Watching your loved one slip into the grips of an addiction is one of the hardest things to experience. They just aren’t the person that you used to know because substance abuse has taken over their life and is affecting their relationship with you and others. When habits turn into self-destruction and your loved one poses a risk to themselves and others, you know that it’s time to get them help. However, the road to recovery isn’t smoothly paved and the first steps are often the hardest.
As someone who deeply cares for someone who is using and abusing substances, you may feel a sense of responsibility to help get them clean. It’s very hard to address the topic of addiction because you never know how your loved one is going to react. Many times, families and friends end up enabling their loved one with an addiction because they are afraid that they will lose them otherwise. It’s very common for people with addictions to feel rejected or judged by their families when the topic of their substance abuse is brought up so they might deny the fact that they have a problem or distance themselves.
If you have a friend or loved one who you think could benefits from professional help in dealing with their addiction, it’s important to know the proper way to go about talking to them. Here are our best suggestions to help you get your loved one into an addiction treatment program:
- Educate yourself on what addiction does to a person both mentally and physically
Addiction is a serious disease and it’s important to educate yourself on the implications rather than assume that their addiction is a choice. Once a person becomes addicted to a substance, their body literally relies on it to function properly and they may fall very ill if they stop using.
There are many resources for families and loved ones of people who suffer from addiction to educate themselves and get support if they need it. Nar-Anon and Al-Anon are both groups that anyone can attend that feels like they need help in coping with an addicted loved one. Support groups can offer guidance and gentle reminders that you are not alone in your feelings, whatever they may be.
- Know that you are not at fault
When you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or alcohol it’s very easy to blame yourself when searching for a reason for their addiction. Regardless of what friends, family members, or the person who is addicted says you must know that you are not to blame.
When your mind is stuck in a negative feedback loop and you are blaming yourself, you may find yourself believing the excuses your loved one has for their bad choices they make as a result of their addiction. When you accept blame, your efforts of getting them help may fail or cause you to further enable your loved one because you think you owe it to them.
- Consult with a professional interventionalist
Because dealing with a loved one with an addiction can be emotionally taxing, it might be beneficial to call in a professional. Interventionalists know the most effective methods of getting someone with an addiction into rehab and helping them understand why it is necessary.
Sometimes all it takes is somebody outside of their immediate circle of friends and family to show someone with an addiction how their disease has affected their lives and the lives of the people who love them. When you’re close to someone with an addiction it can be difficult to reason with them because you don’t understand what they’re going through. Interventionalists have the training and knowledge that it takes to communicate with people who have addiction illnesses and can carry out an intervention plan that is tailored to your loved one’s situation.
- When you’re ready to address an addiction, go in with a plan
Any conversation that you’re going to have with your loved one about their addiction is going to bring out strong emotions so it’s best to go in with a plan and stick to it. The conversation can easily be diverted to other topics or turned around to focus on you rather than the person with the addiction.
Beyond the conversation, getting someone to seek help for their addiction is going to require a plan that involves steps of recovery. This might be getting their friends and family involved, bringing them to a mental health professional, or transporting them to a detox and rehab facility.
When you’re making your plan to get your loved one help, you should make sure to have a separate plan for what to do if they refuse help. You may feel a strong desire to take action immediately but it’s best to wait it out so that you can deal with everything in a calculated and calm way.
- Take care to not enable someone with an addiction
You may not realize that you’re enabling someone with an addiction because you’re just doing what anybody would do for their loved ones. Actions of enabling include financial support, making excuses for the actions of the person with an addiction, or covering up the fact that they have an addiction at all. There is a very fine line between caring for someone with an addiction and enabling them.
If you’ve attempted to address their addiction and they are refusing help it’s important to stay strong and enforce the consequences of their decisions no matter how difficult it may be. empty threats will only continue to show them that there are consequences don’t have any actions and they may not see a reason for getting clean.
- Support them while they are in treatment and recovery
Undergoing detox addiction treatment and recovery is going to be a whole new world for your loved one. it’s possible that they feel embarrassed ashamed and hopeless at this point in their life and it’s important for them to know that while their feelings are valid there isn’t necessarily a truth to them. The most important thing for them to focus on if the future and all of the good things that they’re going to accomplish moving forward. Make sure you stay in contact with your loved one while they are in treatment and offer them words of encouragement while there fighting for their wellness.
That being said, support may also look like setting boundaries while your loved one is in treatment and recovery. Those boundaries may include following the rules for contact and visitation times, not picking them up and giving them a place to stay if they decide to leave treatment early, and enforcing their outpatient treatment schedule.
Helping a loved one seek treatment for their addiction is not an easy feat. That’s why we are proud to offer our detox and rehabilitation services to the people of Florida. If you are looking for an addiction treatment center in Florida, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you have in relation to addiction, treatment, and recovery.