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  • Writer's pictureChris Thompson

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Confronting Someone About Their Addiction


Confronting someone about their addiction.

It’s always difficult to confront someone about their addiction. They almost always deny there’s a problem, but even if they acknowledge their addiction, they’ll be defensive.


It’s hard for friends and family members to watch an addict struggle, but confronting them has to be handled delicately. Let’s explore these 5 mistakes you should avoid when confronting someone about their addiction.


1. Never Confront an Addict Angrily


Addicts will almost always be on the defensive when confronted with their problem, but it’s even worse if you are angry when you do it. It’s normal to feel upset, but if you’re angry, you’re more likely to say things that won’t be productive.


Focus on what you feel beneath the anger. Let them know you love them and don’t want to lose them to their problem. Let them know that you think they are worth saving and that you’ll be there to support them through that process.


2. Don’t Lecture When Confronting Someone About Their Addiction


It’s almost never productive to come at an addict with a lecture about what they’re doing to their body or their loved ones. Addicts are already filled with enormous amounts of shame, guilt, and self-loathing.


If you try to lecture them about the pain they’re causing their loved ones and the damage they’re doing to their body, you’re just adding to the emotional distress they already feel. That’s more likely to drive them right back to their substance of choice rather than encouraging them to seek help.


3. Don’t Confront Them Without a Plan


You want to have a plan when you’re confronting someone about their addiction. Think about what you want to say and stick to the plan.


If you don’t have a plan, the confrontation is likely to become heated and very emotional. That’s not productive for what you’re trying to do.


4. Don’t Blame – Focus on Feelings Instead


Remember, addicts are already filled with plenty of shame and guilt. When you blame them for what they’re doing, that just makes the situation worse.


Instead, it’s more productive to focus on how you feel about them and how what they are doing makes you feel. By showing them that you genuinely care about them, you’ll have more success in trying to convince them to get help.


5. Don’t Lose Your Cool


Things are very likely to get emotional when you’re confronting someone about their addiction. That’s normal, but if you completely break down emotionally, that isn’t productive.


Show them some genuine tears, but don’t totally lose your cool. You want to express how much you love them, but you also want to focus on their needs and emotions as opposed to your own.


Do Advise Them Try to Sober Sidekick


Sober Sidekick is a social media platform with more than 175,000 recovering addicts who want to help your loved one. They can join virtual AA meetings, reach out to accountability partners and a non-judgmental peer community, and even get help from a professional counselor.


If you’re serious about helping your loved one overcome their addiction, you don’t want them to feel isolated. When they join the Sober Sidekick community, they will know they are not alone, and because of that, they will have a better chance of getting and staying sober.


Image: Freepik

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