Whatever the substance in question, addiction is insidious. With an average of 21 million Americans suffering from at least one addiction, you would assume that telling someone they might need to go to rehab would be more socially acceptable and common in our social circles.
However, the truth is, it’s treated as an open secret that all of us know, yet won’t discuss openly with the appropriate medical professionals.
Seeing someone we love suffer can be heartbreaking. But having the discussion of needing treatment can be complex, and if not handled with care, it can backfire to the loss of everyone involved.
Simply saying to someone that they “need to go to rehab” generally won’t cut it. If you’re looking for advice on how to tackle this conversation, you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading for our full breakdown on how to gently convince someone to go to rehab or seek professional help.
Empathy Not Accusation
Whether it’s drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or any other form of addiction, starting with an accusation isn’t the answer.
Put yourself in their shoes. Would you like such a difficult discussion to start with those tones? Absolutely not.
Being accused will do nothing but make your loved one feel defensive, as well as put you in the role of an enemy instead of a friend.
Sure, you might not understand their situation yourself. Or, you might think that if you were in their place, you would have never turned to substance abuse.
This is not the time for judgment. Not everyone deals with their issues in a healthy way. Regardless of their current situation, everyone deserves to be treated with a baseline of respect and kindness.
When it comes to empathy, it’s all about giving them the space to talk and share freely. You’ll want to take the role of the listener rather than the speaker for the majority of your conversation.
After all, all addictions have root causes. This is the point where you’ll want to relate to your loved one and see what’s the main cause or trigger behind their pain.
Both of you know that they need to stop, it’s not news. However, the majority of people suffering from addiction don’t know how to actually stop.
Prepare Yourself for a Possible Rejection
Even if you had a lovely talk that you thought was going rather well, the other person might still reject your help.
In this case, you need to take a step back and remind yourself that some people just need more time to reach out for help. At the end of the day, you’ve done your best and reminded your loved one that you’re on their side, and shared your concerns. This is all you can do for now.
Keep in mind that if you force the topic, your loved one might actually pretend that they’re on board when they’re not. Another common reaction is relapsing or stoping their treatment before they’ve fully recovered.
Go to Rehab: Discuss the Treatment Choices
When you’re discussing the topic of addiction with your loved one, you’ll want to come in prepared with research.
Not everyone would benefit from becoming an inpatient and checking into a facility. Of course, dedicating months to recovery is one of the best ways to tackle addiction head-on.
Yet, for a variety of reasons, some people show better results when they start outpatient treatments instead.
This is why you’ll find the most reputable treatment centers offering both options. You’ll want to check out www.cleanslatecenters.com if you’re looking for a reputable center.
Depending on your loved one’s circumstances and degree of illness, a professional will be able to recommend the right program. Both outpatient and inpatient treatment can be sequentially used to boost the rates of sustained recovery.
Encourage Personal Power and Responsibility
Many people who abuse different substances reach out for them in an attempt to gain some power over themselves. Unfortunately, it starts a never-ending circle of pain and abuse.
You’ll want to give some of that lost power back to your loved one. Encourage them to take responsibility for their own life and remind them that this doesn’t have to be the end of their story.
When a person believes in their ability to change their circumstances and their living conditions, it’s much easier for them to take action and start their journey of self-betterment.
Push for Faster Admittance
Once you know that your selected treatment or rehabilitation center has an opening, you’ll want to aim for the fastest admittance you can get.
The tricky thing about the human brain is our ability to convince ourselves that we can avoid an action that will cause us short-term pain but will enhance (and maybe even give us our lives back) in the future.
After getting the go-ahead from your loved one, you don’t want to give them time to overthink their decision and start thinking that the treatment is going to be much tougher than it actually will be.
Waiting too long might cause you to start the process all over again, with the disadvantage on your side. After all, they didn’t go the first time, what’s going to make it different this time around?
Remember to Take Care Of Yourself
When you’re in the midst of staging an intervention, taking care of yourself takes the backseat. The truth of the matter is that your need for good quality self-care is actually critical when you’re involved in such an emotionally tense process.
So to avoid emotional burnout, you’ll want to check in with yourself every day and give yourself some space to relax and take it easy. Don’t forget to reach out to your own support network and friends when you feel like the burden becomes too heavy.
Ready to Tackle the Topic of Addiction Recovery?
We know that the matter is never as simple as telling your suffering loved one to go to rehab. It’s an emotionally fraught process that can take a lot of time to properly discuss and take action.
Hopefully, our guide has shed some light on how you can conduct this discussion with grace.
If you liked our article, make sure to check out additional tips and advice on our health and lifestyle section. And remember, you’re never alone on this journey.