It’s been said many times that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Fortunately, the first step in watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be one of the hardest experiences to go through. Oftentimes a friend or family member will step in with good intentions, only to have it become forceful and end in a negative result.

Whether your addiction centers around alcohol, smoking, or drug use, there are many helpful techniques and therapies to So, how do you help the addict that doesn’t want help? These resources will give you ideas on how to approach speaking to your loved ones in a way that could be the turning point in their sobriety.

Educate Yourself

Ask yourself this, do you know what addiction really is? It’s not just, “I can’t stop drinking or using”. Addiction is a chronic medical disease in an individual with an inability to stop using a substance. Understand that your loved one drinking or using is not a switch that is simply turned on and off, it is a chemical imbalance in their brain. The next step is learning about treatment options, withdrawals, and what resources are available to you and near you.

By the time most people admit to their addiction,  they’ve lost the connection between their craving and their addictive Call your local detoxes and treatment centers to establish a list of locations that will accept your insurance. You can even call outside of your state and ask if any treatment centers purchase plane tickets or schedule transportation for a potential client. Know your resources and have a solid outline of what your loved one can do in order to get sober.

Know the Dangers of Wanting to Step In

For those experiencing addiction, repeatedly giving in to an addiction can be very discouraging. Many times, the addict The greatest consequence of standing on the sidelines and not intervening on a loved one’s addiction, is overdose. The cycles within addiction get worse as it proceeds and intervening may prevent them from experiencing the ultimate repercussion. It’s normal to worry about what might happen if you intervene, but know that the result of not stepping in is much worse.

Decide if an Intervention is Appropriate

An intervention is one of two things; a meeting with close friends and family members of your loved one to talk to them about seeking treatment, or, a hired and trained professional interventionist to outline and lead the intervention. An Interventionist is involved from the start and selects the structure and takes the lead of the whole process. They will prepare the family with what needs to be done leading up to the intervention and then proceed with taking control of the final intervention.

Offer Support

Recognizing that a person can learn how to train their behavior by changing their thoughts and emotions, has led to addiction When you are ready to sit down with your loved one, it is important that you don’t sound judgemental or condescending. Let them know that you care for them and are aware of the problem at hand. Have a simple outline of their treatment options and encourage them to start their search for help.

The Approach

Now that you have a supportive tone, take the time to outline how your loved one has demonstrated a lack of control over their drug and alcohol use. How it has impacted them and the people around them.

Ask them to share their thoughts on what you’ve said and take a moment to practice listening without the need to jump in and refute or cause an argument. The more your loved one is able to talk, the more topics may arise to help you prove your point as to why treatment is necessary.

For example, your loved one may say they can’t afford it. Well, you’ve done your research and know that there are treatment centers nearby that will accept their insurance. Or maybe your loved one says they don’t have time. This is a good chance to review the treatment options that will cater to a busy schedule.

Follow Through on Consequences

If you’re struggling with some type of addiction, the next step beyond the desire to quit is to reach out for help. Addiction In order to make an impact, you must follow through with your consequences. Far too often, we see the loved one threatened with serious consequences that slowly start to fade out over time.

This shows that you are not serious about your consequences and actually enables their addiction. Stand firm and stand your ground. If you are going to say it, you must follow through with it.

What if My Loved One Still Refuses Help?

Sometimes your loved one’s denial or cravings are too strong for them to seek help,  even if you did your best to intervene. You should still stand firm in your consequences. For example, if you threatened them to move out or not give them money to fund their habits anymore, stay true to that.

Typically your loved one hasn’t experienced consequences severe enough to make them want to stop partaking in these habits. The consequences that you give them, might be enough to make them stop, especially once they see you follow through with it.

While it may take several attempts to really get through to your loved one, you have the power and the ability to make a difference in their life. You may need to work to rebuild that relationship with them, but we can tell you firsthand that the struggle is always worth it.


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