How to Interact with an Addict
Most of us have a struggling addict in our lives somewhere, be it a close relationship like a family member or a distant relationship like a person in your community. How close you are to this person effects the scale of responsibility that you have toward them. If you are close with the person, you will obviously have a more crucial role to play in their recovery. If you are distant to them, it will likely be their own family or support system that holds them up in their recovery, but you can still impact the person’s life for the better by understanding the right way to interact with them.
First of all, it is important to be respectful of their condition. If you are not a close friend or family member, let them bring the topic of their addiction up rather than you asking them about it. A person’s addiction may become public information without their permission and it can be a sensitive matter to them. If you are close with the addict, there are situations when it is appropriate to bring it up, such as when you are assessing whether or not they are in danger. It is also wise never to assume that you know more about their condition than they do.
It is very important that you support the addict in your life by making it clear to them that you will not participate in their addiction with them. Whether you are close to them or not, they may seek camaraderie with you in practicing their addiction. It is very important that you do not enable them or join with them in their addiction. Be clear in communicating this point if they invite you to share their addiction with them.
It is equally important, however, that you impress on them that you are available to them for support in their recovery. If you are close to the person, supporting their recovery may mean providing them a place to stay, helping them get into an alcoholism drug rehabilitation, spending time with them or taking calls from them when they are in need. If you are not close to them, simply offering them prayer and words of kindness is an excellent way to support them.