It’s difficult to see someone you care about struggle with a drug addiction. You want to be able to help them in any way you can but finding the right words (and the right time) always seems to escape you. What if you only make things worse for them and push them further into their addiction?

You’re right – the right words do matter. Saying them at the right time matters, too. Here are a few tips to help you find those words and the courage to say them so you can help your friend find discover their path away from drug addiction and into recovery.

Talk to them when they are sober or clean

If you can, try to talk to your friend when they aren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The more lucid they are the more likely they will be to really hear what you have to say. If you talk to them when they are intoxicated, you will end up getting pushed back or with a pile of empty promises. Open up the conversation when they are sober or clean for a real and honest discussion between friends.

Talk about your feelings and don’t play the blame game

When you are having this open talk with your friend, don’t start to blame or question their actions. Start by expressing that you love and care for them, and that’s why you feel worried. Make sure they understand that you’re not worried about what others may think of them because you know who they really are and you just want them to be safe.

Be direct and give specific examples

Show them the real-life scenarios in which they have made you worry for them. By providing specific examples in which they have broken promises or canceled plans, it will leave little room for argument.

Instead of saying,”When you cancel on me, it makes me mad,” say, “When you canceled on me last Tuesday, I was really worried about your safety.”

Group intervention may not be a good idea

A group intervention can work really well or can be a total disaster. If you believe the best thing to do is to use a group intervention, make sure everyone is on the same page and that there won’t be anyone blaming your friend. The last thing you want with a group intervention is to your friend to feel trapped.

Your friend is not the enemy, their drug addiction is

Just because your friend struggles with drug addiction doesn’t make them a bad person. You need to make sure that they know you understand what they are going through and why you’re offering them this support. Despite any harm they may have done to you or others, they are not really the problem; their addiction is.

If you talk with your friend and they are ready to make a change in their life, call The Discovery House today at 866-527-2573.

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