You can no longer watch a friend or family member ruin their lives — and those of the people that love them — with drugs and alcohol.

You know they need to enter a treatment facility, and you want to understand how to help an addict to see it, too.

To get it right, you need to make certain you’re clear on the best way to talk to someone about their addiction. This post is here to show you how to make it happen.

1. Understand True Empathy

Especially when talking to an addict, it is so easy to make the conversation about you — and understandably so!

Their addiction has made you tired, ill from worry, and may have affected your professional and personal life. But if you want to know how to help an addict effectively, you need to understand how empathy really works.

The addict knows their behavior is wrong, and they likely already feel guilty enough. Attempt, even just for a single conversation, to put harsher judgments and emotions like anger aside.

Ask them questions as opposed to telling them about how they have a problem. Ask something like, “Is there anything going on you’d like to tell me about?” or “I notice you’ve been tired lately. Is everything OK with you?”

You can show concern but stay away from condemnation. (That’s what your therapist and friends are for.)

2. Ask for Help

You’re not the only one who has noticed that the person you love has a problem.

Speak to their family and friends, recount stories, and affirm behaviors privately. This will help you to know you’re not alone — and you can use this same strategy when talking to the addict in the future.

You may decide that the best thing for you to do is to set up an intervention. Remember that working with a professional interventionist to ensure things go as effectively as possible is also a smart idea.

3. Set Boundaries

You, of course, want to understand how to help someone get off drugs for good. But the truth is that you can’t do it on your own and the addict won’t be able to stop until they’re truly ready.

At the end of the day, one of the hardest things to admit to yourself is that their addiction is no longer your responsibility. Stop enabling them, stop taking their calls, and even stop seeing them altogether unless they want to agree to enter a drug rehab like Northbound Treatment Services.

Setting healthy boundaries isn’t “abandoning” someone. It’s about refusing to let their addiction control your own life, and stressing the necessity of them getting help.

How to Help an Addict: Wrapping Up

Now that you better understand how to help an addict, perhaps you’re curious to learn a bit more about the nature of addiction as a whole. Maybe you’re even struggling with addiction yourself, and want to understand how you can seek help.

We’re here to guide you through the process from every angle.

Keep checking back with our blog to learn more about breaking free from drugs and alcohol.