Initiating a Discussion on Drug Abuse

Initiating a Discussion on Drug Abuse

Bringing up a problem with Ritalin abuse for the first time to an addicted friend or family member can be a difficult and sensitive situation. However, addiction is a serious medical disease and can often be life threatening. Drug addiction is a leading cause of death in America and a rising number of emergency room visits are due to drug abuse. It is essential to initiate a discussion with a potentially addicted friend or family member before it’s too late. However, before approaching a friend or family member about his drug abuse there are necessary preparations to consider and they include the following:

  • Become educated about the process of addiction and the particular drug of abuse
  • Be sure that drug abuse is evident and reoccurring instead of just an isolated incident
  • Have resources available to provide to the addicted friend or family member for potential treatment
  • Have another friend with knowledge of the situation present or available by phone for support during the discussion

The best time to initiate the discussion is when the addicted friend or family member is not under the influence of Ritalin or any other substance. Approach the addict in the morning soon after he or she typically awakes. Having the conversation on a morning after a night of drug abuse can also be beneficial because the abuse will be fresh in the addict’s mind. Simply asking to sit and talk with the addict in a neutral and comfortable area for the addict can be the best way to start the conversation. Some effective mannerisms to practice during the conversation can include:

  • Use statements that express personal feelings of concern or hurt rather than generalized statements
  • Listen to the addict when they want to talk and do not become defensive or argumentative in return
  • Use a calm voice and express things with sincere feelings of love and concern
  • Be factual and explain specific situations when the drug abuse had a negative outcome

It may also help to write down a list of things that need to be brought up during the conversation to refer to in case things get off track. Some of the essential talking points that need to be covered during the conversation can include the following:

  • Make it clear the addiction is a medically recognized and treatable disease and not a character flaw
  • Explain that the conversation is not to criticize the addict but to express care, concern and the need for help
  • Talk about the effect that the drug abuse has had on different areas of his or her life such as career, family and children
  • Be clear about the need for treatment and how it can help him or her to overcome addiction

An addict can respond in a number of unpredictable ways when approached about his or her drug abuse problem. Maintaining composure and setting clear expectations for the addict will provide the best results.

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