Challenging, But Worth It
When a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, motivating them to get the help they need can be very challenging. You may worry that your loved one will get angry or that you are overstepping your bounds. You are not sure what to do or how to help, and you feel confused and emotionally drained. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your decision to help your loved one go to a treatment center could save their life.
Here are some things you can do to help convince your loved one to seek the treatment they need.
Learn as Much as You Can and Share It With Your Loved One
Take the time to learn about addiction and how it affects the brain. By understanding that addiction is a brain disease that affects the person mentally, physically, and emotionally, you will better understand what your loved one is facing. Learn about treatment options and what takes place during an average day of inpatient treatment. You can then help your loved one understand what is happening to them and alleviate any fears and preconceived notions they may have about rehab. Share stories of people who were in similar situations and are doing well in recovery. Tell them about various activities in rehab they would enjoy doing. Use words that are uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging.
Be Empathetic and Ask Open-Ended Questions
Talking with your loved one about their need for treatment must be done tactfully and with empathy. People suffering from a substance use disorder are usually in a very complicated and confusing state psychologically and emotionally due to the way their addiction has affected their brain. As much as possible, avoid getting into an argument. Keep the conversation fact-based instead of emotional. Talk openly and honestly about the changes you see happening and the effects on your loved one and the people around them. Show you care and are concerned about them. Ask open-ended questions about how they are feeling.
Open-ended questions help the person to see where they are now and where they would like to be in the future. Examples of open-ended questions include:
- Are you happy with your current life?
- Are there any life changes you think you need to make to get to where you would like to go in life?
- How do you feel about going to an addiction treatment center?
When you ask these questions, listen to your loved one’s responses. Ask follow-up questions. Be supportive, and give them time.
If You Feel Like You Need More Help
In some cases, motivating a loved one to get help for their addiction may be too much for you to do alone. Your loved one may be belligerent and refuse to admit they have a problem. If this is the case, do not be nervous or embarrassed to bring up the subject to concerned family members or friends. Together, you may be able to convince your loved one to enter treatment. If you need professional advice, talk to an interventionist.
A Few Additional Tips
Here are several additional things you can do to help yourself and motivate your loved one to seek treatment.
- Join groups specifically designed to help those people whose loved ones are struggling with a substance use disorder or are in recovery, such as Nar-Anon or Al-Anon.
- Talk to a counselor or addiction treatment specialist before your loved one is ready to enter a facility for their addiction. That way, you will have all the correct information and have the support you need for your own mental health.
- Be ready to have your loved one go to a treatment facility as soon as they say they need to go. By having pre-planned admission in place at a certified rehab center, you are helping your loved one achieve the best possible outcome for their recovery.
You are Not Alone
If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you are not alone. Help is available. Call and speak to a professional at Canyon Vista Recovery Center, in Mesa, Arizona. We will answer your questions and help you or your loved one begin the journey to sobriety.