An addict is not the only one who suffers. Family members, friends, and loved ones can have a very difficult time when trying to help an addict. We are all human, and sometimes we say things we don’t realize is only going to make things worse. Here are the top five things you should never say to an addict.
It Has to Get Worse Before It Gets Better
Basically, telling someone they have to hit rock bottom is not helpful. The problem with saying this, whether it might be true or not, is that you are just telling them to keep using. In telling them this, you are enabling their behavior, which might make their addiction worse. It can have devastating consequences when you challenge an addict to hit rock bottom. Hitting rock bottom will make things worse, so don’t encourage your loved one to get there before getting help.
I Am So Ashamed of You
While this might be true, don’t say it out loud to an addict. It will do nothing positive for them. A person who suffers from addicting is already struggling with their own self-worth, so you are only validating their feelings. This could make them angry with you or even cause them to keep using and going harder.
You’ll Never Overcome This
If you don’t believe in them, they can believe in themselves, either. While it might be difficult at times to be supportive, giving up on them won’t help. Living with or loving an addict can be a rollercoaster of emotions, but be as supportive as you can. This is just a mean thing to say. If you feel yourself wanting to say this, think back to the golden rule, and say nothing.
It Will Be Easy, You Can Do It
If it was easy, they would have done it already. Asking for help is not easy for many people. Admitting you have a problem is also not easy. Imagining their life without their addiction is probably close to impossible at this point. Addiction is a disease that its sufferers cannot control. It is also unhealthy to go and stop using drugs or alcohol on your own. It is important that they get help at drug rehab centers from professionals, so that they can be properly supported throughout the process by those that have helped others be successful in battling addiction.
You Aren’t Addicted! You’re Fine
You might think you are trying to make them feel better by belittling their addiction, but this doesn’t help. It will make them feel like you can’t take them seriously. If a person hasn’t come to this conclusion yet and you say this to them, you might enable the continued addictive behavior. If they trust you, they might believe you, and that will only cause them to keep on doing what they are doing.
It can be difficult to be around an addict and not say what is on your mind, especially if you are upset. Saying the wrong thing can have significant impacts on the recovery of an addict. Think about what you are going to say before it comes out of your mouth. If it is not helpful, don’t say it.