Talking to a Loved One About Their Addiction


Talking to a Loved One About Their Addiction


When someone is battling an addiction, it can be hard for them to admit it.

Sometimes, you may know that a loved one needs professional help before they know it or can admit it to themselves.

However, talking to a loved one about their addiction is no easy feat, whether or not they have even acknowledged the problem.

While it may be difficult or uncomfortable, stepping up to help someone you care about is always worthwhile.

The most effective way to end an addiction is to seek professional care for it.

Having an open conversation about the problem may be the catalyst they need to make this choice.

Immediate Placement in Addiction Treatment


Understanding Addiction

When you are on the fence about seeking addiction health care, knowing that someone else cares may be enough to push you in the right direction.

Knowing that someone else is invested in the outcome tells you that you are not facing this battle alone.

But, being on the opposite side of the equation is often tricky. Addictions can be hard to identify.

You may think that someone you love needs help, but how can you be sure?

Addictions to substances – like alcohol – are often ambiguous.

This is a normalized substance we see everywhere.

Further, some people become addicted and others do not.

It is not always easy to see the difference between binge drinking and alcoholism.

Certain drugs, prescription pain relievers, or mood enhancers, for example, are also complicated.

Your loved one may have started taking certain medications with a genuine medical need in mind.

A few of the most obvious signs of an addiction are:

  • They are openly taking more than the dose they are supposed to.
  • They have begun seeking the same pills from sources other than their doctor.
  • They have escalated to stronger drugs.

But what signs should you look out for when you are not close enough to notice these changes?

Talking to a Loved One About Their Addiction Emerald Isle - A group of friends enjoying a night out drinking alcohol, which can be hard to tell whether it is a night of binge drinking or if there is an actual substance abuse problem for their loved ones.


Signs of Addiction

Drug and alcohol addictions can be complicated and messy.

They can start with innocent social drinking or prescription medications given based on genuine medical needs.

When it takes a turn from innocent to abusive, the person who is struggling with substance abuse will likely try to hide it. This makes it difficult to identify and even more difficult to approach when you do.

But, if you are concerned that a loved one is battling substance abuse, chances are good that you are right.

If you are coming from a place of love and concern, trust your instincts.

And when you are trying to confirm your suspicions, watch for common signs of addiction:

  • Recurring social circle changes
  • Isolating from family members or friends
  • Lost interest in work, hobbies, or other daily activities
  • Declining hygiene
  • Recurrent sadness or fatigue
  • Rapid changes in eating habits
  • Unexplainable or rapid mood changes
  • Drastic changes in sleep patterns
  • Missing work, appointments, meetings, or other obligations with no explanation
  • Strained or damaged relationships



Now that you feel confident that your loved one needs help; it is time to work out the details.

How and when you have this conversation can change the outcome.

When it comes to suggesting an alcohol or drug rehab stay for a loved one, it is important to take the right approach.

Approach them cautiously and lovingly. Do not shame or blame them.

They may know they need help but are too scared to admit it yet. They may be in denial of the problem altogether. Their instinct may be to get mad or defensive, and approaching them the same way will only make it worse.

Try to be understanding and patient. Ultimately, this decision is theirs to make.

You are simply helping to guide them in the right direction.

You can make recommendations or have them admitted if the situation calls for it, but they must be the ones to commit to getting clean.

They must decide that the risks associated with drug or alcohol abuse far outweigh the benefits.

They must decide that they are ready to commit to a healthy, sober life.

You are simply showing them that you care and guiding them in that direction.

Learn More About our Residential Rehab Program

Intervention vs. Individual Conversations

Because we see them so frequently in movies and TV shows, many people will begin by staging an intervention.

In most cases, it is more beneficial to try having a more intimate conversation first. Even if a few people are involved, individual conversations are often less intimidating than staged, full interventions.

You have a better chance of getting the struggling individual to be open and responsive, rather than confused and angry.

When there are too many people involved, you will also have to battle heightened emotions and tensions.

Choose a time and setting that allows for a meaningful, private conversation away from interruptions or distractions.

Remaining calm and compassionate will help you keep the message clear.

Let them know that you are concerned for their well-being and that an alcohol or drug rehab program can help.

If it helps you stay organized, bring notes that will help you remember all the points you want to make.

If you have examples of destructive or addictive behaviors you would like to share with them, do so without adding shame or blame to the conversation.

Addiction is a chronic disease.

Talking to a Loved One About Their Addiction Emerald Isle - A group of family and friends of a loved one struggling with addiction gathers in an intimate setting to try and offer support and encouragement as they try to motivate the individual to seek proper treatment for their substance abuse and addiction issues.


Other Considerations

If they are open to continuing the conversation, share our information with them.

We will walk them through each step involved in choosing the right drug or alcohol rehab program, as well as each step that comes next.

If they are not quite there yet, do not give up on them. Consider scheduling another conversation later.

Substance abuse is often linked to involvement in the justice system, as well as chronic health concerns and poorer health outcomes.

But, there is strong evidence that most people who participate in addiction treatments for the appropriate amount of time will stop using drugs, decrease participation in criminal activities, and improve their psychological, social, and occupational functioning.

Recovery from addiction involves a long-term commitment.

A relapse does not indicate a failure. It simply means that it is time to try again with a different approach.

Millions of individuals seek addiction treatments each year.

Remind your loved one that they are not alone.


Payment Options

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?

We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.

We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.

Free Insurance Verification for Addiction Treatment


How to Get Help

At Emerald Isle, we aim to improve the life of each individual and family we encounter.

We offer a variety of proven and research-based addiction care programs.

We offer therapeutic methods, holistic remedies, and addiction and relapse prevention training for a well-rounded recovery.

When you choose Emerald Isle, you choose a dedicated team, comprehensive care methods, and long-term support.

We will not lead you or your loved ones astray.

Call Emerald Isle at 855-613-0620 to schedule your consultation.