Although there are addicts who come to the conclusion that they need help on their own, this is unfortunately not always the case. There are many circumstances where addicts are in denial of their addictions, thinking or convincing others and themselves that they can stop at any time if they wanted to. As a friend or family member trying to convince your loved one that they have a problem, you may need to source for outside help to open their eyes to the issue. 

Classic Signs of a Drug Addiction To Look Out For

There are many signs and symptoms of drug addiction that you should be aware of before approaching your loved one about getting help. When you suspect a loved one may be abusing drugs or alcohol, it is important to be aware of the signs of addiction. Once you are nearly certain that your loved one is exemplifying addict behavior, it is important to come up with a plan before confronting them about their issues.


Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for are physical signs of addiction, and other signs and symptoms are behavioral signs. Some of the physical signs of addiction include weight fluctuation, changes in appetite, lack of hygiene, sweating, shaking, twitching, enlarged pupils, bloodshot eyes, rotting teeth, emitting an odor, uncontrollable itching, and more. 


Some common behavioral signs of addiction include drastic mood swings, inability to focus on anything, inability to make eye contact, lack of interest in activities that they once enjoyed, isolation, hanging around a new group of people, slacking off in school or work, missing school or work, the lack of interest or care for anything, change in sleeping habits, failing to meet deadlines, requesting money for unknown reasons, and an overall lack of energy and motivation. 

How To Approach an Addict in Denial

Once you are certain that your loved one is in denial about their addiction, it is important to come up with a plan on how to approach them. It is understandably very difficult to see your loved one in a position where they are struggling, and even if you are the most logical and emotionless person in the world, it is still an extremely vulnerable position to be in.


It is never easy to talk about something as personal and sensitive as drinking or drug abuse, and it is even harder when you are confronting a loved one. One of the first important steps is to make sure that your loved one is not drunk or high when you have this conversation with them. If they are under the influence, it may be hard for them to see things clearly, and they may not be able to give you their focused attention. The goal is for your words to be able to sink in, and if they are high, it may be extremely difficult to break through.


The most important thing you can do is approach the conversation by letting them know that you are expressing real concern for your loved ones and their safety in a caring and honest way. 


Some of the tips on how to approach a loved one who is in denial about their addiction include bringing up specifics. The more specific you are, the more they will be able to see things as fact. If you bring up a behavior without giving a specific example, they will ask for the example and you will be stumped.


Next, it is important to use the word ‘I’ as opposed to ‘you.’ Using the word ‘you’ may have them think you are blaming them, or will make them question the validity of your words. The next tip is to bring up the negative effects this is having on their lives and their loved ones. Bringing up their commitments and their love for certain activities that they are no longer participating in can help open their eyes to how big their problem is getting. The last tip is to seek professional guidance and host an intervention. Filling the room with loved ones and a professional is going to help them understand the gravity of the situation and how many people are affected by their behavior. 


Approaching an addict is a difficult, and heartbreaking task that requires a lot of patience and calm. If you plan on approaching a loved one about an addiction, make sure to follow these tips and to consult with professionals. Hosting interventions is one of the best methods to approach an addict, and Footprints of Serenity is here to help.

How Footprints of Serenity Can Help Your Loved One Today

At Footprints of Serenity, our team of drug and intervention specialists work tirelessly to connect friends, families, and employers with the intervention services needed to help a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse. The goal is to provide caring and compassionate interventions for you and your loved one, and to help open people’s eyes to admitting that they need help. We believe that recovery is possible when presented with the opportunity, and we are here to provide that opportunity to you and your family. 

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