How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab
It can be tough to watch someone you love struggling with addiction. Knowing what to say to convince someone to go to rehab can feel incredibly difficult. You may also worry about the negative emotions that come up when you try to persuade your loved one to seek professional help.
The situation is complex because addiction is a brain disorder. It makes the person compulsively seek out and take the substance to which they are addicted. It becomes the priority in their life and can affect their relationships and their health.
Despite the negative effects of alcohol and drug abuse on your loved one, they may find accepting that they have a problem and need help very difficult. If you are worried about a loved one's alcohol or drug abuse and the fact that they are not seeking treatment, read on to find out how to help them.
Can and Should I Force Someone Into Rehab?
In parts of the US, it is legally possible for parents to force children under 18 into rehab, and many states allow you to force an adult into rehab if certain criteria are met. This is known as involuntary commitment. It is also possible that people can be sent to treatment through court-ordered rehab. This is when courts divert nonviolent offenders into rehab centers rather than prisons.
While it may be legally possible for you to force your loved one into rehab, this is not recommended. Getting treatment is difficult and recovery does not end when they have stopped taking the substance. They will need to continue to believe in their sobriety for a long time to come. It is, therefore, important that they want to get help. Otherwise, it is more likely they will relapse.
Why Will My Loved One Not Accept Help?
You may struggle to understand why your loved one is resistant. There are some factors that may cause them to respond like this.
Denial – There is a lot of stigma surrounding addiction and this can cause a person to deny that they have a problem. They are aware that blame is put on the person with the addiction rather than on the substance or on the complex reasons for starting to abuse substances. Stigmatizing terms like 'alcoholic' and 'addict' can make a person push the issue away. They may even compare themselves to someone who is struggling more to justify their own problem as being 'not that serious'. Stigma makes it difficult to accept that they have a problem because all the blame can feel too heavy on their shoulders.
Fear – Your loved one may fear experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be very unpleasant, so it is not an unfounded worry. They may have tried to quit in the past and therefore know what the feeling is like.
Cost – Rehab can be costly.
Pride – Your loved one may think that they can recover without help from anybody else.
What Other Methods Can I Try?
How can you convince someone that they need to get help? One way is by holding an intervention. This is a planned and structured meeting where you help your loved one to understand the impact of their addiction on their life and the lives of their family members. The main aim is to show them support and have a productive conversation regarding the options for their treatment.
Some people will have a professional intervention. They bring in an interventionist to help prepare for the meeting. This person gives advice about what to say, who should be there, where to have it, and what to expect. The interventionist may be present at the meeting itself or just involved in planning.
Whether you choose to do an intervention or you simply want to talk with your loved one about their addiction in a less structured manner, there are ways to speak that are more constructive than others. It is not always recommended to propose ultimatums as this can backfire and can make people feel that you are blaming them. However, there can be consequences and clear boundaries.
The best way to show your support is through active listening. This is where you listen without judging and allow your loved one to speak. It aims to build trust with the person you are listening to. This is important if you want them to realize that you wish the best for them. You also need to get a balance by being honest about how their actions are affecting you.
Knowing the Options
Make sure you have done your research before speaking with your loved one. There is useful information on the US government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. There are also blog posts on Vita Recovery's website.
Your loved one may not know how rehab works, so it will be useful if you can explain the process to them. When they are ready, you can also help them to do their own research.
What to Expect on a Drug Abuse Treatment Program
When your addicted loved one is ready to seek help, they will need to go to rehab to detox. Detoxing is the process by which a person stops taking the drug or alcohol and the toxins leave their body.
During withdrawal, your loved one will experience symptoms that can be unpleasant but also vary depending on the drug they are taking. Make sure your loved one realizes that when they go to rehab, they will be placing themselves in the care of medical professionals who can ease their withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient programs can be very helpful because they take the person away from the environment they were using in. When people go to rehab for a residential stay, they receive 24/7 monitoring so that their symptoms can be dealt with as they appear.
An outpatient program may suit your loved one if they have responsibilities at home or work that they cannot miss. They will still get medical care at the treatment center in the day or evening, but they will be able to go to work and can sleep at home.
You can help your loved one by looking at specific treatment programs to see if your loved one is eligible and if their insurance covers the rehab program.
Detoxing is only the first stage of the recovery, so you can also look at options such as local support groups. Many people find that a 12-step support group changes their life for the better. It will require your loved one to accept they do not have control over their substance use and surrender to a higher power (not necessarily religious). Being with a group of people who are going through similar experiences can also help them feel less alone and benefit from peer learning.
Supporting My Loved One's Recovery
The recovery process is a long one, so it is important that you stick with your loved one throughout, even if they have hiccups along the way such as relapsing.
You can help by accompanying them to the treatment center, therapy sessions, or groups if they want your help in this way. You can also assist by encouraging a healthy lifestyle which will help to solidify their recovery. This may be through doing things together such as exercising, cooking, or fun activities.
Does My Loved One Need Help?
Depending on what your loved one is using, they may have different symptoms of use. Once addiction has developed, however, there are behavioral symptoms that are common and are not dependent on the specific substance. These include:
Loss of interest in hobbies
Lack of control over substance use
Worsening performance at school or work
Neglecting hygiene and personal appearance
It is also vital that you take care of yourself. You are not a bottomless resource, and you can not support your loved one if your mental health is going without support. Remember to take good care of what you need to stay healthy and consider seeking counseling for yourself.
Addiction Treatment at Vita Recovery
If you are worried about your loved one's addiction issues and you want to encourage them to seek treatment, we can help at Vita Recovery in Miami.
We are a rehab center that assists those who have gone through detox and need to receive aftercare. If they have a mental illness, aftercare is particularly important as co-occurring disorders can be complex to treat.
We will be able to design a treatment program that works for your loved one. Our treatment options include partial hospitalization and an intensive outpatient program. As a loved one you will also be able to get support as we understand how difficult it is for the supporters of those suffering from addiction.
To find out more, please visit our website or call us at (786) 559-0623. We look forward to hearing from you.
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