Sunday, May 26, 2024

How To Talk To An Addict About Getting Help

How Should I Talk To My Family Member

Talking With An Alcoholic Or Addict About Getting Help

You may be tempted to repeatedly urge, plead or even threaten your family member into seeking treatment. Unfortunately, this often results in a breakdown of communication and the person shutting you out.

Try to use I statements rather than you statements to express your concerns about the importance of treatment. I statements focus on your own feelings or beliefs rather than criticizing or directing the other person. This approach may allow you to get your point across without making your family member feel defensive.

For example, instead of saying You need to get help! say When I hear you talking about how unhappy you are, I feel worried. I think it would be really helpful for you to talk with someone about how youre feeling.


What can I do?

Learn about mental illness and addiction

It can be easier to cope when you feel informed about what your family member is experiencing. Many resources are available, but sometimes it is difficult to know what information is accurate. The Resources section in this pamphlet is a good place to start. There may also be education sessions that you can attend.

Talk to your family member about your concerns, and encourage them to seek support

Let your family member know you are concerned. Consider how best to express your concerns. See the How should I talk with my family member? section for suggestions.

Get support for yourself and your family
Take care of yourself
Support other family members
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Do You Know The People Who Care About You Have Noticed You Are Struggling

It is important not to make this conversation about yourself. Watching your loved one struggle with addiction is, of course, very hard for you, but youll want to have a frank conversation with your loved one without making yourself the center attention. Instead of focusing on yourself, talk about how you and other people who care have noticed changes in their behavior and appearance. Ask if your loved one realizes their struggle with addiction is changing how others look at them. Avoid an accusatory tone. Simply explain that you and others are concerned.

Different Types Of Treatment Options For Drug Addicts

Knowing what youre offering is important to making a compelling case for it.

The last thing you want is for them to agree to treatment and for you to have no additional information on what that entails or where it would even be. Particularly these days with so many options out there, its essential to have a good handle on it.

Here are the very basics:

Detox This is the first thing theyll have to deal with so leveling with them and explaining why doing it in a facility makes it easier and safer is huge.

Inpatient After detox, and depending on the severity of the addiction, inpatient care is a highly effective avenue. Of course, this is the most demanding as it pulls them totally out of their daily life and they live at the treatment center. The focus is on getting the mind right through counseling, individual and group therapy.

Partial Day Just short of inpatient treatment where they live-in, partial day is a very comprehensive, multi-faceted treatment that still accommodates other responsibilities in life.

Outpatient The emphasis is on the same types of evidenced-based therapies that partial day and inpatient focus on but comes after theyve safely left a hospital or primary care facility or have completed inpatient care. They would come and go for treatment and can live their regular lives with ease.

Aftercare Recovery doesnt end after treatment and aftercare includes things like alumni groups and support groups.

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Develop An Action Plan

The third step in the conversation is to ask if they would be willing to seek professional help and together develop an action plan. If your loved one is willing, offer to help find a nearby health care provider who can conduct an assessment.;

Then, develop an action plan:

  • Lets talk about getting an assessment, which would help find the right treatment and recovery plan.;

  • I am here for you, and I want to help in any way that I can.;

  • We are here for you and in this together. I think we all might benefit by going to family counseling.;

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Options

How to Talk to a Drug Addict About Getting Help: Tips

Some people are able to stop drinking on their own or with the help of a 12-step program or other support group . Others need medical supervision in order to withdraw from alcohol safely and comfortably. Which option is best for you depends on how much youve been drinking, how long youve had a problem, the stability of your living situation, and other health issues you may have.

The first step is often to consult your primary care doctor or GP. Your doctor can evaluate your drinking patterns, diagnose any co-occurring disorders, assess your overall health, and offer treatment referrals. They may even be able to prescribe medication to help you quit.

Examples of alcohol treatment programs

Residential treatment involves living at a treatment facility while undergoing intensive treatment during the day. Residential treatment normally lasts from 30-90 days.

Partial hospitalization;is for people who require ongoing medical monitoring but have a stable living situation. These treatment programs usually meet at the hospital for 3-5 days a week, 4-6 hours per day.

Intensive outpatient programs focus on relapse prevention and can often be scheduled around work or school.

Therapy can help you identify the root causes of your alcohol use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills and how to deal with triggers that could cause you to relapse.

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Use The Services Of A Professional Or A Former Addict

Try to find a professional or even a former addict who has Been There to talk to the addict. This is similar to Step Two, however this time instead of trying to scare the person, these professionals can use their skills to talk and try to reason with them. These experts are usually trained and can use a proactive approach into trying to convince the addictto get help. The goal is to try to reason with the person.

My Friend Told Me Something In Private What Should I Do

It might be that your friend takes drugs to deal with a difficult situation, or block out something thats happened in the past.

Your friend might have told you something very personal, which they dont want you to repeat, but which is related to their drug use.

If this is the case, then youll probably need to get professional help for your friend and you can do this without breaking your friends confidence by:

Remember, you dont have to say whats happened to your friend, just that your friend needs some help with managing their drugs use.

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What You Call Someone With An Addiction Can Bring Unfair Biases

Certain labels are charged with negative connotations. They reduce the person to a shell of their former self. Junkie, tweaker, drug addict, crackhead using these words erase the human with a history and hopes, leaving behind a caricature of the drug and all the prejudices that come with it.

These words do nothing to support people who need help getting away from the addiction. In many cases, it only prevents them from getting it. Why would they want to make their situation known, when society judges them so harshly? Science backs up these prejudices in a 2010 study that described an imaginary patient as a substance abuser or someone with a substance use disorder to medical professionals.

Researchers found that even medical professionals were more likely to hold the individual to blame for their condition. They even recommended punitive measures when they were labeled as an abuser. But the imaginary patient with a substance use disorder? They didnt receive as harsh of a judgment and would probably feel less punished for their actions.

What Is An Intervention


An intervention is a tool that is often used by drug and alcohol rehab facilities to help families talk with their loved ones about going to addiction treatment. During an intervention, professional staff from the facility are present and they guide the process and discussion. Multiple people gather together who all have an interest in seeing the addicted person get help for addiction. These individuals may be close family members or friends of the addicted, but they all play a key role in his or her life. As the intervention progresses, each person takes a turn talking about why the person needs to get help. They may share stories about times when the person was in grave danger because of using, or they may talk about how the addiction has affected them personally.

Usually interventions start with the person who has the least dramatic story to share, and then the session ends with the person who has the most important information to talk about. As the intervention progresses, quite often, the addicted person gains new insight into his or her drug use. When it is over, more often than not, the person agrees to get help for the addiction. It’s even possible for that person to leave with the addiction treatment personnel for immediate admission, in many cases.

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Online Support For Family Members

Learn to Cope is an organization that offers assistance to families of addicts. They have online meetings and forums where you can meet others who share your battles.

Friends and Families of Addicts Support Group is an online forum where you can meet others who understand how you feel. You’ll be able to chat back and forth and leave messages for others in similar situations.

Can Addiction Be Cured

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.7; There is no simple cure for addiction; however, effective treatment can help you become and stay sober.7; You will have to manage your addiction throughout;your;life, the same way a diabetic has to manage their condition with ongoing efforts like a proper diet and exercise.8

While some recovering drug users;will experience cravings for months or years,;treatment gives;you the tools youll;need to live a happy and healthy life without substance abuse.

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How To Help A Loved One Struggling With Addiction

The best ways to help a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may seem counterintuitive, especially for people who struggle with codependent relationships. Some of these methods may seem harsh, but they come from a loving approach with the ultimate goal to help the person overcome their addiction and to help all parties heal. Basic steps are outlined below.

  • Remember that addiction is not a choice or a moral failing; it is a disease of the brain
  • Addiction is ultimately a condition that the individual must learn to manage; no one can take the fight on for the addict.
  • Set boundaries and stand by them.
  • Encourage the individual to seek help; this may include finding treatment resources for them.
  • Find a therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support too.
  • Set an example for healthy living by giving up recreational drug and alcohol use.
  • Be supportive, but do not cover for problems created by substance abuse. The person struggling needs to deal with the consequences of their addiction.
  • Be optimistic. A person struggling with drug or alcohol abuse will likely eventually seek help due to ongoing encouragement to do so. If they relapse, it is not a sign of failure; relapse is often part of the overall recovery process.

Encourage Them To Get Help

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As with other diseases, the earlier addiction is treated, the better. However, dont be surprised if youre met with denial or excuses as to why they cant or wont seek treatment. Be persistent about how important it is that they enter treatment for their addiction, but avoid making them feel guilty or ashamed in the process.

Another option is to hold an intervention for your loved one. Although these are often difficult to do, an intervention may be exactly what your loved one needs if theyre deep into their addiction. Consider bringing in an intervention specialist to help you navigate this process.

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Find The Right Intervention Program For You And Your Family

At Family First Intervention, we recognize that not all intervention programs are designed or created equal. There are many wonderful interventionists who will come out and talk to your loved one. How many actually prepare the addicts family for their recovery? How many actually support the family after the intervention when the real trials and tribulations will occur. The answer is, not many. Most interventionists treat an intervention as a rehearsal and 12 Step call in an attempt to talk your loved one into accepting treatment.

Addiction affects the family and just about anyone else the substance user comes into contact with. Addressing only the substance use addresses only a small part of the problem. We know that not every family that calls will be ready to move forward. We also know that not every family member will be on the same page nor will they be ready to hear that they would greatly benefit from changing themselves. The intervention company should put your needs first and meet you where youre at as a family. One of their many goals should be moving your family into their own recovery and reducing your reactivity to the substance user.

What Is Considered To Be An Alcoholic

There are many factors to consider when making a diagnosis of alcoholism, formally known as alcohol use disorder, or AUD. Some signs that a persons drinking is problematic include continuing to drink despite negative effects on their relationships, physical health, job or other important obligations. Alcoholism should be diagnosed by an addiction specialist who can outline an appropriate detox and treatment plan.

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When Needed Consult A Professional

There is nothing wrong with seeking out professional help. There is also nothing wrong with admitting you dont know where to start. This is why there are people out there who are dedicated to helping others in these types of situations. If you feel so overwhelmed by the idea of confronting your loved one about their addiction then speaking with an addiction professional may just be the boost of confidence you need to get the job done.

One of the most difficult things a person can go through is to see someone they care about destroying their life. It may be extremely uncomfortable to bring up these sorts of topics but it is better than never saying anything at all. It may take a long time for the person to finally come around and see what you are saying is true but at least you will know you have done everything you could to help.

Drug Abuse Vs Drug Addiction

Addiction: How to help a loved one or family member to go to rehab

Drug abuse and drug addiction are terms that are used interchangeably quite often. However, they are certainly not the same thing. It’s vital to understand the differences between abuse and addiction as you prepare to offer help to your family member.

When someone is participating in drug or alcohol abuse, they are using drugs or alcohol in ways that they shouldn’t. However, they don’t feel compelled to use them on a regular basis. They may enjoy the high they get from using drugs, or they may have a good time binge drinking every weekend, but they also might be able to go without using and not feel any physical or psychological effects from doing so.

It is important to note that most addictions begin with abuse, although it is possible with some types of drugs to become addicted to them after the first use. Usually, abuse precedes addiction, but an addiction can form at any time.

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Have You Thought About Getting Help

Many addicts have probably thought about getting help, either from the people who care about them or professionals, but something holds them back. Ask your loved one if they have thought about getting help and about any fears they might have. Drug addiction comes with a stigma. An addicts fear of judgment may stop them from asking for help. They may also worry about the cost and the chance of failure. It could be that they dont know where to start asking for help. Perhaps, one of their biggest fears is being unable to picture a life after drugs.;

Ask your loved one to describe any fears. Think about what you can do to allay those fears and get your family member or friend on the path to sobriety. With your unwavering support, you can help your loved one find affordable treatment. Assure the person you care about that you do not judge. Youll be there before, during and after treatment.

Signs And Symptoms Of Drug Addiction

People who are addicted to drugs tend to show signs of the disease in every aspect of their lives.;The symptoms;of addiction;are varied, but common signs of a problem with substance abuse include:3,4

  • Needing to use drugs to avoid;withdrawal symptoms.
  • Needing more drugs to get the effects .
  • Continuing use of drugs even with the awareness of the harm it causes.
  • Neglecting family obligations and financial issues.
  • Continuing to use drugs or alcohol despite declining physical health.
  • Losing interest in hobbies.
  • Changes in eating habits .

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