How To Communicate With Someone Recovering From An Opioid Addiction

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Talking about matters like addiction can be tricky, and navigating such conversations with a loved one can be uncomfortable and daunting. However, without maintaining proper communication, your loved one may not understand your concerns, worries, and love and instead confuse them with disappointment. Eventually, this makes it challenging for them to feel confident in themselves.  

Additionally, if they are undergoing treatment with Suboxone or Belbuca, your support and consistency in communication will enable them to share their struggles and glimmers with you. While the topic of addiction is tough to go around, it is still vital to find a pragmatic way to ensure you are conveying your thoughts and feelings and supporting them exactly the way you mean. Miscommunication during such delicate times can be off-putting and derail their progress in the worst cases.

If your loved one is recovering from an opioid addiction, here are some practical ways to communicate with them:

  • Choose to be kind

Addiction is a highly stigmatized topic even in today’s times, and as a result, addicts (even when they are in recovery) often face judgment, rejection, belittlement, and insults. It diminishes their sense of self-worth and self-esteem, making it challenging for them to see how different things would be if they continued with the addiction. 

Being kind allows you to uplift their spirits while instilling a sense of self-worth and determination. By showing a sense of understanding, you will enable them to share their struggles, seek help without fear of judgment, and cope better with the recovery journey. 

However, make sure that you communicate your boundaries to prevent being taken advantage of (in extreme cases). Overemphasizing can be harmful and eventually drain you mentally and emotionally. 

  • Speak with caution

It is important to be mindful and cautious about what you say to someone in recovery, as your words can form strong opinions. For instance, if, during the conversation, you bring up how the addiction halted everyone from having a good time and living their best lives, the underlying thought could be perceived as the person being a burden for everyone. Instead, choose to acknowledge the problem and comfort them with reassurance and solutions. 

With this, you will encourage them to continue making the life changes they are making while also boosting their morale and self-confidence. If you are unsure what to say or how to say it, consider discussing it with a professional to find meaningful communication methods. 

Addiction should not be treated as a parameter to define someone, and it is always best not to use terms like “addict” or “substance user,” as they are demeaning and nullify all the effort someone has been putting in. 

  • Read about addiction and recovery

Addiction is a disorder, and your loved ones are not entirely to blame for it. By educating yourself about how addiction roots itself in one’s life, its deep impact, and how recovery progresses, you will be able to see the problem and not the consequences alone. 

This step becomes incredibly important if the person with addiction is a close family member or a dear friend with whom you will be constantly interacting on a daily basis. At the same time, it is crucial not to assume that you are well aware of everything about the addiction problem solely because you have researched about it and are familiar with how the dynamics work. 

Addiction is different for everyone, and it is highly recommended not to act on assumptions and to have regard & respect for the person’s struggles and recovery. Additionally, forming opinions can hamper your ability to understand the uniqueness of one’s addiction problem

Bottomline

Having conversations with a person with an addiction can seem difficult. However, preparing yourself in advance and choosing to be kind during your interaction can be a source of motivation for them. At the same time, it is essential to understand that their recovery is a personal journey.

While you can support and encourage them during the process, taking complete responsibility will only result in burnout and an innate sense of exhaustion. Also, while offering support and encouragement, make sure you are cautious about your boundaries and do not do more than you are capable of. 

Jess Allen
Jess Allen
Aloha Everyone I am Jess a vibrant writer fuelled by wanderlust and a passion for diverse subjects. From the thrill of travel to the intricacies of business, music, and tech, I like to crafts engaging content that reflects their zest for life and curiosity about the world

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