How Should You Approach Someone With An Addiction?


Addiction can be one of the toughest things people face – whether they themselves are experiencing it, or they discover a loved one is – but knowing how to actually address the issue can leave some people confused – or even result in them unknowingly mishandling the situation to disastrous effect. Approaching someone with an addiction properly is key to helping them minimise – and eventually cease altogether – their suffering, which is key to ensuring they can recover both in the short and long terms. As you might be a bit unsure regarding how to approach someone with an addiction, in this article we provide a few simple points to help give you somewhere to start from.

Empathy is everything

Rehab clinics in Melbourne work to bring constructive and tailored help and advice to people with addiction, and this is how other people should also approach anyone with an addiction. Although the temptation to shout and curse and inform someone of all the ways they’ve ruined not just their own lives but the lives of others around them can be tempting, this sort of behaviour will only make the entire process much harder. You have to remember that the person with the addiction is suffering, so approaching them in a calm, constructive and empathetic way is key to ensuring they know that you only mean to help them out. Even if you’ve been hurt through their selfish actions, reassuring them that you want to help can really help them know that they mean a lot to you and you only want to see them better (rather than giving the impression you’re sick of their behaviour). This is even more important when you know their health and wellbeing is at stake, or if they’re experiencing some particularly problematic relationship issues.

Be specific and encouraging

Talking to someone about their addiction in broad strokes can make the process much harder than it needs to be, as being general about the whole thing can open them up to denial. Instead, you have to inform them about very particular things that they’ve done as a result of their addiction that has caused hurt, ether to them or their loved ones. By giving them appropriate context, the individual with the addiction can better understand how their problem is routinely affecting those around them. When doing this it’s also a good idea to speak in the first person, as you using a personal case can help reinforce distress from your perspective, rather than leaving room for your contributions to be disregarded. It shouldn’t be just about telling them all about the hurt they’ve caused – you should be actively encouraging them so that they know that you want them to get better, rather than just seeming like you’re sick of their behaviour. Point out things that are important to them, such as family or their career, and let them know it isn’t too late to start improving the situation.

Preparation is everything

If you are planning on talking to someone with an addiction, being prepared is extremely important. by writing down all of your key points, you can avoid fumbling your conversation with them. These kinds of conversations can be very stressful for both parties, so being able to retain your cool with information you have noted already can help considerably in preventing the situation from spiralling out of control.