Peter Hayton, Clinical Director at The Banyans: The initial conversation is one that’s very difficult when you’re talking about a dependency or addiction issue. Sometimes it’s good to get professional help with that, and at The Banyan’s we’re always very happy to talk with family members even before they’ve spoken to their loved one, and connect them in with the kind of support that they need to be able to have that conversation the right way.

But one of the most important things is to leave judgment to the side and really focus on health and support and the way forward.

Joey, Wellness Advocate and former alcoholic: If there are family members out there who suspect that there is a person in their family in my position, if they suspect that someone is struggling with addiction, of course in this situation it has to be approached very delicately, of course.

My advice would be to approach that person with love in a non-confrontational way but with love, with hugs. You know, something I’ve never ever forgotten is the day that I received my implant I was at the clinic and there was a lovely lady who worked there and she asked me a question that nobody else had ever asked me before. She squeezed my hand and she said, “Joey, what’s the matter dear?” and I have never forgotten her.

So if you think that there is a family member or a loved one who is struggling, just squeeze their hand, put your arm around them and just say, “Hey what’s the matter?”

Everyone can get better if they make up their mind. Yeah, everyone can. None of us came into this world to suffer. I mean addiction is so debilitating, it’s degrading. No one chooses to be that way. No one would want to live that way. Every one of us came into this world to live a healthy, good, wholesome, happy life, to make a difference, and it’s there you just have to make that choice to grasp it.