Addiction is a disease that attacks many people. Suffering from addiction is a very hard thing to go through, but it’s often just as hard to see someone you love suffer from addiction.
It can be heartbreaking to see a loved one go from vibrant and full of life to a shell of who they used to be. Because you love them, it’s natural that your first instinct is to want to help them recover.
Unfortunately, you can’t force someone to admit that they need help – it’s a conclusion that they need to come to on their own. That being said, there are a few ways that you can help them do this, and we’re here to talk about some of them.
Give them options
If you go to someone and try to force them into rehab, they likely won’t go willingly. You can get a doctor to say that they need to be admitted – even if it’s not voluntary – but it may not be as successful as when they decide to go. So, it’s a good idea to give them different options. Some examples are therapy or going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. If none of these options work, then rehab is likely the only way to get them back on track. Have a look at Landmark Recovery to see how they can help those you love.
Talk to them
While you should have an open conversation about your worries and their options, it’s not a good idea to blindside them. Communication is important in relationships, so how you approach the subject will likely determine the outcome of the conversation. Try to be gentle and understanding, instead of accusatory. Remember that this is also hard for them, and not only for you.
We’ve established that talking to someone with an addiction is important, but listening is even more important. People suffering from addiction often have a lot of emotions that they are battling with, and most of them are bad. They will likely be feeling anger and shame and fear. You need to do your best to provide a safe space for them to talk freely. Don’t interrupt them, even if it’s to offer advice. Let them get it all off their chest. By doing this, they may even reach the conclusion that they need help themselves. You can click here to learn more about ways to be a better listener.
Finally, if they have decided to follow your advice and seek help, it’s important that you support them in every way you can. If you encourage them to seek help and then abandon them, they might change their mind. We won’t lie; it’s going to be hard on you. Your loved one will go through some really difficult times, and they may fall back into old habits a bit. Most people try to be a good companion in relationships, and a big factor of that is being there for both the good parts and the bad parts.