Discovering that a loved one is hiding their drug use is a complicated situation. Trust can quickly deteriorate and give way to highly emotional responses. However, finding a loved one hiding drugs can also be the catalyst to have a truly meaningful and transformative conversation. It is important to remain calm to create the best possible avenue to create an honest dialogue and promote a change. Taking steps to ensure that an open discussion occurs is crucial throughout this time. While emotions may be turbulent, moving through this situation with a plan can yield the best results for loved ones struggling with addiction.
Finding the drugs of a loved one, whether in their bedroom, belongings, or anywhere else, can provoke intense emotional responses. It is normal to want to confront the individual immediately and directly. However, with emotions running high, such a confrontation can quickly devolve into yelling and antagonistic language. Instead, taking a moment to breathe and calm oneself can better prepare an individual for the difficult conversation ahead.
Taking a direct and immediate confrontational approach can establish you as an obstacle in someone’s recovery rather than as a support. Even supportive language, such as “I’m here to help you,” can still come across as antagonistic if said in a raised voice. Taking a moment to breathe, count to ten, and plan how you will approach the situation can be much more impactful in addressing the issue while establishing oneself as an in-control, key support figure.
Confirm the Owner and the Substance
Preparing for the difficult conversation ahead means getting as much information as possible. First and foremost, it is crucial to verify who the owner of the drugs may be, as approaching an individual and falsely accusing them of use can create additional hurdles in the process. This also means that when the conversation occurs, the individual hiding the drugs cannot divert blame onto another individual if it can be proven that it is theirs.
While finding the drugs in a person’s bedroom can make this part easy, finding drugs in more open spaces or areas where multiple family members have regular access can complicate this issue. Looking for other signs of drug use, such as behavioral changes, dietary changes, adherence to responsibilities, among other concerns, can all help to deduce this issue.
Knowing the substance is also paramount and may require a bit of research to discover. However, knowing not just the person but also what substance is being used is incredibly beneficial when considering treatment options. Not only can this help legitimize one’s concerns, but also help to prepare specific concerns and solutions pertinent to the unique situation at hand in the forthcoming conversation.
The last step to prepare for the conversation ahead is to have some solutions readily available. This can help you reinforce yourself as a truly supportive part of their life and help create a unified approach to addiction and recovery. Researching local drug rehabilitation facilities, their areas of expertise, and the services offered can streamline the steps towards recovery. The staff at these facilities can provide direction to those suffering from addiction that may need guidance on their journey to sobriety.
Setting the Conversation
Confronting a person about their hidden drugs is a delicate situation, and it is to be expected that an individual will become emotional or defensive. Conducting the conversation in a neutral space, or even in the space where the individual is most comfortable, can aid in the dialogue going forward.
Remember that this time is a time for a dialogue–not a lecture–and that all parties will need a chance to speak on the situation. While it is common that an individual suffering from addiction may attempt to lie or divert guilt, preparing evidence ahead of time can help refocus the discussion back onto the individual and how they are affected by their substance use.
Taking time to listen, support, and better understand the situation is crucial, and one’s education about the substance and resources available is needed to navigate such a delicate topic to ensure that an individual is aware of how it is affecting them. Speaking in clear and definitive terms can go a long way in providing the necessary direction and support.
What Comes Next?
Lastly, after discussing the nature of one’s use and establishing that an individual is damaging themselves and those around them through their drug use, having a clear next step is crucial. First, it’s important to establish clear boundaries and subsequent consequences and ramifications with everyone involved. However, this is also the time to present possible, pre-researched solutions to provide helpful options to those whom drugs have directly affected, rather than just ultimatums.
Providing an individual with a clear choice, in the moment, to choose recovery or not is a powerful, palpable moment of change. Choosing recovery for oneself at their behest is the most impactful way to start the recovery process as a unified group towards a sober future. While finding drugs can be a terrible experience, it can also lead to a moment of change.
Finding drugs in one’s house or in the possession of a loved one is undoubtedly a difficult time. However, Everlast Recovery is here to help you or your loved ones take the first step towards a transformed, sober future. We offer an array of programs, including our detox services and residential treatment, to help you learn the skills to start your recovery journey off on the right foot. Our detox can help you begin to separate yourself from the use of drugs or alcohol, all while working to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and educate you on addiction recovery in a safe and comfortable space. Your time with us can be further personalized to fit your needs and goals for sobriety as we offer several therapeutic approaches. We offer art and music therapy, yoga, mindfulness practice, individual and group therapy, and family planning, and these options are all available to help you craft your sober future. For more information on how we can help you or a loved one, call us today at (866) 338-6925.