At Footprints of Serenity, we understand the delicate nature of confronting someone who is struggling with a drug problem. When doing so, you don’t want to come off accusatory. It’s very common for the stress and anxiety surrounding the conversation to make you say ‘the wrong thing’,even when you have their best interest in mind!. But don’t worry, keep reading below for some helpful tips when talking to someone about their addiction.
How Do You Confront an Addict?
Confrontation is an important way to warn others about the potential harm of substance abuse. When confronting someone it is important to be: supportive, accurate, and helpful. A confrontation is when you confront someone or talk to someone about something that they are doing that is worrisome to you/that you think could harm them. Before confronting someone, it’s also important to do some research about addiction. Becoming knowledgeable about addiction will help you better communicate to an addict that you want them to get help because you truly care about them.
Helpful things to say when confronting an addict:
- Do be legit – Confronting someone should not be taken lightly and it is important to be as legitimate as possible.
- Do offer hope – Comfort the addicted individual by offering them words of hope and encouragement within this time of need.
- Do provide practical support – Provide the addicted individual with practical support that is stern, yet supportive. Confrontations are about providing support, but also telling the individual that they need to get help.
- Delivered by individuals who are trusted and respected by the addicted individual – This is an important aspect in keeping the confrontation legitimate. The person who is doing the confronting should be someone in which the addicted individual feels they can trust and respect.
Things not to do when confronting an addict:
- Don’t be hypocritical – Do not seem holier than thou when confronting this individual. It is important for them to feel like they are on the same level as you and can trust you. Do NOT belittle them. This seemed to be one of the most consistent themes within studies done about confrontations. When the confronter was hypocritical they seem to be the most unhelpful confrontations.
- Don’t be overly hostile – It is crucial to make them feel supported and cared for. Being hostile does not accomplish anything and we’ll make the addicted individual standoffish instead of reaching out to those for support. When someone was confronted with hostility this also seemed to be very unhelpful, especially when there is a conflict involved with the confronter and the addicted individual. Instead of signing supportive, this confrontation ended in arguments that led to no help.
- Don’t cast blame – Immediately blaming the addicted individual will not be beneficial. It is important to show that you are on their side and not against them.
There are many different things that you can do to make sure that the confrontation is a good experience. These things include:
- Timing – is important to find the right time to deliver this confrontation.
- The confrontational style – making sure that you are using a helpful confrontational style is important. Remaining neutral within the situation can also help show support.
- Having a good relationship with the addicted individual – If the confronter has a good relationship within the addicted individual’s life, then he/she is more likely to listen to what the confronter is trying to say.
Footprints of Serenity Can Help
Here at Footprints of Serenity, we provide individuals with a safe and comfortable area to hold interventions and even confrontations. Our interventions are a deliberate process where we introduce change into an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors. We provide professional support and guidance through this process. The overall objective of our interventions is to confront the addicted individual in a non-threatening way while allowing them to take us out back and see their destructive behavior, and how their behavior has affected themselves, their family, and their friends. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!