It’s understandably difficult to watch a loved one fighting with addiction. While they deal with the endless pursuit of their drug of choice, family and friends sit by and contemplate how to react. Some loved ones will respond with sympathy, putting themselves in position to become enablers. That’s not a good situation.
There’s usually another group of loved ones who decide to distance themselves from the addict. They might do so out of embarrassment or disappointment. They might also do so after being victimized by the addict’s actions. No one likes to become collateral damage to someone else’s personal problems. One can only hope these loved ones can somehow get past their anger.
Then there’s the group of loved one’s that occupy the middle ground. These are the people who understand what’s going on and want to help without becoming enablers. Where the other relationships may be strained, this is the group that could have the desire and ability to truly help.
We all have to remember that most addicts aren’t interested in putting down the glass of whiskey or the syringe full of heroin. They’re more likely to believe they don’t have a problem. They believe they are in total control of their lives and have the ability to stop at anytime without repercussions. We call this denial.
If you have a loved one who is clearly caught in the cycle of addiction but believes otherwise, convincing them to get help could be difficult. Still, you may be their only chance for recovery and should do all you can to get them into treatment. If you are wondering how? Perhaps, the following information might be useful.
How to Get a Loved One to Seek Treatment for Addiction
If your loved one is in denial or simply reluctant to seek help, you need to approach them with some level of caution. The fact you might still have open lines of communication with them is vital. Also, you might want to enlist the help of any other loved ones who still have good standing with the addict. There is power in numbers.
From least to most invasive suggestions for convincing your loved one to seek help, try these methods, after which we will go into more detail:
- Have a personal one-on-one conversation about the issues you see. Talk to them not at them
- Discuss possible ramifications if they continue down the path of substance abuse
- Create an opportunity for them to speak with an addiction treatment specialist or former addict with good recovery time
- Family/Friend intervention
Personal One-on-One Conversation
Sometimes, the personal touch can move mountains. You should try to find a time and private place where you can sit down and speak frankly about how you view their addiction issues. There’s always a chance you showing concern could make them realize something might actually be wrong. Above all, you’ll want to make sure you avoid lecturing or demanding action. Talk to them, not at them.
Discuss Possible Ramifications
There’s a real possibility your loved one can’t see the logical conclusions to their substance abuse. After educating yourself, you might want to educate them about the health and personal issues they face if they don’t deal with their addiction issues. You can also use this opportunity to set behavioral boundaries to let them know there are circumstances that could cause issues with you and other loved ones. It’s kind of a one-on-one intervention.
Seek Professional Support
If you are unsure how to approach this subject with your loved one, you might want to enlist help from people who have been there and done that. A private meeting with an addiction treatment specialist or recovering addict might provide an opportunity for the addict to ask questions that might drive them to see the light.
Intervention is a delicate process. It requires all participants be educated and well-prepared to do their part in a well-organized family/friend meeting. Without making threats and accusations, each participant should discuss how the person’s addiction affects them personally, how they feel about the individual and what outcome they would like to see from the intervention. There’s power in numbers and if everyone does their part, the addict could come to the realization people care and maybe they should as well.
We understand your concern about the welfare of your loved one. If we can help with the treatment process or provide information about how to convince your loved one to seek help, you can call us at 800-737-0933.