When someone you love has a drug problem and you feel that there are clear signs and symptoms of an addiction then the next step is talking to them about treatment. Telling someone that they need help is a very delicate subject and requires a lot of tact so that you don’t end up offended them or pushing them further away. People with addictions are often in a very complicated psychological state because of the effect that their drug use has had on their brain and emotions. They could be defensive and want to protect themselves and their ability to continue their habit without any interference. Sometimes their level of denial is so strong that they may believe that they do not need help or their drug use is completely under control. Understanding how to motivate someone to get help can make you an important catalyst for change in this person’s life. When you know for sure that a person has a dangerous addiction, you should get educate yourself on how to approach the situation and get involved so that you can prevent the problem from getting worse.
The Wrong Approach for Helping Drug Addicts
Before you get a sense of how to talk to someone about their addiction you should first learn the “don’ts” of approaching an addict. If you have a negative, angry attitude then you will not be able to convince them to get help because they will try to defend themselves. Being accusatory, preachy or condescending will cause more harm than good because they might only get more upset and turn back to drugs to escape. On the other hand, pleading or begging them to quit may cause them to ignore you because they are in a self-centered state of mind and do not care about pleasing other people. Even telling them about the dangers of their addiction will not always work because they may have little regard for their own life or health at this point. A better approach helping drug addicts is to help them see for themselves and lead them to the conclusion that they are drinking or using too much. This can be difficult because of the problem of denial.
Overcoming Denial to Fight Drug Addiction
One of the biggest obstacles to someone deciding to seek treatment is their own powerful sense of denial that prevents them from seeing the situation objectively. Denial makes it almost impossible for people with addictions to admit that they need to quit and if you want to talk to someone about their drug use you need to have a strategy for approaching their denial. At times addicts can begin to break through denial on their own because the negative consequences of their drug use have built up and led them to hit rock bottom. It can actually be a good time to talk to someone with an addiction when they have just experienced a very serious consequence for their behavior because they may be more inclined to listen and admit that they have a problem. Timing is important and certain circumstances can make someone more prone to reach the conclusion on their own that they need to get treatment for their substance abuse.
Helping them Consider Rehab Drug Treatment
To get someone to at least consider rehab drug treatment you need to avoid being too aggressive or commanding about the situation. Sometimes the best way to start the conversation is to ask questions and get them discuss what is going on in their life. The more questions you ask, the more you are getting them to really think about the negative things that are happening in their life and whether their drug abuse is root of most of their problems. The truth is that addicts may think more positively about treatment if they feel that they have really made the decision for themselves. It is truly the best scenario because instead of them entering treatment as a way to fulfill an obligation to the people around them, they are choosing sobriety for themselves. Asking a lot of open ended questions can help effectively lead an addict to consider treatment rather than ordering them to get help because you believe it is the right thing for them.
Empathy for Addiction Recovery Help
Whenever you speak to someone about their addiction, you will have to constrain certain emotions and judgments that you may have about them. Even though you might feel angry, frustrated, or fed up with their behavior you will have to put those feelings aside and focus on empathy in your conversation. You might feel that you want to disagree with them when they say certain things but being antagonistic or not going with the flow can cause the discussion to go off the rails. Before speaking with them try to tap into your feelings of empathy and love for them. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand where they are coming from so that you will be less likely to lash out or say the wrong thing. Always make empathy a priority when you are attempting to motivate someone to go to treatment. As long as you realize that underneath all of their selfish behavior, they really are suffering in their addiction and hurting themselves more than anything you can show compassion rather than judgement.
Encouraging Responsibility to Get Help for Alcohol Abuse
If you are trying to motivate someone to enter treatment your role is to help them recognize they have a problem and personally choose rehab as the right solution. The most effective way to do this is to encourage the addict to take responsibility for their actions and their addictive behavior. People with addictions often blame others for their problems and may want to avoid taking responsibility by saying their alcohol or drug use is everyone else’s fault. They may try to say that family difficulties or other people’s treatment of them drove them to addiction. While there could be family dynamics or other issues that influenced them to drink, it is important for them to realize that their behavior has always been their own choice. Taking ownership of their problems and taking responsibility for what they have done in the past helps to create a greater desire to change. Once they realize that it is up to them to make changes they will be more open to getting rehab treatment.
Creating Boundaries before Treatment for Drug Addiction
Sometimes when you have a close relationship with a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol you end up getting too involved in the situation. As the friend or family member of an addicted person you can get caught up into the chaos and lose your sense of freedom and personal space, causing you extra stress in the process. One way to motivate a person to seek treatment is to begin to set boundaries with them so that they begin to realize how their actions are affecting other people. It is also the healthiest choice for everyone involved so that you do not fall into the habit of enabling the addict and putting the burden of their mistakes on yourself. You can tell them that you will not lend them any more money, bail them out of jail or even be around when they are drunk or high. Setting these boundaries is not an attempt to punish them for their actions but rather to keep you at a safe distance and allow the addict to fully experience the consequences of their actions. If you are always there to soften the blow of their mistakes, they will never completely understand the problems they are causing.
Enlisting Help for Drug Treatment Options
It might feel overwhelming and too complex to be responsible for helping an addict to get drug treatment options. If you feel that you can’t handle the task on your own, you should find help among a group of concerned friends and family members who also want them to start rehab. You may feel embarrassed or scared to bring up the subject to other people but you might find once you open up the topic that they are experiencing a lot of the same feelings that you are. Sharing your concerns about the conversation with a group of other people will help you collectively come up with a strategy that everyone thinks will work best for convincing them to get treatment. You can also reach out to a counselor and discuss your plans with them to get some professional advice about how to deal with an addicted person or even talk to someone you know who has been through treatment themselves and might have some personal insight into the situation.
Staging an Intervention for Recovery from Addiction
In the end you might decide that the best way to motivate your loved one to get treatment is to set up an intervention rather than have a one on one conversation. If you have tried to talk to them before and have made no progress than getting the help of a professional interventionist could help you ensure that you get the best possible outcome. An intervention can be carefully planned with the help of an unbiased third party who is there to facilitate conversation and prevent emotions from running high. Professionals with a lot of intervention experience will know the right way to approach the addict and handle their reactions to anything that is said. They know how to deal with issues of denial and defensiveness that might be preventing your loved one from making the decision to get help. An intervention is also a way to include a group of people in the person’s life that are worried about them and want to see them get better.
Talking about How to Treat Alcohol Abuse
Whether you choose a one on one conversation or a group intervention about the treatment for alcohol abuse, the discussion should always circle back to professional treatment as the solution. The first step of course is getting the addict to admit that they have a problem but the ultimate goal of talking to them is to convince them that they must go to rehab. Some addicts might insist that they can handle recovery on their own and can either moderate their drinking or go cold turkey without any help. You must be firm in persuading them that this is not an option because it will only create more problems and be dangerous to their health. By the end of your conversation they should be resolved to go into treatment starting with detoxification and then living in a residential facility. The only way to fully treat an addiction is with an intensive program that will help address the many physical and mental health issues that accompany substance abuse. Always make sure that your loved one will go to treatment and not attempt to quit on their own before the conversation ends.
Support as the Best Way to Beat Addiction
If you are successful in convincing someone to enter a treatment center for their addiction, then your involvement should not stop there. The best way you can help them recover is to be there for them and support them throughout the whole process. Stay in contact with them while they are in treatment and check in to see how they are doing and what kind of progress they have made. People with addictions need friends and loved ones to rely on for help when they are struggling to stay sober. Your role should be to keep encouraging them, listen to them and allow them to confide in you because recovery is too difficult to accomplish alone. You can be involved in their recovery by spending time with them doing sober activities and providing positive reinforcement whenever they need it the most. When they complete their treatment, they will still need your help in the transition to living at home again. If you help them stay on track and avoid relapse then they will be able to achieve a successful recovery.
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