According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug abuse is a medical illness, not a moral flaw. Unfortunately, when you find that your daughter is addicted to drugs or alcohol, things can be extremely frightening. No one wants to believe that their child is an addict. Once this realization dawns, you might try different forms of helping her.
Many of these will not work. What does work is treatment but telling your daughter that she needs drug addiction treatment is extremely difficult. There are ways to go about it that will improve your chances of successfully talking to her.
Find a Time and Place
Finding a right time and place might seem impossible. You are undoubtedly busy as is she. There are a few things that you can do to help find the right time and place. These are:
- find a time that she is likely to be sober
- make sure it is a time where you are not busy or distracted
- make sure it is a time that she is not busy or distracted
- find a quiet time and place where you will not be interrupted and can talk without someone overhearing
Finding the right time and place is extremely important. If you or she become too emotional try again at a different time and place.
Talk to Your Daughter
When you talk to your daughter, make sure that you talk to her and not at or down to her. This is extremely important. If you seem to be preaching to her or commanding her, you might lose before you start. Talking about something and just talking are two different things. You have to make sure that you both talk and listen.
Understand that you are probably going to meet resistance. People who use drugs often become defensive or angry when you challenge their drug use. Expect this and be ready to be calm, quiet, and listen.
Ask Her Why She Uses
By asking why she uses, you can understand whether she is self-medicating for something else or if she is using for fun. The reason why she is using is as important as the fact that she is using. When you find out why you can transition the conversation into treatment. This can be where you start to suggest that there is a way to feel better.
Remember Do Not Judge Her
Probably the most important part of talking to your daughter is to not judge. She is using for a reason and she cannot help continuing to use because of the disease. Make sure that she knows that you love her and want her to feel better and to be better. This is probably the hardest part of talking to her. Do not get angry and do not judge. When you do either of these things you will lose her.