like Taylor Recovery, conveniently located in the heart of Houston, Texas.
Here are some pointers to encourage your loved one to get help.
Do a Self-Check First
We know that you are also affected by your loved one’s drinking problem. But you have to consider that drinking problems are like mental health illnesses. You cannot intervene in your loved one’s drinking problem by directly telling how it negatively affects you.
Before talking to your loved one, consider these pointers:
- What do you expect from the conversation? Do you expect positive outcomes? Try to be neutral as much as possible.
- Understand your feelings, reactions, and judgment ahead of time. So when the conversation starts, you can tone it down responsibly.
- Do not expect an admittance. The conversation is for getting information and understanding your loved one’s situation.
- Aggression is not welcome in the conversation. Avoid at all costs. The goal is to get information and present appropriate options.
Expect Conflict When You Start the Conversation
Conflict does not necessarily mean a heated argument. Conflict is a disconnect because of unmet needs and expectations, which can be an opportunity to learn more about the situation of your loved one. The conversation should stay calm and relaxed to avoid miscommunication. You can ask these questions within your conversation with a loved one:
- Is everything all right with you? I wanted to check in on you because you seem to be struggling emotionally.
- Have you used drugs or alcohol to cope with your feelings?
- What can I do to better support you with your feelings?
- Do you feel any adverse effects when you use substances? Or positive effects?
- In any way, do you feel concerned about continuing to use substances?
- Do you have any positive experiences with therapists? What made that experience comfortable for you? As an alternative, what is the ideal scenario for you?