When you learn of a loved one’s descent into the darkness of addiction, it is only natural to want to help them in any possible way you can. One such idea you may feel drawn to is trying to convince or force them to go to rehab. While forcing someone into rehab is not necessarily the best idea, motivating them and providing encouragement about the idea can help sway them in the right direction. What can you do to provide this encouragement and help your loved one save their life?
Educate Yourself on Addiction
Just like any serious conversation you may have in this life, you should never go in unprepared. You cannot properly talk to someone, specifically an addict, about addiction if you haven’t done the appropriate background research on the subject.
Before even attempting to talk to your loved one about their addiction and going to rehab, educate yourself regarding the causes of addiction, how it affects the brain, the impacts it has on people’s lives, and specifics concerning treatments. There are a number of credible sources on the internet. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) can give you general information about addiction and possible treatment options.
Specific things you should be searching to understand include the following:
How Addiction Operates & What Causes It
Teach yourself about the general subject of addiction. Learn what causes it, why it is so hard to overcome, and possible types of treatment.
Specific Effects of Substances
Depending on the type of drug an individual is using, their addiction will have different side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Understanding how various drugs affect the body can help you prepare for the conversation with your loved one. When you know these things, you can discuss the specific impact of their substance abuse.
It is not uncommon for an individual to have a co-occurring mental health disorder acting alongside their addiction. In fact, some addictions begin by individuals using drugs or alcohol to alleviate symptoms of mental illness, especially depression and anxiety. Learn about the different ways mental illness can affect your loved one and their addiction. Understand that this will also impact your loved one’s treatment plan in rehab.
Types of Treatments
Research the different types of addiction treatments out there today. Learn about what each treatment entails, and when certain treatments are recommended over others. When you discuss this with your loved one, offer to discuss what possible treatments would be best, and aid them in looking for treatment centers together.
Have a Plan for the Intervention
It is no secret that confronting a loved one about their addiction and staging an intervention can be an extremely uncomfortable experience. That being said, it is crucial to create an intervention plan prior to the actual intervention to help you with any possible scenario.
You can ask other friends and family to be there to make the conversation less aggressive. This will also show your loved one that they have people who care about them and their best interests. If you feel an intervention specialist would be of help, they can aid you in creating a plan for the intervention.
If you are unsure where to start, try researching the Association of Intervention Specialists. This site will give you ideas for a recovery plan and can put you in contact with a professional intervention specialist.
Try to Steer Clear of Judgement
The last thing that your addicted loved one needs is to feel more judgment and disappointment. Many addicts already feel these emotions as well as guilt because of their addiction and the impact it must be having on their loved ones. Judgment is a common relapse trigger for those struggling with addiction, so it is best to avoid it.
If you have never struggled with drugs or alcohol, you may be unfairly judging your loved one. You may not understand how addiction works or how difficult it can be to overcome because it is a chronic disease. Educating yourself on the subject can help you avoid misconceptions and better encourage your loved one to take a step towards recovery.
Be Logical, Direct, & Objective
This relates to creating an intervention plan. The conversation you are about to have with your loved one is a complicated and emotional one. It is normal and understandable if you are feeling many intense emotions. However, try to cope with these before the actual discussion so you can maintain an objective and logical position. Spilling your emotions in the form of anger or disappointment can cause your loved one to be unwilling to talk. Be honest but keep your emotions in check.
Wanting the best for your loved one is understandable and normal, especially when you find out your loved one has been suffering from addiction. However, approaching the difficult subject without prior education can be difficult. This means that encouraging someone to go to rehab may not be as conceivable as you may think. Educating yourself on addiction, its causes, why is it difficult to overcome, and available treatment options can give you the necessary information to make a case to your addicted loved one. You should also make an intervention plan, ensuring you are prepared for every possible scenario. Your loved one is more likely to hear you out if you have specific examples of how their addiction is affecting themselves and their loved ones, and if you have background knowledge on addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and has questions about rehab, contact Northstar Transitions today at (303) 558-6400.