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7 Ways To Motivate A Loved One To Go To Rehab

October 12, 2019

There are not many situations more painful than witnessing someone you love struggle with addiction. Convincing your loved one to go to rehab can feel like a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Your loved one is most likely oblivious to the potentially fatal consequences of his/her addiction. Your loved one may be struggling to fully admit they need to enter a drug rehabilitation program because they cannot fully concede to the gravity of their addiction.


Attempting to convince your loved one to go into substance abuse treatment can be scary and intimidating. You may be fearful of how they will react, and you may even be second-guessing yourself. It is important to remember that your actions are coming from a place of love and the motives behind your actions are positive and potentially life-saving. 


Helping to motivate a loved one to go into a rehab program can be broken into several steps. Reducing stress and organizing a strategic plan is often more effective. It is important for you and your family to seek professional guidance to help with this process. Here are several ways you can motivate your loved one to seek treatment for his/her drug addiction.


“Rock Bottom” is not always the answer.

Many people believe the common myth that an addict must hit “rock bottom” in order to get clean and stay sober. While it is true that many people need to experience a few painful consequences before they become fully motivated to seek help, you do not have to wait until your loved one has irrevocably destroyed his/her life before you address their addiction. In fact, if you suspect that your loved one is struggling with alcohol or drugs, it is always better to intervene sooner rather than later. Addiction is a progressive and fatal disease. If you wait for your loved one to hit “rock bottom” it may never happen and you may not get to help your loved one before it’s too late.


Plan an intervention.

If your loved one is experiencing total denial about their substance abuse disorder, you may need to plan an intervention. It is essential that you devise a simple and organized plan. After all, staging an impulsive intervention could be more harmful than not doing anything at all. It is always a good idea to consult with an interventionist or a drug and alcohol rehab, in order to construct an effective strategy. It is important to coordinate with a rehab admissions counselor to ensure your loved one has a secure spot in a treatment program. Pack a bag for your loved one and plan transportation from the intervention to treatment, so he/she can begin the detox process immediately.


Stick to “I” statements. 

Addiction is an insidious mental illness. Much like other mental illnesses, many individuals do not even realize they are suffering from a mental disorder. Most individuals may feel ashamed to admit they have been struggling with substance misuse disorder. In order to avoid a combative confrontation, it is always a good idea to spark the conversation with “I” statements. For example, instead of saying “You’re destroying your life”, say “I am worried about you because I think you have a problem. I want to help, but I don’t know how.” This may prevent your loved one from feeling attacked and becoming defensive during the conversation. When expressing your concerns and fears, resist the urge to vent all of your feelings. You may feel angry and terrified, but it is most important that you maintain a calm and even tone while sticking to the facts.


Let your loved one know that going to rehab is a “gift” to you.

It is not necessary for your loved one to be completely convinced they need rehab in order for them to go. It is okay if your loved one agrees to enter substance abuse treatment simply because they love you and this is something you want them to do. Appealing to the emotional side of an addict may seem counterproductive. However, even if your loved one only enters treatment is out of obligation to you, that is a beginning. They will begin seeing a therapist in treatment, attending 12-step meetings, and may relate to other struggling addicts around them. It is not uncommon for individuals to not become convinced they have a problem until they have spent a few weeks in a drug rehab program.


It is okay to involve children but proceed with caution.

For many individuals who are struggling with their addiction, seeing the impact of his/her addiction on their children is often times the eye-opener an individual needs in order to accept help. It is extremely important to proceed with caution when involving children to avoid causing any further trauma. For example, you can take a gentle approach by having the child (or children) draw a picture of their family. Record them as they verbalize their thoughts on “mommy” or “daddy” and their perception of their life and family. Children are often honest in a way that most adults struggle to be – ultimately making children effective messengers.


Discreetly record your loved one in active addiction.

As mentioned before, many addicted individuals are unable to recognize the severity of his/her addiction. Sometimes, addicts have a hard time understanding or believing that they may have a problem when solely described by their loved ones. Instead of telling your loved one how their behaviors have affected you and everyone around them, you can show them. It is not uncommon for addicts to forget the things they say or do while under the influence. Even if they do, your loved one may have justified their behavior. They may be convincing themselves that their behavior was not that harmful. Consider recording your loved one while they are under the influence and behaving erratically. Video evidence may open the eyes of your loved one and force them to face reality – video evidence is hard to refute.


Remove the fear out of the detoxification process.

If your loved one has attempted to get sober on their own, they might be hesitant to go to rehab. They may be in fear of the painful effects of withdrawal. It is fair and absolutely understandable as to why they are afraid to experience this process. Withdrawing from substances can be excruciating and hard on the body, without medical assistance and supervision. Detox, without medical management, can even be potentially fatal. Detoxing at a rehabilitation facility means you will be supervised and treated under the 24-hour care of nurses and doctors who specialize in detox. Arm yourself with the facts of a medically supervised detox program. A rehab admissions counselor can provide resources that may help lessen your loved one’s fears.