It is a cold harsh fact that many people with addictions are victims of society. For some, it’s because of a traumatic experience or pain they are currently coming to terms with. For others, it may be as simple as being born on the wrong side of the tracks. Whatever the case, there may be times in our lives where someone close to us begins to spiral out of control. Be it alcohol, drugs, or any other type of substance dependency, it can be difficult to know what to do or say.

While it is a difficult time not just for you, it is also a time when your loved one needs you most. Being confused whether to intervene or not is a normal human response. If your stance is that it’s none of my business or someone else can deal with it, then let’s pose this question.

“You are walking to the shops and just meters in front of you, you spot someone fall to the ground having a heart attack.”

Your initial response may be to lend assistance.

Or it may be to call an ambulance. Whatever your response, it was most likely assisting someone in need.

The same can be said for loved ones abusing alcohol or drugs.

Your intervention may literally save their life.

So now that you have made the decision to speak to them about their addiction, what is the best way to raise it?

While there may never be an appropriate time to speak about addiction, it does take courage on your behalf to bring up the issue. As you probably know, there’s no point in discussing their dependency when they are drunk or high. It may be easier when your loved one is remorseful the next day. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong time to have a chat.

One way to approach the situation is to sit down with them and discuss what is happening. For some abusers, this will be the moment they have been waiting for. Depending on your relationship, it’s best to take a moment to walk in his or her shoes before talking to them. Understanding the situation they are in and that addiction is a disease may provide you a better idea the turmoil they currently face.

Although the pain they are causing you may want you to tell them exactly what to do, it’s best that you hold your thoughts to yourself. No one wants advice when they already know the demons that are haunting them and what they need to do to live a healthier life. Lectures will fall on deaf ears and further strain your relationship. As Stephen Covey says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood“.

If your loved one is ready to receive help, there are places you can suggest they attend such as group counseling such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Alcohol and drug abuse can damage a persons life. While it may be confusing whether to approach a loved one about their addiction, it takes courage to to want to help and start a conversation. One thing is for sure. Doing so may literally save your loved one’s life.


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