Denial is an inherent part of addiction. This includes not being open and honest about symptoms and severity of alcohol addiction and drug addiction. There are many reasons why addicted people don’t confide in physicians, family, or friends; one being that the addicts, themselves, don’t realize they have a problem.
Open communication in the form of listening to loved ones, counselors and professionals, listing to the inner voice, and actively talking about experiences. Actively listening and communication gives clients the confidence to take the steps to recovery, improve relationships, and meet physical, mental, and emotional needs.
If you know someone with an addiction, tell the person your concerns and how much you care for them. Be prepared to give specific examples of their behavior or events that concern you. When addiction symptoms are addressed early, the stages of recovery are much easier to obtain. It’s never too late, but when a person hits their “bottom,” the recovery process is much more difficult.
Steps to Improving Communication
One of the foundations of communication is genuine listening while understanding and focusing on the other person. While a person is addicted they can be more self-involved and wrapped up in their world of substance abuse making it harder to connect with people.
By learning to be a better listener, a person can hear information more accurately and understand the real message of what someone is saying to them. They can also show more compassion and concern for others which is an important way to start building a closer relationship.
A good communicator will ask follow up questions or repeat what they have heard to make sure that they understand everything that is said to them. This is another way to show that you are genuinely listening to what the person is saying and it helps ensure that each person is engaged in the conversation. Listening to people more closely can be a healthier way to communicate with others.
Instead of pushing people away through poor communication, former addicts can use the skills they learn in treatment to develop and repair valuable relationships.