November 17, 2022

Families Guide To Getting A Loved One Into Treatment

How To Get Your Loved One Into Drug Or Alcohol Treatment

Having a loved one struggling with addiction can be one of the biggest challenges in life. It can be extremely difficult to watch people you love harming themselves and others with drugs and alcohol. But simply by being here you are making the first step to recovery: you have noticed there is a problem, and you want to help your family member get help themselves. While drug and alcohol abuse is hard to watch, there is good news. Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, and it is a disease that can be treated. This is worth saying again. There is help out there, and these illnesses can be treated. 

But getting your loved one help, or getting your loved one into drug and alcohol treatment or “rehab”, can be a difficult proposition. As a facet of the disease, many people who are abusing drugs don’t want to stop or don’t think they are having a problem at all. When this is the case, getting your loved ones the help they need can be challenging. But it is not impossible. Below we’ve created a guide to help you to get your loved ones into treatment whether they understand they have a problem and want to get help themselves, or they need some more gentle and love-filled convincing that their lives, and the lives of those around them, will be improved with help.    

Does Your Loved One Realize They Have A Problem And Want Treatment? 

This is the best case scenario. Alcohol and drug addiction is a disease where generally the person must first understand they have a problem, and second want to get help. 

Sometimes the person will understand there is a problem and will reach out to family members or other loved ones for help. In order to help in the best way possible, it’s important to know what treatment options are available in your area or if your loved one is willing to travel, what insurance coverage may be available to help your loved one pay for treatment (there are also free, outpatient services like Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous in most places), and options for different kinds of treatments, such as live-in treatment centers. 

Sometimes, your loved one will understand they need help in fleeting moments. Sometimes this could be after a run-in with the law, hurting themselves or others, or other small or large tragedies. Sometimes this could appear in moments of clarity, something alcoholics and drug abusers refer to as “hitting rock bottom”. Sometimes, these people go right back to problem drinking and drug use once this clarity wears off. 

In these cases, it is essential to move quickly to get your loved one help— knowing the treatment and payment options when they come to you, and moving to place an individual into treatment as quickly as possible. If this moment passes, it is essential to support your loved one continuously, without enabling problem behavior. 

Does Your Loved One Not Realize They Have a Problem And Don’t Think They Need Or Want Treatment? 

If your loved one is causing disruptions to their lives and others with problem drinking or drug use, but does not think they have a problem, getting your loved one help can be a bit more tricky. The key, always, is communication. Good, healthy, rational communication without blame, shame, and accusations. The first step is choosing an appropriate time. The best time is when you have enough time to discuss the issue, you are in a private setting, and your loved one is preferably sober. This conversation can happen one-on-one with your loved one, or with a very small group of people that understand the problem, are loved by the person abusing drugs or alcohol, and can remain calm, compassionate and helpful.  

When you have this conversation, remember to stay calm. You can describe how the person abusing drugs or alcohol is hurting you and your family, remind them how much you care about them, tell them how much your lives would improve with treatment, and your thoughts on specifics about how this treatment might happen. Remember, try not to judge, and lead with compassion— this is a person you care about, who may have hurt you, but the disease is treatable.  Also, remember to listen to your loved one as well. This should be a conversation, not a lecture. Addiction is a complicated disease, and you need to hear as well as speak. Remember too, your loved one may need time to think about what has been said and may not immediately agree to seek help, with or without your support. 

If your loved one is not responsive to this conversation, you can also speak to a professional about holding an “intervention”, a process where an addict is faced with many people they have loved and hurt because of their addiction. A professional can help you plan one of these meetings and we highly recommend adding a professional’s help. The last, and often least preferable, option is getting a court order to send someone to treatment involuntarily. This process varies by state and nation, but is sometimes the last resort before your loved one hurts someone else or themselves. 

Getting Your Loved One To Go To Rehab

If you think your loved one may need treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you can always contact us at Desert Rose Recovery. We can help both you and your loved ones get on the road to recovery and help people live happy, healthy lives without drugs or alcohol. 

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