Finding out a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a very distressing situation. You know they need help, and you want to help them. But you feel confused and are not sure what to do. Trying to get a loved one into a treatment program can be intimidating. They may react poorly to your concern, or they may have such a complicated situation that leaving home or work for a month to get treatment seems impossible. We offer below some suggestions to help you navigate the path of helping your loved one.
Educate Yourself About Addiction and Treatment
Start by learning more about addiction and treatment. Learn about the specific drug or alcohol your loved one is using and how it affects them. Learn about co-occurring disorders, withdrawal symptoms, the signs of addiction, and treatment programs. By educating yourself as much as possible, you are gaining confidence and the ability to provide informed and compassionate support as your loved one moves through the recovery process.
Have a Plan
Having a plan before confronting a loved one about their substance use disorder is essential. lt will help other family members and friends be ready for whatever may happen during the conversation. Sometimes, hiring a professional interventionist to help develop the plan may be needed. Together, the group can present a unified front and help convince their loved one to get the help they need.
Initiate a Conversation
Even though you feel angry and frustrated, it is very important to remain calm when you approach your loved one. Share your observations about their recent behavior, explain the consequences for you and for them, and ask to hear their story. Stick to the facts, and try to avoid yelling or venting. Choose a time and a place to talk to your loved one where both of you are comfortable. Make sure it is a time when they are sober. If you think they might walk out of the room, suggest going to a neutral location outside of your neighborhood.
Use “I” Statements When You Talk
Addiction is a disease that affects the brain. Those who suffer from it are often ashamed to admit they have a problem. One way to avoid having your conversation escalate to an argument is to use “I” statements. For example, instead of saying, “You are out of control and ruining your life,” say, “I think you are in trouble, and I feel sad” or “I want to help you, but I am not sure what to do.” Using “I” statements may keep your loved one from becoming defensive. They may be more inclined to answer questions honestly.
Get Treatment Right Away
Once your loved one expresses willingness to get help, begin treatment right away. Do your research ahead of time and know what treatment centers to suggest to your loved one. Learn what to look for when choosing a residential recovery program in this article. The professionals at certified treatment programs can provide support throughout the intervention process. They can also help plan for immediate admission to the treatment program as soon as your loved one accepts that they need help.
Help is Available
Whether you or your loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, help is available. Call and speak to a professional at English Mountain Recovery, located in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. We will answer your questions and help you get the help you need.