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How to Start A Conversation About Addiction

How to Start A Conversation About Addiction

The month of September celebrates national recovery month.  For those who are in recovery or perhaps you are supporting someone who is, it is important to recognize the significance of this milestone.  For others who are still struggling with addiction, it is not too late to make a step in the right direction.  Do you know someone who is currently struggling with addiction and you are not sure how to talk to them about it?  Perhaps it is a family member or friend.  Starting a conversation about addiction can be challenging for many people, especially when it involves someone you care about.  However, having that conversation can be life-changing for the person struggling and it may be something they need to hear.  Focus on the overall purpose of the conversation, which is to provide support, rather than the fear of having the conversation.  Start the conversation being honest about your feelings regarding the person you are talking to and their addiction.  You can say something like “I am worried about your health” or “I really care about you and want to help you”.  Next, offer some support.  You can help come up with ways for the individual to cut back on their addiction, provide addiction resources, or refer them to someone who can help.  Finally, help hold the person accountable for their decision to make a change in their addiction.  Ask how you can help to support them and offer ways to be involved in their treatment.  Often, letting the person know they are not alone and that they have someone they can turn to can be very helpful to them seeking help.

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