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Helping Your Loved One Fight Their Addiction

It can be challenging and heartbreaking to see your loved one struggle. But by keeping this advice in mind, you will be prepared to confront the issue head-on.

June 5, 2019
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It’s hard watching a loved one suffer, fighting a losing battle against drugs and alcohol. You’ve done all you could — bargaining, pleading, even threatening that they get the help needed to end the pain. You’ve done all you can, but it still falls on deaf ears.

Is there some way to get your loved one the help they need? Any magic words or a bargaining chip that will get through to them?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. It has to be their choice to go. You can’t force them or drag them straight into an addiction treatment center. But there are ways that you can help them reach the decision.

Knowledge is Power

Before confronting your loved one about the addiction, you need to know about the disease itself. Addiction is not a choice or something you can give up at the drop of a hat. It is a chronic medical condition that can result in either a disability or death.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a chronic disease of the brain. Dysfunction in the brain’s reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry leads an individual to pursue compensation or relief by addictive behaviors continuously. The addict cannot abstain from these cravings, which can result in issues with relationships, changes in behavior, and emotional problems.

Once you know how addiction works, you’ll get a better understanding of the disease and how it’s affecting your loved one.

The Intervention: How to Do it Right

If effective, an intervention can save your loved one’s life. By showing your love and concern for that person, it can help guide them on the right path. But you need to keep in mind the following:

  • Consider hiring a professional interventionist. A professional has handled these situations before and can prepare you for what lies ahead. He/she will guide you through the basics of intervention, what you should and should not do or say, how to confront the individual, and what to do if everything goes wrong.
  • Preparation is the key. An intervention is not an event where you can wing it and hopes all goes well. You not only need to be prepared with what you have to say but how your loved one will respond. There will be denial, excuses, and accusations thrown around during the intervention and you have to know how to handle the reactions you’re about to receive.
  • You have to be ready for failure. Not all interventions are success stories. If the intervention does fail, you will have to regroup and assess the situation. How can you improve for the next time?
  • You also have to be ready to follow through on any consequences you laid out during the intervention. Did you threaten to stop paying rent on your loved one’s apartment? Then be prepared to do so. Will you take custody of the children? Then start the legal process. By following through on your actions, you will show the loved one that you were serious about your stipulations.
  • And finally, try again. It can take several attempts before your loved one accepts help. With each try, reanalyze your last effort to see how you can improve and finally get your loved one to agree.

Avoid Judgement and Show Love

Right now is the worst time in an individual’s life. What they don’t need right now is to be judged. It’s easy to show bias and lay blame at a person’s feet. But it’s just as easy to show love and support at a time that individual needs it most.

But remember, this does not mean you should lie or avoid telling your loved one the truth. What it means is you give that person the support he/she needs to get help in fighting this terrible disease.

Admit Your Loved One to an Addiction Treatment Center Immediately

If your loved one finally admits he/she needs help, do not delay. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, if treatment options are not readily available as soon as they accept help, drug-addicted individuals are more likely to back out on their decision to receive assistance.

It’s important to do your research and know what treatment centers have proper services available for your loved one. For example, if an individual has a dual diagnosis, make sure to look for an addiction treatment center that has services available.

It can be challenging and heartbreaking to see your loved one struggle. But by keeping this advice in mind, you will be prepared to confront the problem head-on. If you need help in learning more about the addiction treatment process, let’s talk. Contact Wavelengths Recovery today at 844-392-8342.

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