In most cases of addiction, the substance use problem affects more than just one person. Usually, the addicted individual and his or her loved ones are all impacted by the effects of substance abuse. Alcoholism and drug abuse often change the way a person behaves, feels, and thinks. As a result, family dynamics and relationships between friends are altered when addiction enters the picture. So, it’s important for individuals to seek addiction treatment.
Substance use disorders (SUDs) are very serious and those who suffer from them often struggle to lead normal and healthy lives. Addiction causes people to experience physical, mental, emotional, financial, and relationship-related hardships. Most of these challenges can become very challenging for those who are dealing with them. But, they are also very difficult for those who care about the addicted individual.
If you know someone who is suffering from an alcohol or drug use problem, you are probably looking for ways to help the person you love. You care about him or her and you only want what’s best. No doubt, you have felt the negative impact of your loved one’s addiction and you know that, unless the individual gets help soon, things will only get worse for you and your family.
The good news is that you can help encourage your addicted loved one to get treatment. But, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you speak with him or her about getting help. If you want to successfully commit someone to rehab, there are some things you should avoid doing.
How Do I Know When It’s Time to Intervene?
Of course, if your friend or family member is using illicit drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, this is a major problem. It’s important for them to get help immediately. But, if your loved one uses legal substances like alcohol or prescription drugs, it can sometimes be harder to figure out if he or she has a substance problem.
Sometimes, individuals suspect that someone they know and love has a problem with alcohol or drug use. They may think that the person is struggling but may be unsure about how or even if they can help. In some cases, the addicted individual may not show “obvious” signs of addiction. Perhaps, he or she continues to hold a job or do fairly well in other areas of life, causing those around them to think that all is well. This might be the case in your loved one’s life, leaving you unsure about whether or not the person you love actually needs help.
Although it’s not always easy to tell, there are some signs that you should look out for if you suspect that a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder. You may not see all of these signs, but if you see a few of them in the life of your loved one, there’s a possibility that he or she is struggling with a substance use problem.
If you’re unsure about whether or not your loved one has a problem, these questions may be able to help you:
- Does he/she get defensive when you talk about his/her alcohol or prescription use?
- Have you noticed any abnormal and uncharacteristic behaviors in your loved one?
- Has your friend or family member become secretive or emotionally distant from you?
- Does the individual tend to drink more alcohol than he/she should?
- Does your loved one make excuses about his/her substance use habits?
- Have you noticed the individual “doctor shopping”, looking for more prescription drugs?
- Has there been a change in your loved one’s eating and/or sleeping habits?
- Does the individual seem to talk or think about alcohol or drug use obsessively?
- Have you heard the person say something like, “If there is no alcohol there, I don’t want to go.”
- Has your loved one been dishonest or avoided answering questions about his/her substance use?
- Has the individual experienced blackouts, tremors, memory lapses, or any other symptoms of excessive substance use?
If you answered any of these questions affirmatively, then it may be time to intervene. Your loved one may be dealing with an alcoholism or drug abuse problem. And, if this is the case, then it’s important for you to help the individual seek professional help.
But, it will be helpful to know how to best approach the subject with your loved one. He or she may not be ready to get help or may not realize the seriousness of the addiction problem. So, when you’re trying to commit someone to rehab, it will be helpful to know what you should and shouldn’t do or say.
Avoid These 10 Things If You Want to Commit Someone to Rehab
Your loved one may be unwilling or uncomfortable when it comes to talking about his or her substance use. So, if you are working to get someone to commit someone to rehab, here are 10 things you should avoid doing or saying:
- Avoid yelling at your loved one. Raising your voice can make the individual feel attacked and cause them to withdraw rather than listen to your words. Your tone is an important component in developing a successful intervention.
- Don’t make your loved one feel ashamed or guilty. Addiction deprives people of the element of choice. Even if the individual wants to stop using alcohol or drugs, his or her body is so dependent on the substance that it can feel impossible to end the problem without help. Guilt and shame may only cause the person to feel worthless or hopeless and it won’t give them the motivation to get help.
- Avoid being vague. If you want to help your loved one to understand the seriousness of the situation, let him or her know why you believe the substance use problem is, in fact, a problem.
- Don’t say too much. Even though it’s important to avoid being vague, remember that your loved one probably already feels overwhelmed. A long, drawn-out speech could make the individual feel even more overwhelmed.
- Try not to approach your friend or family member when the individual is under the influence, feeling tired, or experiencing stress.
- Don’t let emotions get in the way. Your emotions and the feelings of your loved one may be a lot to handle when you’re trying to get the individual to commit to rehab. But, they can prevent you from saying what you need to say. So, try to approach your friend or family member at a time when you’re able to work through the emotions that might occur.
- Stop supporting the habit. It can be easy to feel guilty or pressured when your loved one asks for money or help to get more alcohol or drugs. But, when you’re trying to commit someone to rehab, enabling the individual is never helpful.
- Avoid making assumptions. Maybe you have an idea about why your loved one started using in the first place. But, remember that the individual is unique and has been through personal experiences you may not understand at this time. Keep this in mind as you try to commit them to rehab.
- Try not to rush the individual. Understand that the first part of recovery is recognizing that you need help. This might take a little while for your loved one. Be patient and understanding. But, also be firm and stand your ground, working to help your loved one understand the truth about his or her problem.
- Avoid thinking that all rehab centers are the same. Be sure to look into the best place for your loved one’s needs.
Let Northbound Help Your Loved One
If you know someone who has an alcohol or drug use problem, please contact us here at Northbound Treatment Services. Let us help you and your family find peace and healing. Just call (855) 858-6803 today.