It is frustrating and painful to see someone you love caught in the throes of addiction and it is natural to desperately want to help them. The tendency is to try and make them admit they have a problem or admit they need help. This approach is promoted in the media but it will usually exacerbate the problem and can trigger or intensify reactive patterns.
The psychology of an addict is completely different to that of someone who is not a drug user. An addict already knows they need to quit. But when you are an addict, your moral compass is non-functional, your willpower is non-existent, your emotions are stuck in the negative.
The most effective way forward is a non-judgmental neutral platform as all other approaches can quickly escalate into emotional reactivity in all parties. Confrontation, or attempting to use guilt or shame as motivators for change, can drive the person further into addiction.
Before talking to someone about their drug use, change your own perception, gain real non-emotive insight into their condition so that your approach can be more neutral. If you understand how an addict feels and why they use drugs and exactly what you are expecting them to ‘give up’, the outcome is more likely to be positive.
- Buy The Rebel’s Guide to Recovery. Read it yourself, then leave it lying around.
- Buy the person a drug counselling session with Michael Jakeman. It is done via phone or skype so it is non-threatening for the person, it is valid for 6 months and Michael has a background of addiction so he knows exactly how that person feels and what to do to bring them through it.
- Buy eHAB: this is an online program of videos and PDFs that will change the way you think about addiction and drug -users. everything you need to know to be able to communicate from a rational rather than a reactive perspective.
- Phone Urban Drug Rehab to discuss the Residential Rehab program on 0426 482 125