If you’re concerned about someone’s substance use, it can be hard to start a conversation with them. You don’t want to offend them, but you obviously care about their wellbeing. If you think someone might be experiencing pre-addiction, try following these steps:

  • Ask if they have ever heard of pre-addiction, and let them know that you just learned about it.

  • Ask if they’ve ever evaluated their relationship with alcohol and drugs.

  • Listen openly and non-judgmentally to whatever they have to say about their relationship with drugs or alcohol.

  • Educate them that pre-addiction is similar to pre-diabetes. That getting support during this time can improve quality of life and prevent bad things from happening due to using drugs or alcohol, including preventing full blown addiction. 

  • Keep the focus on their health and well-being.

  • Engage in a conversation that encourages them to think about why they use drugs and alcohol and whether or not using is helping or hurting them.

  • Ask if they know about the benefits of getting support early. 

  • Ask if they’ve ever considered support. 

  • Ask them if they would like you to send them some information about how to successfully achieve the lifestyle changes that reverse pre-addiction.