How To Talk To A Loved One About Their Drinking – It can be difficult to know when or how to express your concerns when someone you love is using substances. Seeing loved ones make unhealthy or unsafe choices can lead to feelings of guilt, frustration, shame and sadness. The situation can escalate to the point where there is no hope – with no end in sight or path to recovery.

If you know someone who uses substances, it can be helpful to learn how to approach them with compassion and active listening. These tools can help you have productive conversations to inspire real and meaningful change. Read more about getting help for a spouse, child or friend who may be struggling with a substance use disorder.

How To Talk To A Loved One About Their Drinking

How To Talk To A Loved One About Their Drinking

Many people begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol during adolescence and young adulthood, but this is not always the case. They may act out of curiosity or rebellion, or try to fit in with a certain group of friends. They may have difficulty processing trauma or complex emotions, and seek sources of comfort or distraction from their pain.

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In the mental health profession, substance use or casual experimentation transitions to substance use disorder (SUD) when the use of drugs or alcohol causes significant harm, such as:

Substance use disorder is commonly known as drug or alcohol addiction. However, addiction is a complex condition and not just a habit that a loved one likes, such as being late or procrastinating. When a health professional or mental health professional makes a diagnosis of substance use disorder, it indicates a serious mental health condition that may coexist with other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD.

When it comes to substance use, it’s a common myth that you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped. It is often associated with “showing tough love,” or “let them hit rock bottom.” One of the several problems with this approach is that it can create a toxic and unsustainable environment for affected people and their families and friends.

You don’t have to wait for a “baseline moment” to get help for your partner, child or friend. If you know someone struggling with substance use, there are resources available to help your loved one find hope and build a new life in recovery.

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Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) is a proven approach to helping people make positive changes when their loved ones use substances. This framework was created by Dr. Robert J. Meyers and expanded by a team of psychologists at CMC: Foundation for Change. A mental health professional can help teach you CRAFT skills and techniques, and help you practice the tips identified in the sections below.

When it comes time to intervene with people struggling with substance use, the CRAFT model focuses on using positive, motivating communication skills. This may be a better option than an emotional confrontation. In some studies, CRAFT is also more effective in getting affected people into treatment programs.

You can use positive communication to start the conversation about getting help for substance use by including these tips:

How To Talk To A Loved One About Their Drinking

After weeks or months of disagreements, you may experience difficult emotions about your loved one’s substance use: anger. Fatigue sad.

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Your feelings are valid and deserve to be acknowledged. But if the anger and emotions are not met with a positive response from a friend or family member. Instead, try to approach them calmly from a lot of love. You can combat negative emotions by doing breathing exercises, or walk away from the conversation

It’s getting out of hand. If you do, accept that you will continue the conversation later.

When people develop drug or alcohol addiction, they tend to use it as a coping mechanism or “escape” from something they don’t know how to fix.

For example, a teenager may smoke and play video games because they are bored – or perhaps because they are bullied at school and feel depressed. Or maybe your friend is struggling with her parents’ divorce. Or your partner is struggling with a chronic health condition.

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Getting to the root of the problem is key to the healing process, and mental health professionals can help you ask the hard questions and find the answers.

Sometimes, when we talk to close friends or family members, only half listen. Maybe you’re scrolling through Facebook or formulating your next response while still talking. This is the difference between “listening” and active listening.

You may have fallen into a pattern where your interactions with loved ones are mostly negative: teasing them for being late, asking where they are, or yelling at them when they come home drunk. But try to remember the power of kind words. Remind them that they are doing good things – and pay attention to the smallest actions, like responding to a text or putting the dirty dishes in the sink.

How To Talk To A Loved One About Their Drinking

Parents, spouses, and friends of people who use substances tend to experience burnout and caregiver burnout. When the well-being of others is your primary concern, your own health and needs tend to be neglected. Self-care is important for your own health and, in turn, for modeling healthy behavior.

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Drug use can damage your most important relationships, and walking this path can be lonely and lonely. But you don’t have to travel this road alone.

A mental health professional who specializes in substance use can help you learn communication skills and coping mechanisms to protect your emotional health, while you work to get your loved one into a treatment program. Contact our substance use treatment team to get started today.

Places for people in St. Levi is a community resource for those affected by substance use. A team of compassionate mental health professionals uses a trauma-informed approach to create a safe space that is non-judgmental and inclusive. We are committed to the people we serve and will accompany our clients on their lifelong journey to recovery.

If you don’t have health insurance or need help paying, Places for People offers a variety of payment and coverage options to ensure that substance use treatment is available to people who need it. Our team will work with you to help alleviate or remove financial barriers to getting help for your loved one.

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Read more about the substance abuse treatment program at St. To speak confidentially with a member of the substance abuse treatment team, call (314) 615-2119.

This article is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from a licensed health care professional. Always seek the advice of a licensed professional for questions or concerns about your physical or mental health, or the health of a loved one. Whether you’ve been told by a loved one, or you just want to be prepared for someone else’s moment, taking the time to actively learn how to support someone who is still alive when they express it can make all the difference. . . When it’s time to support the survivors in your life, remember this important acronym about how to speak up. Learn more from the Family and Friends Toolkit by.

It’s important to take a moment to recognize how difficult it can be to talk to someone about this type of trauma. Showing appreciation for your trust at the beginning of the conversation will help your loved one feel more comfortable.

How To Talk To A Loved One About Their Drinking

You can start showing your support by saying this: “Thank you for telling me this, it means a lot to me that you want to share this with me.”

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While your first instinct may be to try to advise your loved one on what to do next, it’s important to give them your own choices about what to do next. You don’t have to have all the answers – you just have to listen and let them know you’re there to help in any way they need.

If it’s the first time someone has been exposed to an attack or if it just happened, they may not be sure what support they need from you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. It is always better to ask than to assume you know what you want or need. Simply saying something like, “I care about you so much, and I want you to know that I’m here to help in any way I can,” can be very helpful to someone who has shared their experience.

Although it is normal to have reactions like anger or shock when someone you care about shares

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John Pablo

📅 Born: May 15, 1985 📍 Location: New York City 🖋️ Writer | Financial Enthusiast Welcome to my corner of the web! I'm John Pablo—a finance enthusiast and writer passionate about making money matters simple and accessible.

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