Questions to Ask a Drug Addict: How to Help a Struggling Substance Abuser
It’s a common trope, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming that problem. The same rings true for addiction and recovery, as evidenced by the fact that the first step in each of the twelve step programs is “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable…” This step goes on to say that addicts need to turn their lives over to others, or some form of higher power, be it religious/spiritual or otherwise, in order to reach a level of sobriety and peace in their lives. And while no one can force a struggling addict to admit that they have a problem, there are some questions to ask a drug addict that can help them come to terms with their addiction.
In this article, we are going to take a look at some good questions to ask a recovering alcoholic or drug addict, and we’ll talk a bit about why these are good questions to ask a person in recovery.
Questions to Ask a Drug Addict: Is your alcohol or drug use making your work or school performance suffer?
Alcohol and common drugs of abuse severely impair users’ motor skills and decision making. Because of this, a struggling addicts’ professional life is usually one of the first areas that begin showing signs of problems. By asking questions about their work/school life in relation to their substance use, you can start to help them see the link between their decreased performance in a professional capacity, and their substance abuse. In addition, this can be one of many great questions to ask a person in recovery if you think they may be having trouble.
Questions to Ask a Drug Addict: Have your relationships with family or friends recently become strained?
When someone starts developing a serious problem with drugs and alcohol abuse, they will generally begin to isolate themselves from friends and family close to them. This is largely an act of self-preservation, though it can also be caused due to personal conflicts. Even in their worst of times most people are self-aware of their appearance and behaviors and they want to avoid questions about potential addiction issues. By asking questions like this, you can get some insight into the way substance use has affected their personal relationships, and hopefully provide them with some glaring insight into the consequences of addiction at the same time. This is one of the especially good questions to ask a recovering alcoholic as alcoholics are more likely to get into confrontations over their drinking due to the communal nature of drinking with the family. This is a stark contrast to drug use which is usually hidden from the family from the beginning.
Questions to Ask a Drug Addict: Am I tired of feeling depressed, anxious or agitated?
The vast majority of drugs work by interacting with the brain’s limbic system. This system is in charge of controlling the production and reception of chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, two chemicals largely responsible for feelings of joy and happiness in human beings. When someone abuses drugs regularly, their brain may respond by producing less of these chemicals, or not receiving the chemicals due to damaged receptors. Issues like these can cause severe mental illnesses like depression, anxiety disorders, mood swings, and they can even exacerbate pre-existing conditions like paranoia and schizophrenia. Talking to someone about their emotional health as it relates to their substance abuse can help open the door to getting them the help they need, be it through a personal therapist, psychologist, or a rehabilitation center. Either way, this one of many questions to ask a person in recovery as it provides insight into their progress in recovery and addiction overall.
Questions to Ask a Drug Addict: Are my finances spinning out of control because of my addiction?
Addiction and alcoholism are extremely expensive habits, and as they progress further and further, they only get more and more expensive. Because of the wild cost of narcotics, and the skewed priorities that come along with addiction, many struggling addicts soon find themselves struggling with financial troubles and debt. One of the best questions to ask a person in recovery, is how their finances are currently, as this can provide some insight into how much money they are regularly spending one substance abuse. If the answers seem to raise suspicions of excessive spending on drugs or alcohol, talk to them about it. It may just be the wake up call they need to start changing their life.
While there are more good questions to ask an alcohol or drug addict then what we listed here, these are good starting points for anyone interested in helping a loved one they believe is struggling with addiction. If you think one of your friends or family members may be struggling addiction, we highly recommend checking out some of our other guides and informative articles on the subject. In addition, our treatment specialists are always available for consultations. Just call 1 (800) 429-7690 to learn how we can help you find treatment centers that will meet your needs.