Addiction affects not only the person struggling with substance use but also their loved ones. If you are concerned about a loved one struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol, it can be challenging to know how to help them. But getting them into rehab is the first move forward toward recovery, and it will provide them with the tools needed for healing and long-term sobriety.
The first thing to do when trying to get your loved one into rehab is to understand the need for treatment. While it may seem obvious that someone with an addiction should seek help, underlying conditions often need to be identified and healed for the individual to recover.
This can be difficult if you're not familiar with substance abuse issues or have little experience with them. However, it's vital that you get treatment in a safe and supportive environment where professionals can assess what has caused your loved one's condition, address those issues directly and provide appropriate care based on their diagnosis.
Addiction is not a moral failing or character flaw; it is not punishment; it is not weakness; nor does it represent an attention-seeking behavior--though these beliefs may exist within some social circles or families where substance abuse tends to occur. Rather than working against these myths with logic alone, try speaking from personal experience: Share an experience you had with a friend or another family member, or maybe if you have personally struggled with addiction issues before. Sharing your experience may help you connect with your loved one and allow them to feel comfortable opening up and talking to you about what they are going through.
Choosing a program like Passages Malibu, which has been around since 2001, gives you the reassurance that the program is run with professionalism and integrity; Non-12-step addiction treatment at Passages Malibu is a holistic treatment option for those who want to get and stay sober and who do not want to be labeled an "addict" or "alcoholic."
It's important to set boundaries but also be flexible.
If your loved one doesn't respect your boundaries and makes requests that go against what you have communicated, you should enforce them. Don't let them push past the limits without consequences. You can change the rules if necessary. If one boundary isn't working, try another approach until an agreement is reached where everyone feels respected and cared for within reasonable health and safety limits.
Four primary underlying conditions cause addiction: 1) a chemical imbalance 2) events of the past you have not reconciled 3) current conditions you are struggling to cope with 4) things you believe that are untrue.
Addiction treatment is an investment in their health, not a punishment or shame sentence--and it works! Treatment helps people heal from trauma and find peace to live happy lives free from addiction. Passages Malibu does not label clients; instead, we empower them to grow, learn, heal, and become the best version of themselves with the help of our 24/7 compassionate staff.
When your loved one is addicted to drugs and alcohol, they will likely make choices that are not in their best interest. Therefore, it is essential for you not to judge them or blame them for their actions. Instead, stay positive and supportive of your loved one as they attempt to get help for their addiction.
If possible, focus on the future rather than dwelling on what has happened in the past; this will help relieve some of their stress and anxiety. Tell them you'll always be there for them no matter what happens or how long it takes them to get into rehab. Tell them how much you love them and mean it.
You may also want to discuss with your loved one how treatment could benefit their life more than continuing down this destructive path. Don't forget: honesty is essential!
Enabling is when you help your loved one continue to engage in unhealthy behaviors. For example, you might allow them to live at home and not pay rent because they can't find a job or give them money for gas so they can drive around all day instead of looking for work.
Enabling makes things worse by making it easier for your loved one to continue their destructive behavior without consequences. If this sounds familiar, don't worry! You're not alone: many people who have a loved one struggling with addiction are enablers without realizing it until they get help themselves through treatment programs like ours here at Passages Malibu.
To stop enabling unhealthy behaviors:
The most important thing you can do is accept that you cannot control your loved one's recovery. You can't force them into treatment, make them get better, or keep them sober once they leave rehab. Your loved one needs to want to get clean on their terms and in their own time.
The best thing you can do is build a relationship of trust with your loved one so that when they are ready for help, they will seek your advice and guidance before finding another way to cope with their addiction issues.
The conversation about rehab can be difficult, but it is also a turning point in your loved one's life. Rehab is the beginning of a new life that can help them achieve their goals and live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.
Getting a loved one into rehab can be a difficult and stressful process. But if you are prepared and willing to have an open conversation with them, now is the time to do so.