Ways to Help a Loved One Begin an Alcohol and Drug Rehab Program
Watching someone you love sink into the abyss of addiction can be painful. As their problem progresses, you may find yourself having to deal with any number of issues – lies, betrayals, verbal and physical abuse, stealing – but nothing is worse than the damage you see them doing to themselves and their bodies without even realizing it.
You know they’ll need to recover from addiction, but knowing that and doing something about it are two different things. Maybe you’re still in denial yourself and hoping that eventually they’ll wake up and realize that they have to change. Or you’re afraid of them cutting you out of their life if you speak up or try to get them help. It could even be that you’ve convinced yourself that you’re being stronger just by being there for them and cleaning up after them.
Unfortunately, these ways of thinking simply enable the behavior and let the addiction get worse, and it certainly doesn’t make coping with it easier. If you are not professionally trained to support someone going through addiction, no matter how close they are to you, one of the most daunting, yet crucial challenges will be standing up and telling your loved one that he or she has a problem and needs to solve it by going through an alcohol and drug rehab program.
Before you confront someone with their addiction, you have to arm yourself with knowledge and practice the conversation so you can be positive and supportive while still remaining firm.Here are just a few things to consider before helping a loved one seek treatment through an alcohol or drug rehab program.
Timing is Important
Someone isn’t going to want to hear about how they’re destroying their life after a week of partying and having fun with friends. Even if it’s obvious to you that their behavior is out of control, it will be harder for them to see it when things seem to be going well and nothing has changed because of their “problem.”
Change, then, is the key. The best times to talk to someone about their addiction are after it has led to them making a mistake, when they learn about life-changing news, or when they decide to strive for an important goal. If significant events don’t arise and you feel treatment must be sought immediately, approach the issue sensitively.
Obviously you don’t want to wait until someone has gotten arrested before confronting them, but doing so after their problem has caused them to miss a few days of work or embarrass themselves in some way can be quite useful. People are also more receptive to change when they receive monumental news learning that they or someone they know is pregnant or that their family member is facing a major health problem. And finally, wanting to realize an important goal can also wake someone up to the need for change, especially if they know that they’ll never get what they want by behaving the way they are now.
Avoid the perception of punishment
All too often, especially with parents confronting their kids, alcohol or drug rehab becomes a way to punish them after they’ve made a mistake one too many times. Or at least, that’s the way the kids, adolescents, or event adults may interpret it when it’s coming from their parents. Unfortunately, when addicts see the results as the problem (for example, they got a DUI), many of them believe that the answer is simply to be more careful the next time they do their drug of choice.
The last thing that you want is for your loved one to think that rehab is your way to get them into a treatment program that will “fix” them to fit in with behavioral standards or how you think they should live their lives, so they don’t mess up and cause problems for you or embarrass you again. If they perceive that as your goal, they’re likely to put up their walls of denial and anger, and blow you off.
Instead, your goal should be to convince them that you’re doing this because you’re worried about them and feel like they are damaging themselves and their life – you really are just trying to help them do what’s best for them. Without blaming or accusing, remind them of the bad things that have happened while they were drunk or high. Many people have to be able to see the pain they’ve caused before they can get over their denial.
Know your stuff
Even after you’ve gotten your loved one to admit that they have a problem, the battle isn’t over. Many addicts continue their downward spiral for months or even years while apologizing for their actions and continually promising to get help.Don’t let them off so easily. Research alcohol and drug rehab programs ahead of time so that once they’ve agreed that they need help, you can outline a plan for them and even show them information on different facilities and types of treatment you think are best for them. And don’t just let them take pamphlets from you and leave – read through them and call to set up an appointment together. You can even offer to go with them if they’re open to it.
Intervention: The Last Resort
Keep in mind that the scenario described above is a pretty positive one, but they’re not always like that. Many people refuse to admit they have a problem when confronted, and some can even become angry. If you’ve tried talking to your loved one and they just won’t listen, the next step may be to prepare for an intervention with other friends and family members to have additional support for you and your loved one.
This group perspective can be effective, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy either. Those who feel this is the best route to helping your loved one seek treatment for alcohol or drug addiction should work with a professional who can help them to plan the event, get everyone to practice what they want to say ahead of time, and make it go as smoothly as possible.
Whatever path to recovery you choose, our staff has access to hundreds of treatment centers to assure the best personalized treatment for you, then with continued follow up to help you make the transition to sober living as seamless as possible.
Our trained staff of professionals are qualified to help you assess what type of treatment will be the best fit to ensure you or your loved one gets the help you need.
But how does one go about finding the right program?
If this all looks very overwhelming....it is! But that's what we are here for. Call us at 888-205-8608 and we can help make this process much easier. We will narrow down all of these aspects and find the best program for you or your loved one with all your concerns considered. It's as simple as making that first call. And the best part is that we are a free service. The road to recovery starts here!
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