Addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people each year. In the past it was something that was not spoken about, as it was a source of shame and ridicule. Fortunately, in many ways those days are behind us, and it has become clear that one of the most important things we can do when facing this issue is openly talking about addiction.

One of the biggest reasons that this is important is that those that are victims of an addict’s actions should feel comfortable talking about how it affects them. One of the hardest things to do is to love an addict. Those closest to them know who they are when they are not using drugs or alcohol, so processing these differences can be very difficult. It can also help them, as those around them should feel comfortable in reminding them that they can still love them, without enabling them.

It is also important for the addict themselves. Addicts very rarely enjoy the life that they are living. They know that they are hurting the closest people to them, as well as themselves. Being able to openly talk about their problem can help lead to them getting the help that they desperately need. It can also help them to remind those that they love that the things that they do are not who they are by nature, but who they are while battling this disease.

Those that love an addict should also be able to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings to an addict. This includes explaining to them why they can no longer enable their addiction. When it becomes clear that the addiction has taken over someone’s life, the best thing that people can do is to step away. This does not mean that you don’t care for them. Actually, the oposite is true, to truly love them is to let them hit rock bottom, which is when they are most likely to seek treatment. Being able to explain to them that you will no longer be giving them money, help with bills or a place to stay can open their eyes to just how serious the problem really is. They may not understand at first, but most recovering addicts report that this is the best thing that their loved ones did for them when they were at their worst.

Talking about addiction opens up the lines of communication for everyone involved. This is one of the basic principles of participating in an intervention. The addict and those that love them all need to know what a healthy role is in the situation. If an addict does not wish to seek treatment, there is nothing that family members can do to save them. When an addict is ready for help, they should feel safe that the people that care about them will understand and assist them in a healthy manner. By being open about this disease the very best outcomes are possible, which is good for everyone that is affected.