Addiction to drugs and substances has long been considered a disease. Although addiction is a complex chronic disease, there are still many myths and stigma surrounding it. It makes reaching out to a loved one a challenge. While addiction does not choose its victim regardless of age, sex, or economic background, it is generally more prevalent among males than females. If you are worried about communicating properly, this article will help you know more about how to talk to a drug-addicted son.

How To Talk To Drug Addicted Son
How To Talk To Drug Addicted Son

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a disease that affects the brain’s functions on the reward system and motivation. Addiction is complex; thus, people suffering from addiction need to be assessed properly to identify which treatment plans work best for them. Causes of addiction include genes, environment, social relationships, and psychodynamic factors. The same reason is considered in creating treatment plans for people suffering from addiction.

How To Talk To A Drug Addicted Son

For parents, it is always difficult to find out their children are going through something. It can be a challenge trying to figure out how to deal with it, but parents should try not to settle for what and how they know to help when it comes to addiction. Addiction is complex, thus educating yourself on the matter is vital, so you may approach the situation in the best way you can.

Reaching out is not always easy, but you have to do your best to help your child and allow them to be one step closer to recovery. Approach your child with love and support, as this is what they need the most. Try and educate your child about the importance of seeking treatment. Let them know of your growing concern based on evidence showing that they have been using or abusing alcohol or drugs. Do not be angry, accuse them, call them names, or tell them something is wrong with them. Handle the situation with concern and love. Allow them to express themselves as well. Respond to them with understanding always.

Knowing how to talk to a drug-addicted son can be challenging. It is important to acknowledge this is the first step towards their recovery. Communication is the catalyst of change and resolution to almost everything, especially in loved ones suffering from addiction.

How To Help Child With Addiction

Here are ways to help a child suffering from addiction:

  • Acknowledge the problem.

Be open and willing to recognize the problem. Parents are usually in denial about the fact their child is on drugs. Denial causes delays in seeking help and getting better. It also makes you blame yourself and thinks you failed as a parent. While it is a normal response, this will not help your child. Acknowledge the problem and learn how to deal with the situation in the best way possible.

  • Healthy approach.

Know how to approach your child in the healthiest way possible that you know will work for you and your child. It is not advisable to confront your child and get mad at them for being on drugs. This will only drive your child away and push them not to be open to you. Communication is vital when it comes to dealing with someone suffering from addiction.

  • Self-Care.

It is important to ensure practicing self-care. Just like in first aid, when an emergency occurs in an airplane, you put on your mask first before you put one on your child or someone else. Addiction not only affects the victim but their families as well. As a parent, you have to establish your long-term coping skills. Helping someone else can be draining at certain points, but that does not mean you should stop helping them. Learn to help yourself, too.

  • Healthy boundaries.

When dealing with a loved one suffering from addiction, it is very important to set healthy boundaries. Boundaries are there to help both parties, the family and the victim of addiction.

  • Material assets.

Keep your material assets protected. Giving your child with addiction access to anything valuable is an act of enabling. These valuable items may be of use to them in acquiring the substance -alcohol or drugs. When you enable your child, you are not helping them get past the addiction and recover.

  • Help them out of the situation.

One way to help your child is to remove them from their situation.

  • Seek help from professionals.

To help your child appropriately, see a professional so you can get a proper diagnosis. If you get an accurate diagnosis, it will be easier to identify what treatments may help your child.

It is best to seek professional intervention for your child to get clean and recover. Professionals are responsible for curating a treatment plan that suits the client and the nature of their addiction.

What Not to Tell a Son Suffering from Addiction

Below are things you should not tell your son who is suffering from addiction:

  • “You are a bad person.”
  • “You ruined your life, including ours.”
  • “You are a hopeless case.”
  • “If you promise that this will be the last time, I will pay for your alcohol or drugs.”
  • “If you quit using drugs (or drinking alcohol), I will get you a car or pay for your debt.”
  • “Pull yourself together, control your cravings.”
  • “Just go cold turkey so you can quit. I am going to help you with it.”

Do’s and Don’t’s in Helping a Child with Addiction

While it is a fact that helping someone suffering from addiction can be a challenge, it is also important to know the do’s and don’t’s. When you know what to and what not to do, you can help your child appropriately.

Here is a list of do’s and don’t’s:

  • Do: Talk about the behavior, not the person
  • Do: Offer to help them look for support services
  • Do: Ask them how they want to be helped or how they can be supported in the best way possible
  • Do: Respect them. They are still person.
  • Do: Honor their pace
  • Don’t: Do not ignore the problem. Do not enable them by making excuses
  • Don’t: Do not judge them for their choices
  • Don’t: Do not suffocate your loved one. Let your son do things on their own 
  • Don’t: Do not expect instant changes
What Not to Tell a Son Suffering from Addiction
What Not to Tell a Son Suffering from Addiction


People suffering from addiction do not have it easy. Always remember that addiction is a disease, a health problem that needs treatment just like any other disease. Make sure to approach them with love and understanding, but not to the point of enabling. Boundaries are very important. While caring for your child and catering to their needs to recover, do not forget to take care of yourself. Now that we have discussed important points on how to talk to a drug-addicted son, it may be easier for you to approach your loved one and help them take that first step towards recovery.

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