Loving someone does not disqualify them from hardship. Even more so, they are likely to experience hard times because they are not immune to the challenges of life, in spite of what may be a loving, caring, family. When someone is loved who deals with drug and alcohol addiction, they can struggle in spite of all the things they have. When it comes to confronting them, it can be difficult and a struggle. There are some healthy ways to do this so that they can feel loved and connected while experiencing the struggle to get clean and sober.
Nobody likes confrontation. It is a difficult thing to do, especially with loved ones. When people get to a point where they can no longer sit idly by while their loved one destroys their life (and those of others), they may become defensive or unwilling to have necessary conversations. Learning how to confront a family member or loved one about drug abuse is necessary for healing to begin for the entire family.
Tips for Confrontation
When confronting a loved one, it is best to keep in mind this has to be done with a healthy, focused intention on helping the loved one seek help. It is not about judging, shaming, or blaming. As much as these may seem necessary, they ultimately do not get the job done. The following tips are the best way to handle confrontation:
- Keep calm and be mindful of anger or venting. Stick to the facts when learning how to confront the loved one. Don’t get drawn into an argument and stay focused on the original intention
- Learn to confront them in a way that is not defensive. The person may have made some irrational choices, but they are experiencing symptoms of the disease now, so try to be mindful of this
- Focus on how addiction makes the family feel. Be honest about feelings and be specific. People with addiction may be so focused on drug use they don’t see how actions are impacting them. Demonstrate with concrete examples of actions and how they impact feelings overall
- Wait until the loved one is clean and sober. Don’t try to confront them when they are on drugs or not rational. It will be more difficult to focus on and control emotions
- Try to listen to the person and talk about feeling. When people confront someone, they think they have to do all the talking but it is better to just listen quietly and let the person know that they are trusted and what they say matters
The final, perhaps biggest piece, is to set healthy boundaries. Don’t forget this is tough love, not soft love. Not the kind that says what is happening is okay, keep going, but the tough, harder kind of love that lets them know they are truly loved but need to seek help if they are going to function better in the family. If they are not going to do something about it, then love them with strict boundaries including not giving money, time, or energy that enables drug use any longer. Hiring a professional interventionist can be helpful when deciding how to approach this challenging situation with a loved one on drugs. They can often set up the family meeting to be more successful and provide tips and tools to support the loved one seeking help.
Oceanfront is located in Laguna Beach, close to the ocean for people who want the quiet serenity of the beach to call their home while they surrender their lives to recovery. Rehab is a challenging experience, but we help you navigate it with our resources and professional team of trained staff. They will develop a plan for your recovery and support your journey of healing. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295