If you know or love someone who is struggling with drug addiction, it’s only natural to want to say or do something to help them. You want to let them know you’re available for them and want to see them get better. However, good intentions don’t always play out well, and it’s common for people to say or do things that don’t help at all or even make matters worse.
Countless people have been in your position before – according to a Pew survey conducted in 2017, nearly half of U.S. adults reported having a close friend or family member who has been addicted to drugs.
It may be helpful to consider a list of things you should avoid saying to someone who has an addiction. In addition to this blog, our team also recommends exploring our other blogs and website to educate yourself on your loved one’s addiction. The more you understand what a person with an addiction is going through, the less likely you are to say something that you may regret.
Things you shouldn’t say to someone struggling with addiction include:
Offer to Get Them a Drink
You may think you’re doing your loved one a service by distracting them from using drugs, but replacing drug use with alcohol consumption isn’t helpful. Alcohol is considered a drug and alcohol addiction is as common as drug addiction. Alcohol can even lead to increased drug use since it’s a depressant that can intensify feelings of sadness later. Suggesting an activity that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol is better.
Tell Them Quitting Cold Turkey is the Only Option
Some people may think the best way to help their friend or family member is to help them detox and cut off their drug usage completely. This can be incredibly dangerous with certain drugs, especially alcohol and benzodiazepines. Sudden withdrawal can cause life-threatening symptoms like seizures and aggressive behaviors that may put others in danger, too. This is why countless people go to detox centers for help – the best way to quit drugs is through a controlled program that offers medical supervision. By attempting the detox process by yourself or pressuring them to “go cold turkey,” you may be endangering your loved one’s life.
“You Just Need to…”
People often dole out advice as a way of helping others, but some advice comes off as uninformed and even condescending. Telling a person with an addiction that they need to do something like get a job or repair a relationship isn’t helpful, and it’s also not going to help a person overcome their addiction. Addiction isn’t something that can be easily solved; it requires professional help and strategic thinking that addiction centers and therapy can provide. Though you want their life to improve, telling them they “need” to do something implies that the person isn’t doing enough for themselves.
By avoiding saying these things, you can also avoid further isolating or hurting the person you want to help. If they are open to the idea of seeking professional help, you can support them by helping them find a detox program that fits their needs and staying informed throughout their recovery.
Offering a Safe Place to Detox
At The Nestled Recovery Center, our team is committed to treating our patients with the empathy they deserve during a dark time. With experience safely detoxing people from addictions like alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and more, we can be trusted to help your family member or friend take their first steps toward sobriety. Our company is JCAHO accredited and goes above and beyond to make our environment comfortable to ease patients into the detox process.
Want to help your loved one detox safely? The Nestled Recovery Center provides a comfortable place for patients to begin recovery while being monitored by a team of professionals. Learn more about our detox and treatment programs by calling (702) 299-6406, or reach out via our online form.