Often, in the case of dealing with drug addicts, there is a loss for words. No one is ever sure quite what to say to them. We want them to get help, we want them to know we love them and yet we are sick of the addiction and the behaviors of the loved one. Saying nothing is the worse thing to do. Constantly being negative is seldom helpful. The drug addict is in a world of their own and if all they hear is negativity, soon they learn to tune it out and add it to their denial. Even if it seems they are not listening, there are five things you can say to a drug addict that eventually could make a difference.
- I love you: These words are special to everyone, but in particular the drug addict. It is important that they know someone is in their corner. Saying it often enough will reassure the drug addict that you have their best interest in mind. It will also comfort them to know that despite their addiction, they are still loved. These are very powerful words and the addict needs to hear them.
- You need help: They will deny it, of course, but they still need to hear it. No one should beat them down with these words, but they must be said on a regular basis. The more people who inform the addict that they do indeed have a problem and need help, the better. In fact, this is called intervention when a number of family and friends confront the addict and tell them they need help.
- I will not enable your addiction: The addict needs to know that you have limits. Let them know you will not tolerate drugs in your home, or that unless they are coming for help, they are not allowed in your home if under the influence of drugs. This too is a part of intervention.
- Drugs have changed you: Often the drug addict is unaware that their personality has changed in any way but positively. This is part of the denial. Remind them of happy times before their addiction.
- You can beat addiction: Drug addicts often fear detoxification and rehabilitation. Let them know you will be with them every step of the way. These are very important words for the addict.
Say these things to a loved one or friend who is an addict and say them often. Remain positive and remind them that there is a future for them without drugs.