No one looks forward to having a difficult conversation. However, there may come a time in your life where you have to talk to someone about their addiction. This conversation may be uncomfortable, but it may be life changing someone.

How-to Talk to Someone About Their Addiction: Difficult Conversations

Safe Space

The first step to take when planning to talk to someone about their addiction is to make sure they feel like they are in a safe space. Definitely do not act confrontational towards them. Actually, being confrontational with them will just backfire on you. They may clam up and not want to talk to you at all. If you give them a space space to talk, and come to them with compassion, they will be more likely to want to listen to you.


In the same way, do not accuse them. Someone with an addiction already knows that they have a problem and are doing something wrong. They also know that if they do not change their ways, there could be some very negative consequences. Hearing it from you will not help things.

When communicating with an addict, focus on the emotions and the sensations that are felt as opposed to the actual hard facts of the person’s substance abuse issue. The best way to talk to someone about their addiction is to let them know they are having a negative effect on other people. They likely do not realize their actions are impacting anyone except them.

Don’t Give Up

Finally, do not give up after trying to talk to someone about their addiction. This may be a really slow process and feel like an uphill battle. The person battling the addiction will likley not want to talk to you about their issues very much. Keep in mind that communication is oftentimes a successful method for helping someone get treatment.

Sometimes it helps to have multiple friends or loved ones to talk to the person with the addiction. They may respond better to some people than others. Also, it may help to hear how this is affecting others from multiple people. Don’t give up, eventually they may come around. Stick with it, and you may get that person the help that they need.