Confronting a Loved One about Addiction Rehab
One of the toughest things that any of us will ever experience is confronting a loved one about addiction rehab. Although this is done with their best interests in mind, it may not be received as such. Unfortunately, those suffering from addiction are often not thinking rationally or realizing the harm that they're doing to themselves and to others. However, it's something that usually needs to be done to help them see more clearly. But do note that how it is done should be taken with care.
Speak With Relatives and Friends
Talk with those who are close to both you and your loved one who is suffering from an addiction in order to get some feedback on what the best plan might be to best ensure a positive discussion. Those close to both of you will know some ways to go about this that others from the outside, even professionals, may not.
Hopefully your loved one will be calm as well, but you need to be mentally prepared to remain calm even if they are not. Do not argue with them. If necessary, remind yourself to take deep breaths to help relax yourself. Keep in mind that you being stable may be just what they need as they are likely looking at things in an irrational manner.
While you're being calm, make sure to also be compassionate. Emphasize that you love and support them. Showing impatience or belittling, criticizing or insulting them will not result in anything positive if they are already feeling overwhelmed with emotions of guilt or shame.
When they speak, let them have their say. Don't interrupt and be prepared for them to not immediately agree to enter treatment, especially if this is the first time that the topic has been brought up. If they do decide to enter treatment, continue being patient as that will most likely not be a smooth process for them. Recovery usually isn't.
Be a good example for your loved one and be resilient in your love of them and in your belief that they will overcome this addiction. Be the strength and the motivation for them during this extremely trying time. Recovery will not occur overnight, but it'll help if you show your support throughout its ups and downs.
Focus on "I" Statements
The talk is going to be better received by your loved one if you focus your statements around "I" and not around "you." An example that could be used is, "I worry and experience feelings of dread and fear when you drink." Conversely, avoid saying something like, "You are scary when you drink."
Remember That They Are Not Choosing Drugs Over You
This may be difficult for people who have never suffered from addiction to understand, but those who are addicted to alcohol or drugs are not consciously choosing that over their loved ones. Neurochemicals and receptors in their brains have been physically altered, and the need for more alcohol or drugs is now near-insatiable.
Have Them Make the Decision
It's better to not say something like, "You need to get treatment." Instead, phrase it like this: "Are you willing to discuss with someone how this is affecting you and those you care about?" Encourage them to seek the help they need but never by forcing them or belittling them.
Plan What to Say
Of course, you will never know exactly how the discussion is going to go, but do your best to plan out what you are going to say and how you might respond if your loved one reacts in a variety of manners. You could even engage in a role-play situation with somebody else to help you prepare for the talk.
Ensure That the Timing is Considered
The most important thing to do is ensure that your loved one is sober at this time. You should also make sure that there are no distractions. In most cases, having it in a home setting is preferred. Planning this discussion at a time and place that is positive could help the individual be more receptive.
Do an Intervention
One of the best ways to go about confronting a loved one about addiction is to do an intervention. This is because, oftentimes, telling them that they are hurting themselves doesn't really sink in, but showing which ways they are affecting others does. In some cases, they may think that they are hiding their addiction well enough that nobody or few have noticed.
However, this should only be considered after initial attempts to help have not resulted in positive outcomes. In other words, ensure that your loved one has rebuffed attempts to be helped or has shown a defiant attitude towards recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Springboard Recovery for assistance. We would be happy to provide opportunities for your loved one to regain their life and break free from their addiction. If you would like to speak to a professional about how to approach your loved one, contact us today.