Communicating love: How to speak with a drug addict

Communicating love: How to speak with a drug addict

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An important aspect of drug addiction recovery is communication. A recovering patient requires a multifaceted approach to treatment, including a full support system. Most family members, friends, and concerned guardians are initially unsure how to properly help their loved one. Their approach to communication can often waver in extremes; either being too tender or too forceful.

Drug counseling therapists caution families about this; recovering addicts are particularly vulnerable to suggestions or negative persuasive speeches (even if the intentions are well-meant). Language is a highly important part of therapy. Listed below are some helpful suggestions.

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Address the problem directly: It doesn’t do any good to bandy about. Patients need to understand that their drug addiction is a problem. Concerned members should approach the patient with care, but not hesitate to state facts. Depending on the person’s personality, the way this is communicated can adjust. This does not mean that being sweet and gentle is condoning the behavior. People can still be tender while being firm.

Stress the support: It is typical for a recovering addict to feel alone. There are psychological conditions that can also affect recovery. Family members should stress that patients are not alone; that there is a support system that is there. Over-indulging is not encouraged nor is micromanagement. Family members can feel the need to check up on their loved one constantly; thinking that this signifies care. However, this can backfire and come across as not trusting the patient in his or her own recovery process.

It is important that family members speak with their loved one’s drug counselor for more information on how to best communicate.

Heather Taras is studying drug counseling. Learn more when you subscribe to her blog.


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