How To Talk to Your Loved One About Going to Rehab

Addiction is not a disease that attacks only one person. True, it can be extremely hard for an individual struggling with it. But, all the people that are close to that person are struggling too. That’s why the community and family factor is extremely important for the whole process of addiction treatment. Now, what happens if you spot some signs of addiction in someone you love and care about? How do you talk to your loved one about going to rehab? Let our experts from drug and alcohol treatment centers in West Virginia help you. 

First – be ready for a conversation about going to rehab

After the initial shock of finding out your loved one is an addict, the most reasonable thing you can do is prepare for a tough conversation. People struggling with addiction are in a very fragile mental state. Therefore, no matter how upset you are (understandably) about the things you’ve found out, the worst thing you could do is rush into things unprepared.

a girl doing a research
Take some time to prepare and do research before you talk to your loved one about going to rehab

Take some time to process the fact that your loved one needs rehab

Before starting a conversation, make sure to process all of this within yourself. Their addiction is affecting you as well, and it’s okay to feel a wide range of emotions. It’s okay to be angry, sad, scared, or whatever thing you feel at the moment. However, the cloud of swirling, messy emotions is not a good ground for a productive conversation.

This kind of conversation should be approached in a calm manner. So, make sure to recognize and process all the emotions that could surface in the middle of a conversation. Take some time for yourself and let yourself calm down before you move this matter further into communication.

Take some time to learn about addiction

Yes, addictions have been a hot topic for a very long time. But it doesn’t mean that you are necessarily familiar with all the things that surround it. So, take some time to educate yourself about it before you set out to talk to your loved one about going to rehab. Learn more, as the more knowledge and understanding you have, the more you’ll be able to lead the conversation in an effective way.

Also, you’ll gain more compassion for the other person once you get familiar with some details you didn’t know before. This is extremely important when approaching a person in such a fragile mental state.

A person trying to learn more about addiction
Knowledge is power – the more you learn about addiction, the better you’ll be at making this conversation.

Ask experts to help you prepare for the talk to your loved one about going to rehab

Of course, as this is a very sensitive field of medicine and psychology, you’d want all hands on deck. A good rule of thumb is to ask someone with a lot of experience for help. For example, our mental health professionals from the alcohol rehab center near Buckhannon WV can give you a lot better insight into your loved one’s condition than Google can.

Also, they have a lot of experience in choosing the right approach for every individual. They’ll tell you what things may come sensitive to an addict so you can avoid them. You can talk to professionals about different options for treatment, such as:

Always be direct and honest

Speaking openly and honestly is the greatest approach to talking with other people. Talking to someone who has an addiction is similar. Get your point through clearly, and don’t be afraid to bring up how you feel about it (while being cool). Sometimes, just being honest about how you feel may make a big difference.

Express to your loved one how much it pains and disturbs you to see them so dependent on drugs and how much you worry for their safety. Just because your loved one is likely to respond negatively to what you have to say does not mean you shouldn’t express it. These responses and emotions may help pave the road to healing.

A woman showing how to talk to your loved one about going to rehab
Honesty is the best approach in every communication, especially when talking to an addict.

Never put things under the rug

You can’t get involved in helping your loved one overcome addiction by pretending it doesn’t exist. It’s not only the physical harm that drugs and alcohol do that makes it perilous for addicts to put themselves in unsafe circumstances. The illness of addiction worsens over time and does not resolve by itself. While voicing your worries to a loved one won’t ensure they’ll alter their ways, it might sow the seed for positive development. They will come to terms with the fact that they’ve reached rock bottom at some point, and they will remember your words of worry and your offer to assist.

Put yourself in your loved one’s shoes

One of the things most addicts lack in their life is compassion and empathy. They already feel as if the whole world has failed to understand them, and that can be one of the main reasons they became addicted in the first place. So, if you approach this whole thing with judgment in your heart and your voice – you will just push them away, and you won’t be able to help them.

Many of the patients in our programs of drug rehab for pregnant women say that this is the number one reason that has put the distance between them and the people they love.

Encourage, don’t judge

Think about the dialogue with empathy, love, and encouragement. Make sure to know that addiction doesn’t discriminate – a doctor and a lawyer can both be alcoholics, as we’ve seen through our alcohol rehab for professionals. Also, the use of “I” statements has been shown to be an effective conversation starter when dealing with conflict.

For instance, when you talk to your loved one about going to rehab, you may say, “I can see why you could feel that way, but I feel this way, and I believe the situation is unjust because of this.” Word your statements such that they don’t seem judgmental or stigmatizing. These are some sample phrases you may use as is or modify to suit your needs.

An encouraging person talking to a friend about going to rehab
Show your viewpoint in a compassionate way. If you force and judge, it won’t be productive.

Establish and strictly enforce limits

Boundaries are crucial in all kinds of interactions. The boundaries are what you establish to shield your precious values, precious time, precious safety, and more. It might seem like an uphill fight to establish appropriate boundaries with someone who has an addiction. Unfortunately, this is a vital action to take if you really care about their health and well-being.

Relationships with people who are addicted to substances suffer when you let them cross your boundaries. They could learn to rely on you, leading you to sacrifice for them even if it harms your own sanity. In certain situations, saying “no” is the appropriate response. Be sure to provide a reason for doing so and reassure them that you will comply the next time they ask.

According to our experts at alcohol rehab around New Lexington OH – as crucial as it is to establish limits, it is much more crucial to really enforce them. Rather than just telling the other person your boundaries, demonstrate them. Repeat your previous “no” as many times as necessary if they persist in crossing your limits.

A word 'no' on the paper
”No” is an important word, and it can be your greatest ally.

Don’t rush your loved one’s response time

Put no pressure on your loved one to answer you immediately away. You may offer assistance and detail how you plan to provide it, but forcing someone to make a quick decision on what to do next is likely to be received with pushback. This is especially important for people that have been an addict for a long time, like the patients in alcohol rehab for seniors. People hate it when others tell them they’re doing something wrong. They may eventually get over their first sentiments of pain and betrayal and consider what you’ve stated. Let them grow and develop at their own speed.

Also, this is important to note when talking to a person that is already in treatmentdon’t rush them to talk about their recovery. If you really want to know, the best approach is to get on the subject slowly but essentially let them tell you when they’re ready.

Don’t start a conversation when your loved one is emotionally unstable

Another thing about the timing is picking the right one and, more importantly, avoiding the wrong one. When individuals are unhappy or under the influence, they are unable to have productive conversations. While feeling emotionally invested and charged, it’s impossible to think rationally. It’s not easy to put off a critical conversation, but doing so is essential.

If you use harsh words, you risk adding to their pain and embarrassment, which will decrease the likelihood that they will react favorably. This is especially important for patients that are in benzo addiction treatment, as their anxiety will definitely be a setback.

A person trying to calmly talk to your loved one about going to rehab
Don’t discuss sensitive topics when the temperature in the room gets high.

Talk during the ”good days”

If you or a loved one are doing research on treatment options, you may still begin the process of change even if they are not yet ready to embrace it. Don’t tell anybody until they give you the heads up. They may get agitated if they feel they are being coerced into seeking professional help.
Schedule a meeting for when you’re both calm and collected.

Inevitably, there will be occasions when you need to conduct a discussion that isn’t easy, but there are better opportunities than others. If you want to talk to your loved one about going to rehab in a productive way, it’s best to wait until everyone involved is feeling relaxed and sober. It’s best to bring up your worries on a day or at a time when everything is going well.

In order to avoid spoiling the fun of ‘good days’, many individuals avoid doing this. Keep in mind that the good moments will be fleeting and infrequent until your loved one receives care. You want more of these experiences. This can be a good conversation starter. You can start this by saying something like, “I’m truly enjoying this time with you. Wish there were more days like these.”

Don’t compromise your mental health

It’s tough to watch while a loved one struggles and feels powerless to help. The problem arises because they know you or someone else close to them will bail them out of any short-term difficulties they may have. You don’t have to abandon them or completely break ties, but you should only provide assistance if doing so doesn’t compromise your own mental health.

If you want to be a good example for those in recovery, taking care of yourself is essential. Working to get a loved one to recognize their own need for assistance may be emotionally taxing and cause you to experience fear and worry. You won’t have any reserves to give to your loved one in cocaine addiction rehab if you’ve spent all day worrying about yourself.

Forget about threatening and making ultimatums

If someone isn’t ready to adapt, a final demand is likely to be rejected. There is a delicate balance between threatening someone and expressing realistic expectations with them. It’s not easy to refrain from issuing an ultimatum when you’re expecting to influence the behavior of a loved one.

However, keep in mind that this approach often backfires, especially with younger addicts. According to the experience of our experts at a drug rehab for young adults in WV, ultimatums by friends and family is, unfortunately, a road to relapse, not effective treatment. Limiting someone’s behavior and making a threat are two different things. Think about the practicalities. In setting limits, you should not give your loved one money you know they would use to buy drugs. But, also, you should not be making an ultimatum.

A person trying to force their loved one into rehab
Ultimatums and force are the worst approaches to this.

Talk to your loved one about going to rehab the way you’d want someone to talk to you

There is no one right formula to memorize if you want to talk to your loved one about going to rehab. Every person is different – words that might work for someone. But, if you approach all of this with compassion and honesty that you’d want others to give to you in a similar situation, you’ll make grounds for a really productive and effective conversation. Don’t avoid the tough conversations and put all your love into them – that is the only way to help your loved one find balance and harmony once again.

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