If you’ve ever tried convincing a loved one to go to addiction treatment, you know how difficult it can be: the fights, the screaming, the judgment the heartache, etc. There are over 19 million Americans that currently struggle with substance use disorder, according to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Each one of these individuals has an entire community of friends and loved ones that are suffering right alongside them.
Every wound must bleed before it scabs. While it may never seem like the right time, it’s important to try and get your loved one help immediately before their substance use escalates into full-blown addiction. Here are some ways to do it:
It’s How You Say It…
There are a few “do’s and don’t’s” when convincing your loved one to go to addiction treatment. Do say: “I know what you’ve been going through and I’m here to help.” Don’t say: “I know everything you’ve been doing, and I can’t believe what a useless screw-up you are!” Substance use disorder is a medical condition; not a moral failing. Berating your loved one because they have a problem will not only take an enormous toll on their mental health; it will likely drive them further into substance abuse. You catch more flies with compassion than you do with contempt.
Stick by Them
Addiction-level substance use disorder is a chronic illness, which means there may be chronic setbacks. While you’re convincing your loved one to go to addiction treatment, you have to allow for the possibility that they’re going to make mistakes. Don’t abandon them at the first sign of difficulty. This may not be easy, but it’s the right thing to do, and it’s the only way you’re going to build trust.
Convincing a loved one to go to addiction treatment takes reinforcement and emotional support. Coordinate an intervention with your other loved ones when you think they’re ready to hear that they have a problem. This process can be difficult and confusing, and it helps to partner with an experienced and qualified interventionist. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the addiction intervention process. Work with your interventionist to come up with a solution that best suits your family’s needs.
Accountability goes a long way when convincing your loved one to go to addiction treatment. Let them know that, while you’re there to support them and will do everything you can to get them the help they need, there’s a limit to what you’ll tolerate. Set terms for their recovery; even more important than setting these terms is sticking to them.
Establishing a conversational framework of trust, compassion, firmness and accountability are key. Remember that, while addiction is a time-sensitive matter, you may not be able to convince them overnight. If you need help guiding your addicted loved one toward addiction treatment, Recovery Unplugged is ready to help you get them the lifesaving care they need. Contact us today to learn more.