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Managing conflict

Drug or alcohol use in the family often leads to a lot of conflict. Here are some simple tips to reduce and manage conflict:

  • Try to identify when arguments tend to take place and make a choice to respond differently or avoid getting drawn in. For instance do you try to discuss your loved one's drink or drug use when they have just arrived home under the influence, or first thing in the morning when they are hung over? What about leaving these emotive discussions for a different time?
  • Think about the tone and language that you use.
    Aggression or accusations (even in retaliation) are rarely constructive and are very likely to lead to conflict.
  • Walk away. If things are getting heated, explain calmly that it would be better to return to the conversation at a later time, and remove yourself from the conflict.
  • Try to find something positive to say!
    It can be easy to fall into negative communication cycles and for the drink or drugs to take over family life. A kind gesture or a word of thanks for something, however small, can do wonders for a relationship and make life a little bit happier for everyone.