How to Confront an Addict
If you’re wondering how to confront an addict, there are several steps that can be taken to increase your chance of success. From looking for signs in their behavior to researching treatment centers, the items on this list can provide some insight into how to confront an addict while remaining respectful and calm.
Put Some Serious Thought into Your Preparation
Deciding how to confront an addict is never a pleasant experience. Addicts who are struggling with substance abuse are often in a state of denial. A poorly planned intervention can result in an addict feeling that he or she is being attacked by his or her friends or family. Often, addicts will view the intervention as a betrayal. When it comes time for an intervention, the best thing you can do is prepare thoroughly for the encounter.
Look for Signs in Their Behavior
Prior to intervention, it’s wise to examine the addict’s behavioral patterns for a few weeks. Look for the common signs of addiction. Doing so will allow you to better understand the severity of their problem and take measure of how it is affecting them and those around them. Compare notes on your observations with close family and friends so that you explain to the addict the seriousness of the issue and to ensure that you are not alone in your concerns.
Research the Addiction
After you’ve concluded that there is a real issue, it is advisable to do research on the substances involved. If you physically witness an addict actually using, do as much research on that particular substance as you can. There are several online resources to help educate you about the commonly used substances. These resources can outline what addiction looks like for any given substance and where to find help.
While the symptoms of substance abuse vary from person to person, there are many indicators. Things like changes in their appearance, changes in their health and hygiene or degradation of their school grades. Maybe there’s an issue with the addict’s performance at work. Or perhaps you’ve observed changes to their group of friends, social routines and a shift in their attitude and/or demeanor. Any one of these symptoms can signal a problem.
Gather Your Research
Take some time to gather some reading materials. Brochures, research pages, or links to websites are all good sources of information. Gather them and have them ready for the intervention. Having this third-party information helps to bolster the credibility of your argument.
As you prepare for the intervention, it is important to suppress your emotions and remain calm throughout the encounter. Once you get into a debate about how your feelings are just your problem, it makes it much more difficult to achieve your goal. As best as you can, you want to be the voice of reason. Once you establish yourself as a caring friend or loved one who is being objective, the addict will be more likely to hear you out. Emotional confrontations rarely end well and it’s important to remember that the goal is to put the addict on the road to recovery, whether that’s into a rehab facility or treatment center.
Have a Script
To prevent the possibility of emotional confrontation during an intervention, it’s a smart idea to have a script. Saying the wrong things can destroy your credibility with the addict or lead to unpredictable actions. Figure out in advance what you will say. Research the treatment center you’d like to send them to. Your script should touch on some major points and should also outline the consequences to the addict if he/she rejects treatment.
Explore Treatment Centers
Take some time to research local treatment centers, rehab and post-rehab options to help assure the addict that there will be professional help available at every phase of recovery. Contact rehab centers and outpatient facilities to gather as much information as possible. Even if your intervention is not successful, the addict might start to have a better understanding of the options available once he/she is ready to move forward. It plants the seed, if nothing else.
Talk To a Professional
One of the smartest things you can do when researching how to confront an addict is to call a professional as you go through the information gathering phase. They can answer all your questions from the point of the addict. Most recovery professionals are recovering addicts themselves and are better equipped to anticipate an addict’s objection to heading to a treatment center. These insights can help to better prepare you for overcoming these objections during an intervention. Having such a conversation will give you more ammunition to combat a reluctant addict who may still be in denial. We’re here and we’re ready to talk—contact us today.