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True Friendship: Talking With Loved Ones About Their Addiction

Drug addiction affects more than just the user. If you or someone you love is currently living with an addict who’s yet to have opened up about his or her addiction, the ominous silence can be cumbersome. Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution. When all is said and done, however, once open-minded conversation has begun, both healing and forgiveness can begin. Truthfully, drug rehab and a new life are much closer than you might’ve originally thought.

First and foremost, it’s key that — whatever your relationship may be with the addicted — you cease to be a mother, father, son or daughter and become what every substance abuser truly needs: a friend. It was French novelist, Albert Camus, who once famously penned, “Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Simply put, people often feel more comfortable talking openly about life’s greatest struggles with their friends. For true friends, judgement isn’t an issue. Though family members might get caught up in personal failures, their own unhappiness or familial embarrassment, friends desire something better and — from their slightly distanced position — are usually more approachable.

Lastly, when attempting to garner the necessary strength to talk about substance abuse, drug rehab or sobriety, consider the factors that may have led to the development of such an issue: school, social acceptance, relationships or professional success. Soon enough you’ll find that, after the initial difficult dialogue has been opened, understanding is more fully accomplished.

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