The steps you need to take to help a loved one overcome addiction
When a loved one is suffering from the disease that is addiction, you can often feel helpless. On the one hand, it’s heartbreaking to see what they are going for. On the other, it will also be having a large impact on your own day-to-day life.
It can be a real struggle in the first place to encourage them to see they have a problem, with denial such a huge part of addiction. It can lead to arguments, violence and ultimately break down family relationships or friendships.
That said, if you love that person, then you’re going to want to help. And do so sensitively, lovingly and with care and consideration.
Over the last few years, the likes of alcohol dependency and drug addiction have risen significantly as we entered and have come back out of a pandemic, and finding the right treatment for your loved one is key. The government revealed that between April 2020 and March 2021, well over a quarter of a million adults had contacted drug and alcohol services to help with their recovery, while there will be many more who haven’t sought help.
And it’s those that haven’t, which are most at risk. So, if you have a loved one who you’d like to get treatment for alcoholism for, then here are the steps you need to take to do so in the best possible way…
Firstly, make a plan
You can’t go into this with no plan at all. That’s just going to end in disaster and could permanently damage the relationship you have with your loved one. Before you have spoken to your loved one, it’s always a good idea to seek out professional help, so you can go to your loved one with specific treatments and programs for the road to recovery.
A professional will also be able to help with the finer details of approaching a person, taking on board their behaviours as an addict and personality to uncover exactly what they will listen to.
You need proof and solutions
Gathering the treatments and programs will help provide the solutions to your loved ones addiction, but also it could be useful to gather information around the person’s behaviour. Denial can be a real issue when it comes to addiction, so by pointing out examples of when their addiction has caused problems, can be the factor that helps them understand how much they are affecting other people, or indeed themselves.
Naturally, when it comes to presenting this evidence, it should be done cautiously and empathetically.
Don’t do it alone
The process of deciding to intervene and confront your loved one can be incredibly stressful, emotional and upsetting. So, do ensure you have your own support network to fall back on. It can be an anxious time, and sharing the load can be of huge help not just in the planning, but also the ability to speak to someone and unload.
Other loved ones can really boost the impact of what you’re trying to say, although at the same time you don’t want your loved one to feel they are being ganged up on.
Go into the intervention prepared
Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, it’s important to be prepared, have your intervention structured and ensure everybody knows what they are doing to ensure it runs smoothly. You are the person in control of this, and your loved one who is suffering needs to be aware of this.
Give them options of treatments and ensure that they are aware of any consequences should they decide to not get help.
Naturally, you should then give them some breathing space to let what you have said sink in and for them to evaluate the options. Follow up a few days later to discuss the matter further, and should they decide to take help, ensure that you do support them every step of the way. Because they will need it.