Few things are harder than watching a loved one struggle with drug or alcohol dependence. Addiction can ravage the body and corrode mental health; it can lead to financial, legal, and relational problems—and as an onlooker, you can feel completely powerless to help.
But that’s not quite the case. Actually, there is one huge way you can help, and that’s by guiding your loved one toward addiction rehab.
You can’t actually make someone commit to recovery, but you can certainly nudge them in that direction. Here are a few ways to do so.
Avoid the wrong attitude. First, let’s talk about the ways you shouldn’t encourage a loved one to seek recovery. Having an angry or negative attitude about it won’t help; remember that your loved one has an illness that’s impacting their judgment, and that the addiction’s driving many of their actions. Likewise, being judgmental or accusatory will only cause your loved one to become defensive. It’s certainly not going to motivate them to choose recovery.
Remember: You’ll need to overcome denial. Most of the time, those who struggle with addiction will vigorously deny that they have a problem or need help. It can be tough to reason with them in these cases, but stick with it, gently letting them know that you love them, care for them, and want to see them recover. Note that you may have the best luck when they hit a personal “bottom,” and when the circumstances of their life finally help them see some of the consequences of their addiction.
Focus on your feelings. Again, you want to avoid sounding accusatory—so avoid you statements. For example, you have a problem or you’re doing hurtful things, while true, will only put your loved one on the defensive. It’s smarter to stick with I statements—e.g., I’m worried about you; I want to see you happy and healthy; I feel like you need help.
Pledge support along the way. Addiction recovery is a journey—and for those who’ve not yet embarked on it, it can be frightening. Be mindful of how daunting it is, and pledge to support your loved one however you can. Make it clear to them that you will be there with them, helping them through the initial inpatient treatment and supporting them once they get out.
Help them find a good rehab. Once your loved one realizes they need treatment, be ready to point them in the right direction. Find a good addiction rehab facility in your area and reach out to them in advance, asking them what steps you need to take to get your loved one admitted. You can even ask about any help the addiction treatment center can offer in encouraging your loved one to seek care.
Make sure they feel loved. Really the best thing you can do for a loved one is let them know how much you care for them. Make it clear that the reason you want them to seek rehab is that you’re worried about them and want to see them be as healthy and as happy as possible. Tell them you love them no matter what.
As you consider the best possible ways to encourage a loved one to commit to addiction rehab, make sure you stay connected with a local inpatient treatment center. Experience Recovery is proud to offer a full spectrum of services in Orange County. To speak with us about the available rehab options, contact Experience Recovery today.
If you or a loved one needs help getting sober, Experience Recovery can help. Our admissions line is open 24/7.