Drug use can tear families apart, end promising careers, and even lead to long-term disabilities or death. Addiction is a huge problem and one that can be difficult to address. When you’re forced to watch someone who you love slowly falling apart from the sidelines, it can be devastating in ways most of us can only imagine.
Treatment is out there but getting the addict to voluntarily go can seem next to an impossible task. A person who’s dependent on drugs and/or alcohol won’t stop using until they actually want to. This means that you can’t force them to get or to accept help.
When you’ve tried everything, and the addict still won’t stop, it may be time to cut ties and think about rebuilding your own life without the toxic drama. Addiction is a disease that reaches every level of the family and community. Everyone needs to recover—with or without the addict.
If you’re in a place where you know that someone needs help but aren’t sure of how to reach them, these methods can help:
Use an Intervention
An intervention can be a powerful tool when it’s planned and executed correctly. Most of us have seen television shows or heard about people participating in these, but they’re a little more complicated than they look.
Friends and family of the addict may be too close to the problem to think clearly, so it’s usually best to work with a treatment professional to plan your intervention. They’ll know what to do and can do it objectively.
Stages of an intervention can include:
- Stage One: Contact the interventionist or rehab and make the decision to move forward.
- Stage Two: Gather together all of the people who should participate in the intervention and get their cooperation.
- Stage Three: Figure out where and when to have the intervention. Pick a place that’s not threatening and that you can get the addict to agree to come to. It’s also a good idea to make sure that it’s a private area away from the public.
- Stage Four: Practice the intervention with the specialist. Everyone should go through the motions and know what order to speak in and what rules to follow.
- Stage Five: The actual intervention. This can be unpredictable and overwhelming. Try to prepare everyone for anything.
Take Away Excuses
Addiction changes the way someone behaves and the way that they think. They may try and blame all of their drug use on other people or find a million excuses as to why rehab just won’t work for them. An addict may also try and convince you that they don’t need to go to rehab to get better. Don’t buy into any of this.
Set everything up ahead of time. Have the rehab ready to receive them and the costs already figured out. If you’re familiar enough with the addict’s life, you may want to arrange a medical leave for their job, that way, when they’re ready, they can return to work.
Just completely clear the path for them to go straight to rehab with little interference. Anticipate their excuses and have a solution for them before they even start.
Show Them Their Behavior
No one wants to look at themselves when they’re at their worst. Imagine having to watch yourself slurring, falling all over yourself, nodding out, or twitching and picking throughout a conversation.
If you can, videotape the addict when they’re under the influence. Wait until they sober up and show them the video. Explain that this is how the world currently sees them and that they need help.
Sometimes, a person has a hard time acknowledging that they’ve lost control until it’s staring them in the face. It can be helpful to have more than one video so that they can’t argue that it was just a one-time slip-up. This type of documentation can also show the professionals at the treatment center what the addict was going through before they came in for treatment.
Offer it as an Alternative
Forcing someone to go to rehab never works. If they don’t believe that they have a problem, then they won’t take any type of treatment seriously. If anything, they’ll end up resenting the entire process and getting further into drug use.
It can help if rehab is presented as an alternative to something worse. Maybe the addict is facing legal problems or has been caught stealing from friends and family who are willing to hold off on charges if the person will go to treatment.
There are plenty of situations where rehab may be the alternative to homelessness or the loss of a relationship with family members. This can help the addict to see the depth of their problem and to recognize the loss they’re facing because of it.
When all else fails, consider contacting Hope Treatment Rehab or another facility that can give you some information on the best way to approach someone who isn’t thinking clearly.
Wait Until They Hit Rock Bottom
This can be the most terrifying scenario as it can mean dealing with an overdose or a felony. Rock bottom refers to the time when the addict has fallen as far as they possibly can due to their addiction.
Some may turn to abusive relationships, living on the streets, prostitution, or criminal activity to feed their habits. Once they’ve reached a point where the only other low point is death, it may be time to offer them another chance at rehab.
This is the point when even the addict can’t try to explain away their addiction, and the evidence of their problem is their current situation. Many are forced to understand that they have a problem and might be more open to getting the help that they need.
No one wants to watch someone they care about become a shadow of the person that they used to be. Keep rehab open as an option at every stage of their addiction, and do your best to support their recovery.