What Not To Do When Dealing With An Addict

What Not To Do When Dealing With An Addict

November 23, 2022 By 0 Comments

There is no easy way to approach, deal, or communicate with a loved one who is addicted.

Expect it to be challenging, embarrassing, and uncomfortable if you have an addict in your life. There will be good days and terrible days, little triumphs followed by possibly larger setbacks. You will be tested emotionally and forced to confront your helplessness to alter someone you care about. You will be completely incapable of convincing him that what you want is best for him.

Dealing with addicts is not easy. We don’t just figure out how to communicate with them or connect with them based on common sense or logic. While valuing addicts as people, it will assist non-addicts comprehend that reason, common sense, morality, and self-preservation are no longer part of a framework within which they operate or a common ground on which to meet.

While nothing you say will make or break an addict’s prospects of recovery, there are ways of speaking and engaging that are detrimental and painful, and there are better, more beneficial ways of relating to someone who is truly sick.

When Dealing With An Addict, Avoid These Mistakes

Guilt Trips

Yes, the addict complicates everyone’s life and causes a lot of unnecessary grief and suffering. She violates plans, fails to maintain commitments, and is untrustworthy and unpredictable. And guess what: she’s already aware of it. Questions such, “Do you realise what you’re doing to your mother?” or “Don’t you realise how much you’re hurting us?” are not helpful. The addict, while selfish to the extreme, is aware of the grief, difficulties, and disruption she is causing in the lives of people around her. But she is unable to stop it. A guilt trip assumes that the person being guilted is acting intentionally or maliciously. It is assumed that he or she has some control over the inappropriate behaviour. A drug addict does not.


You’ll do anything, make any commitment, as long as the addict agrees to quit using and get treatment. But the addict is powerless to accept your offer. The addiction is in charge. Your offer, as attractive as it sounds, is simply not feasible. Addicts are notorious for engaging in high-stakes gambling. They bet their families, their jobs, and anything else they can lay claim to. They know what they stand to lose, but they still do it. They don’t do it because they don’t care; they do it because the illness is so strong and enslaving.

Constant pleading and cajoling

This is sometimes referred to as nagging, and it is never beneficial or successful. It’s not that the addict doesn’t care; it’s just that she can’t stop doing what she’s doing because of your wishes, even if she wanted to. The sickness is far more potent than that. It’s far more powerful than she is. Finally, the addict may tell you what you want to hear before returning to business as normal. She is aware that you believe there is an issue. You don’t have to keep repeating it.

Indicating Fault Or Agency

Loved ones must instil in their thoughts that both drug and process addictions are not choices made by the addict. As a result, blaming addicts or claiming that they are addicted because they are selfish and unloving is not only false, but cruel. Recognize that the addict is enslaved to something much larger than himself or herself. Addiction is a disease, just like diabetes or cancer. You can hope that addicts would take the necessary steps to manage their condition, but implying that they do it on purpose is harmful.

Ignoring the Problem

Is it preferable to say nothing at all if there is nothing that can be said to make an addict want to seek help, and if nagging and pleading are ineffective? Is it better to ignore the problem, try to make the best of it, or hope it all goes away? No. Something does need to be said, and sometimes even done, but how you say and behave might mean the difference between true love and support and being a nuisance and nag.

While your comments and displays of worry may not result in instant change in the addict’s life, and they may not leave your chat pledging to enter treatment, the addict will benefit from knowing that you cared enough to say something out of concern and love. Don’t act as if there isn’t a problem.

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