Talking To Make A Drug Addict Stop Using Drugs

Someone in your family is using drugs – you just confirmed this, though you’ve been concerned for a long time. It doesn’t seem like they are making any change. How do you talk them into stopping their drug use and getting drug treatment?

Cant Force Person To Learn From Drug Rehab

You need to know a few things about drug addiction to understand the answer to this question. First, the very most frustrating part is that you cannot force a person to truly get better. Only they have that power. You can say all kinds of things to them. But if they haven’t yet experienced enough deep pain from their drug addiction, your words won’t find a crack in their defensiveness to crawl through. They will fall on ears that don’t want to hear.

There are ways to declare a person incompetent, they might be in legal trouble, they may have to answer to a mental health board. They may attend an entire course of legally required drug treatment and say a lot of the right things. But here’s the important part. No matter how stringent the authority and accountability, the person must be ready to hear the message for them to truly begin recovery.

Arguing With Drug Addict About Drug Rehab Doesnt Work

Until they are ready to hear the full meaning in your words of advice and caution, you will probably feel like you are beating your head against a wall. Arguing won’t do any good here because an unready drug addicted mind has plenty of ammunition to shoot back at you. They have excuses, addiction thinking that convolutes their logic, a sense of self-centered survival, blame, plenty of emotional pain, and possibly a few legitimate gripes about life. They are more comfortable being where they are than turning from their addiction and seeking drug treatment.

The best course of action is to seek professional help of some kind. Speak to a therapist who does interventions. Ask questions about drug rehab and outpatient drug treatment. Get some help and support for yourself if you have lived with this situation closely (Alanon or possibly counseling). Do what you can to involve your drug addicted loved one, but understand that your influence has a limit.

Get Support For You Even If They Skip Drug Rehab

You cannot control them like a robot, you can only show them the big picture and the choices. And even at that, they may not want to hear or see any of it, much less take a step toward drug treatment. That’s perhaps the most important reason to seek support for yourself. If your efforts don’t get your loved one moving forward, you may need help dealing with your feelings and how to handle the situation.

Wendy Lee Nentwig

By Wendy Lee Nentwig
Guest Contributor

Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Canyon. For more specific information on programs at The Canyon, contact us today.

9 Responses

  1. Mowgli Garcia October 14, 2011

    Please help. My boyfriend of 2 years has been dealing with addiction for the majority of his life and I have tried to stay by him as loyally as a person can. He has already suffered many consequences for his addiction, he has been to jail twice and rehab as well. When he is sober, it’s like he has seen the light-goes on and on about how much he hates his habit and wishes beyond anything it didn’t control his life. He knows it’s killing him. When he is sober he is the person I remember, the person I love but lately his sober days are few and far between. It takes so long for him to recover that it’s never like we’ll ever be truly happy again. I know I’m a fool for sticking around. I know this is a lifetime struggle he may never overcome. Alanon has helped, but I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to move on. Even when I know it’s the best thing. There is so much left unsaid. We haven’t spoken in a week and I really don’t have hope that he cares right now. I feel like I lost my best friend, my life, my love, my drive…. Everything. And it kills me that he is okay. That this substance has taken control and taken my place. I already know I deserve better. I just can’t seem to make that change if it means losing him forever.

    • chily September 28, 2012

      Hi mowgil gracia i have the same problam my boyfriend has been addicted for two years on crystel meth i confonted him about it and he promissed to stop but hasnt now we have a one year old child and things are still the same. I have tried to leave him lost of time for the sake of my son but he breaks down too me and tells me he will stop. He dose stop for a while but then starts again. No am at tge breakage point of not knowing what to do???? We have had bad fights becuase of this and now am jusy tired of this i just need some one to help me to.know what to do.

  2. Jo May 18, 2012

    I am dealing with the same situation and it is very hard. I have done everything that I can and it still is not helping. I feel like a criminal in the house. It is like he will be fine and we will be having fun and the next minute he is walking around like a zombie. I have tried talking to him. He is currently on probation for drinking and goes to counseling. I know deep down he wants to stop but the urge for more pills is too strong. The crazy thing is that he abuses sleeping pills and his doctor continues to prescribe them. I even give him one a night but he finds other avenues to get them. I am at a lose for what to do? If u have any advice please let me know.

    Good luck in ur situation. I wish u the best of luck. My heart pours out to u. Remember u do not have to become a “victim” and become a “survivor”. I am taking the steps to do this myself.

    • Anon July 1, 2012

      Jo… Watch him closely. I am suffering from liver failure right now because I used to live off of all sorts of pills. I took sleeping pills to get away, I had some stuff going on in life and I didn’t want to talk to anyone because I didn’t want to get judged. If he starts complaining of pain on his right side around his ribs, he needs to go to a doctor. I finally quit taking pills because of my liver situation. I am only 20, and now I won’t live to be 40 because of my old addiction. If he gets help early enough there is ways to cure his liver, if he quits abusing the pills. Now that I quit with my pills, I have recently became addicted to synthetic cocaine. I have tried to stop, but with liver failure, I never have energy and with the cocaine I can run on days with no sleep. I work two jobs because of my debt, and I can honestly say the reason I am in this debt is because of my addictions. It’s harder to see signs of liver disease while taking sleeping pills because one of the main side effects is drowsiness. I wish you the best of luck and I hope everything works out for you! And to you Mow, it may not be right for you to stand by the man you love, but he needs someone there for him. He obviously knows you care and if you were to leave, he wouldn’t be happy like everyone thinks. He’d abuse his addiction more so because he would think he is alone in life other than his “druggie” friends.

  3. irishgirl September 3, 2012

    Hi im 14 and my mother is a drug addict. I live with my grandparents , have done since i was a baby , my mother alos lives and is partner to a drug addict. My mother claims to be clean and has said this many times over the years, i have given her the benifit of the doubt but i can see the marks myself. I lived with my mother for about a year all together at one stage but the condidtions were appaling. Anway the effects of my mothers drug abuse is effecting me mentaly and emotionally. I cannot stand her partner he is a liar and cheater along with a junkie , he has no ademing qualities. I wont go over to my mother’s (she lives a mere 15minutes away) because i cannot stand this excuse for a man , my mother knows this but still chooses him over me. Its painfull and breaks my heart. I rearly hear from or see her even though shes close. The emotional tormunt is becoming to much, I have before ended things with her and told her i wanted nothing to do with her untill she got her act together. I let her into my life again i believed she was better i pretended because it was easier. Now im sick of it , its to much but i hate conflict and the worry and stress of trying to have this conversation makes me physicaly sick. I need advice on how to talk to her please .

  4. kendall October 16, 2012

    hey folks, I have been active addict for 42 years,i’m gonna be honest, times I wanna stop, but I only feel regular or normal is when I am high. If somebody thinks i am worth talkin to cal 2562954272, who knows you might help in 1 way or other. other . i have been trying to die for 38 yrs, as i saw folks die around me. i don’t think i am worth the trouble. if you do please call, ok/ my habits range from heroin to pot to every pill that has ever been made, and that man is the truth. so what do you think am i worth it? i reckon i will see if i get a call other time to draw up. i hope you r all good.

  5. Kay December 5, 2012

    I have recently like yesterday found out how bad my fiancee addiction has become, i noticed the signs but ignored them my sister is a recovering drug addict this is like her third time trying to be clean and it seems to be working. My fiancee has surrounded himself with other users and dealers and conceals that pert of his life from me which is how i got him to tell me how bad it got i only new about him smoking weed heavily but he told me last night that he has been snorting any drugs he can get oxycottin aderol cocaine it’s gotten really bad i don’t even know who he is any more he has does not care about anything or anyone anymore he barley shows me he cares and i asked him what he would do if i was pregnant right now because we where trying to have a baby before any of this happened and he like ill be there to support the baby but im not gonna stop the drugs im lost and don’t know what to im in love with him but im not happy and he hasn’t been decent with me at all treats me like shit but has his lovey moments too i don’t want to leave his side or give up on him like they say in marriage in sickness and in health and hes sick but i don’t think i can take it i want to run away but i can’t help me please

  6. sharon February 4, 2013

    Whew, guys!! seriously, it doesn’t have to be like this! Google Narcotics Anonymous, and begin by talking to someone. No doubt things seem impossible, but take it from someone who has almost 22 years of continued clean time, There is a solution, and when the pain is greater than the fear of change, you will find it. By the way, Kendall, I will call you, and you have todo one thing in this life.. Live till u die. How do you want that to play out. Believe me, I have not forgotten the pain at all. It is still “crystal” clear

  7. Jojo June 27, 2013

    I feel for all of u when I read ur comments it’s like I’m reading my own life
    I feel insane dealing with a husband who does drugs.. My question how do I just walk away it’s so hard!!!
    I can’t do this anymore plz email me ****