There are certain established and assertive ways to talk to a friend who is taking drugs and ruining his/her life. First thing you will do is to gain optimal knowledge about drug abuse. It is a good idea to learn all you can about drug abuse before talking with your friend. Without understanding basic concept of addiction, it would be hard for you to convince your friend for quitting drugs and come to normal life. It will also allow you to better empathize when he is talking about his own addiction. You can go to internet, search about addiction so you should be equipped before start talking with a friend about atrocities of drug addiction both on your friendship and also on his family relationships.
Addiction is having one of the hallmarks and it is DENIAL. Therefore, keep in mind your friend may not see his drug problem the same way you see it. He might not believe he even has a drug problem. If he cannot see he has a problem, then he will probably not see he needs to make any changes in his life regarding his drug use. Help him to see his substance abuse problem clearly. Help him to see the facts of his drug abuse. After gaining insight about drug addiction, you will be better able to narrate problems associated with drug addiction and at the end of the day it’s his choice about quitting drugs.
You must have very logical reasons why your friend should quit drugs and you must share with your friend the reasons you are concerned about his drug abuse. State specific times you have been worried about your friend when he has been using drugs. Mention your concerns about his health or other ways you have noticed his addiction has impacted his life. Also, tell him how his addiction has impacted your life as well as your relationship with him. Reassure your friend that you do not want him to live life this way any longer. Show his how much you care about him and inform him that you do not want him to suffer from this abuse any further.
Stay positive and restrain from being condescending or shaming your friend about his drug dependence. It can be tempting to want to judge another person when you do not walk in his shoes, but refrain from making this mistake when talking with your loved one about his habit of taking drugs. Being harsh might only push the person farther away, making it more difficult to help him get sober in the future. Help him to see the positive effects of quitting him drug abuse. Assist him in clearly seeing the ways his life can be different if he chooses to stop using drugs. Praise him any chance you can when he makes strides toward dropping his drug use. Let him know you worry about him, and gently continue to point out you can only help his in the future if he seeks treatment for his addiction. However, remind him constantly you will be there to support him whenever he needs it.
Remember to point out facts instead of emotions when talking to your friend about his addiction. Refrain from trying to guilt him into giving up his drug abuse problem, and realize threatening another person to desert a drug dependence never works either. Negative thoughts or feelings is often what create drug habits in the first place, so avoiding talking down to him and belittling him. Be honest as you communicate about how his addiction has affected you and your relationship with him. Persons with a drug habit are often unaware of how the addiction is influencing relationships overall, so keep in mind how you choose to communicate you want for him to get help because it can make a huge difference in how he responds to the information you present to him.
Do not forget to take care of yourself through this process. It can be exhausting talking to a friend with a drug abuse problem. Therefore, make sure you are seeking the help you need while you are helping an addicted loved one. Arrange to do things you enjoy. Doing things you love brings joy to your life and makes you happy. Make sure you are eating a proper diet and getting enough sleep too. Also, ask for help when you need to do so. Although it may sometimes feel like it, caring for yourself is not a selfish act.
Remind yourself often recovery for your friend is possible. Even when it does not seem like recovery is possible, sobriety is always achievable. Although it may feel as though you are getting through to your friend, continue to have conversations with him that will allow him to see the effects of his drug abuse. You never know when something might get through and stick in his brain to help push him toward seeking help.
There is no one way of talking to a friend who is addicted to drugs. Your friend can choose to take your advice or not, but remember it is not your fault if he chooses not to follow through with the aid you provide him. Do not blame yourself if your friend chooses not to allow support for his drug addiction. However, talking with him about his addiction can assist him in seeing how his addiction is impacting the people he loves and potentially pushing him to get the cure he needs for his addiction
If you, or someone you care about, needs help for a drug or alcohol addiction, contact one of our therapists today at 0300-2255606.
Written by: Dr. Talat Habib
Director Nishan Rehab Pakistan