How to Talk to Someone Who is in Denial of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

By Jennifer McDougall:

When someone is heavily addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is not uncommon for them to be in denial of the need for help. Many people who abuse drugs and alcohol don’t want to admit they have a problem. They may think the use is “normal” or acceptable because our society has extended the limit on what is morally responsible by glorifying the use of drugs and alcohol on social media with memes and humorous YouTube videos.

The truth is that substance abuse-related issues need to be addressed, and if you’re dealing with someone unwilling to admit to a problem, it can be pretty frustrating to be around them or talk to them about the situation.

Whether this person is a friend or family member, you must address the issue with them by pointing it out. One of the best ways to talk to someone in denial of a drug or alcohol addiction is to ask questions. By answering the questions, they will have the chance to hear themselves out loud and begin processing a revelation that they’ve been trying to hide or run from for a while now. Here are ten questions you can ask that will help discuss a substance abuse-related issue and get them at least reflecting on which direction they are steering their life and hopefully change the course of their destiny for the better.

  1. Do you think your drinking (or drug) use affects your job?
  2. Are your drinking habits affecting your relationships?
  3. Have you thought about just staying sober? If not, what makes you feel uncomfortable about staying sober?
  4. How often to drink alone? (Point out that this behavior is dangerous and could be detrimental to their health, career, etc., due to poor judgment and bad decision making.)
  5. Is there something bothering you that you’d like to talk about?
  6. Are you drinking (or using) out of loneliness or boredom? (Suggest other things they could do instead.)
  7. Do you ever feel you should quit drinking (or using) but don’t know how? (Suggest they contact Passages for information about inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation)
  8. What do you usually do when you get home from work to unwind?
  9. Have your friends or family members ever mentioned concern about your drinking (drug use) habits? Do you agree with them? Why do you think they brought that up?
  10. What is the most extended period you’ve gone without drinking (or using drugs)?

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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