Most families know when a loved one needs to seek treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. But, it can be difficult to convince a loved one that he or she needs to get help right away. Chances are, the person doesn’t see the situation as clearly as you do. In this article, you will discover some tips on how to encourage a loved to seek addiction treatment.
Bring Up the Names of Loved Ones
When talking to a loved one with addiction issues, bring up the names of their loved ones. This can include a spouse, partner, children, parents, siblings, friends or all of the above. Tell the person how much they are needed in the lives of their children, friends, etc. For example, tell the person how much their children will need their guidance throughout their lives. The person needs to understand how much they are treasured by other people and how their recovery will affect the lives of the ones closest to them. In short, this is an effective way to let a person suffering from addiction know that it’s not all about them. Others have a stake in the person’s recovery.
Empathize with Them
Sometimes a person becomes addicted to a substance and consequential mental health issues in response to very challenging events that occur in their life. Divorce, a child custody battle, the death of a close friend and a career setback are all events that can trigger depression and a subsequent addiction issue. If this is the case, empathize with the person’s situation. Let them know you can understand the challenges and emotional pain they have experienced. This lets the person know you are on their side and get where they are coming from. But, don’t let it end there. Now that the person knows you understand and empathize, you can go about letting them know they can get past the challenging times without relying on alcohol or other substances to find peace.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Another tip for encouraging a loved one to enter addiction treatment is to ask open-ended questions. So, instead of criticism and judgment, the person is answering questions likely to help them see that they need help conquering their addiction. Some examples of open-ended questions include:
- How do you feel after the drugs or alcohol have worn off?
- What effect do you think your drug or alcohol use has on your children, friends, etc.?
- What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and your addiction issues were gone?
Express Your Support
Expressing support for a loved one who has an addiction is helpful in many ways. The person may be worried they will feel alone after going into treatment. One way to alleviate this is to emphasize your full support of the person every step of the way as they move toward recovery. The person may be worried about what people will think if he or she goes into treatment for addiction. Reassure the person that many people have addiction issues, but not everyone is brave enough to go into treatment to achieve lasting recovery. Let the person know that he or she will not be forgotten once they go into treatment.
Remind them of their Dreams
When someone is suffering from addiction, that addiction takes over their life. But, before the addiction came into the picture, the person had dreams and aspirations. Maybe your loved one wanted to earn a college degree, become a fashion designer, become a songwriter, or own their own business. Remind the person of the dreams they had before they fell into addiction. They aren’t defined by their addiction. They have unique talents and skills that they need to share with others. Reminding your loved one of dreams they had gives them yet another reason to overcome their addiction.
Make the Process of Going into Treatment as Simple as Possible
Another effective way to encourage a loved one to seek treatment for addiction issues is to make all of the arrangements ahead of time. You’ve chosen the treatment center, you’ve looked into health insurance coverage, made travel arrangements for the person, etc. In other words, you’ve done the logistical work of getting your loved one to the treatment center. So, once the person agrees to go, there is nothing to do but travel to the place for treatment. This can lessen the stress of actually going in for treatment and streamline a process that is difficult to begin with.
In brief, using one or all of these tips can help you encourage a loved one with addiction and/or mental health issues to go into treatment. It always helps to show the person, as best you can, how much his or her life would improve after getting free of the addiction and getting help dealing with mental issues.