Addiction is a serious problem for many people. In the United States, some estimates put the number of people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction at over 20 million. In Arizona alone, there are an estimated 119,000 alcoholics and 130,000 drug addicts. It’s a problem that touches almost everyone at some level, whether it be through personal struggles or relationships with addicts.
How you deal with the situation depends on your point of view and how bad it is. The good news is that there are treatments available that have been proven effective in breaking the cycle of addiction and leading a person into sobriety.
The bad news is that only 10% of addicts receive treatment each year. They often don’t recognize their addiction or refuse it because they see it as a sign of weakness. Sometimes, they cannot afford it.
In this article, you will find tips to help your loved one recover from alcoholism or drug addiction if they cannot do so themselves without outside help.
1) Learn everything you can about addiction
You cannot help your loved one overcome their addiction if you don’t understand what they are going through. Many addicts fail to get sober because their friends and family do not understand the nature of their condition. This leads to them being afraid that they will be abandoned if they seek treatment or try to intervene and offer advice, only to have it brushed off. After all, the addict does not see what they are going through.
When you understand your loved one’s condition, you can help by making them feel comfortable speaking about their addiction so that they do not feel judged. You will also be decisive in bringing them to a transitional housing facility or center where they have the opportunity to heal and get a fresh start.
Addiction is not something that affects the individual. Instead, it’s a disease that can destroy families even before it leads to death. This is why helping the addict recover must be a conscious decision among family members.
2) Don’t enable an addict to continue their addiction
This is one of the most important things that family members need to remember when helping a loved one recover from addiction: not all actions are helpful. You may think that by allowing your loved ones to continue their harmful habit, you protect them from the possible consequences.
However, enabling an addict to continue their destructive behavior is harming them even more in the long run because they will not learn healthy coping skills and develop a sense of responsibility. The best thing you can do for your loved one is offer your support and protection by making it clear that you love them and want to prevent them from having a life-threatening problem. The first step might be as simple as drawing up a contract outlining what won’t be allowed, such as drug use or drinking alcohol before certain events.
3) Try motivational interviewing
Motivational interviewing is a technique that helps addicts understand the benefits of quitting their addiction and removing the barriers that are stopping them from seeking treatment. In many cases, addicts will refuse to stop using. They know full well that it is terrible for them, and they feel guilty about it, but they cannot give up those substances even though they want to.
Motivational interviewing helps addicts realize that they can still be successful and happy without their substance abuse. This is why it is so effective in helping your loved one come around to accepting help.
4) Have an intervention
Have a direct conversation with your loved one who has an addiction if you’ve tried everything else, and they are still unwilling to accept that they have a problem.
Having an intervention to help your loved one recover from addiction is similar to setting up a meeting with their boss and telling them that they need immediate treatment. The stakes are high, and this is not something you can ease into. Your loved one will be well aware of how serious things are and may realize that the only way to avoid the consequences is to accept help.
Remember, an intervention should only be held if your loved one has failed to listen and seek treatment on numerous occasions, and it’s clear that they won’t change their mind without some pressure. Most addicts can recover on their own, but others need a little nudge to get them going.
5) Find out what treatment options are available
Your loved one may not be ready for help and will refuse any offers of assistance or suggestions you make. However, if you do some research and find out what kind of treatments they might find helpful, it can give them something to think about.
Once they are ready to accept help, you can agree on the best option for them and go ahead with it without any conflict. The decision will be made together so that it feels like they are taking control of their destiny, rather than seeing someone else deciding their treatment for them.
When you are helping a loved one recover from addiction, it may be challenging to know when you are doing the right thing. There is no perfect formula for getting an addict to accept help because every situation is different. However, this discussion can help you understand some of the most important things about how to help your loved one recover.