A common misconception about individuals who struggle with addiction is that they could choose to stop using substances if they truly wanted to. It is important to recognize that addiction is a disease that can cause a lot of consequences to not only the life of the person using substances but also the lives of their family and friends.
Even after consequences become evident, it can take years for a person to finally come to terms with the fact that they need treatment for their substance use.
If you stand in a position where you are watching your loved one fall victim to the perpetual cycle of addiction, you may feel saddened and overwhelmed. You may have watched other family members fall into a similar cycle they weren’t able to break or feel like it is your duty to motivate them to enter drug & alcohol addiction treatment.
No matter where you stand, it is essential to be patient with yourself and your loved one and know that support is available.
Become Educated About Addiction
Before you try to convince your loved one that they need rehab, educate yourself about addiction and substance use disorder. If you have not experienced addiction directly, you may want to research the following topics:
- Recognizing the signs of drug abuse
- How substance use and addiction affect the brain
- The causes of addiction
- Why addiction affects everyone differently
- The risk factors associated with developing an addiction
- The most effective treatment options to treat substance use and addiction
- Specific facts about your loved one’s drug of choice
- Protective factors that serve against addiction and relapse
Being educated on these topics helps you approach your loved one with facts and associated concerns rather than with emotions or accusations.
You may want to research warning signs of drug abuse so that you can reflect on what signs your loved one may be exhibiting. This knowledge can also help you determine the severity of your loved one’s substance use issues, and therefore, what level of care they need for treatment to be most successful.
Starting the Conversation
Having that initial conversation with your loved one about their substance use might be one of the most challenging parts of the process. No matter how much research you do about addiction, your loved one will likely get defensive or be in denial about the consequences of their substance use. To prepare for this, approach the first conversation from a place of compassion and love, rather than expressing anger, judgment, or ultimatums.
You may want to consider planning an intervention. You can sit your loved one down with other friends or family members to help them understand your concerns. Interventions can be effective in motivating loved ones to go to rehab because, most of the time, the individual struggling may not be aware of how their substance use negatively impacts their loved ones’ lives.
When finally sitting your loved one down, let them know that you want them to get treatment so that they can be healthy and happy again. You no longer want to watch them live with the consequences of their substance abuse. If you want the conversation to truly be productive, hear your loved one out and support them if they choose to be vulnerable.
As you approach the conversation with compassion, it is still essential to let your loved one know how much their substance use has truly hurt you by using “I” statements, such as “I feel hurt” or “I want the best for you.” Avoid framing the conversation with “you” statements, such as, “You don’t care” or, “You have a problem.”
When Conversations Don’t Work
If you find yourself having multiple conversations with your loved one without any forward progress, there are other things you can do to get the treatment process started. If your loved one is hesitant about going to rehab or is avoiding their problems entirely, it may be time for professional intervention.
A mental health therapist or addiction counselor can help guide your loved one in examining unhealthy habits that they may be engaging in and substance use. They use counseling techniques, such as motivational interviewing, to help your loved one overcome the ambivalence, they may have surrounding treatment and recovery.
A professional can also refer you to or recommend specialists, drug rehabs, or addiction centers to go to for rehab. A therapist or addiction counselor is overall a great resource for your loved one to have to support their journey.
If your loved one does not want to take any steps toward recovery, you may need to evaluate your relationship with them. If you feel like you or your family have suffered as your loved one continues to engage in substance use, that is not fair for you, and you should protect yourself from further hurt.
You can create healthy boundaries with your loved one if they are not willing to help themselves, such as limiting contact with them until they are ready for recovery. It does yourself and your loved one no good if you continue to put yourself in harm’s way by continuing to engage with that person. Limiting contact might be the push they need to seek help.
The Role Sober Living Plays In Rehab
Eventually, your loved one will advance far enough in alcohol & drug rehab where they reach the outpatient stages of treatment. In these stages, your loved one will no longer live at a drug & alcohol detox center or another facility as they attend treatment at a drug rehab. It can be natural to want your loved one to return to their home, either with you or wherever they were living.
This can be a mistake.
“Home” can be a dicey situation for people in recovery. If home is a place full of memories of past substance abuse (or trauma), going home can be a major risk of relapse.
Sober living homes provide your loved one with an ideal environment for both recovery and preparing to reenter normal life. Surrounded by people and staff who both emphasize with them and keep them accountable, a sober living home allows your loved one to focus on their continued recovery in a safe space where the risk of relapse is far less.
SoberLivingNearYou.com was designed to make searching for a sober home far easier. There are thousands of them out there, and it’s not always easy to determine which sober home suits your needs and budget. With our directory, finding a sober home for your loved one is as easy as logging in.
Start your search with SoberLivingNearYou.com today!