Encouraging Substance Abuse Treatment
It is very important to remember that someone who abuses alcohol or drugs will continue to do so as long as the consequences of use do not outweigh the benefits. Once someone with a problem experiences more consequences and fewer benefits they may begin to understand he or she needs help, and may consider substance abuse treatment. Do not feel obliged to cover up for another person's habits, or make excuses about his or her behavior, that only puts you in the position of co-dependency and enabling.
As much as you may want a substance abuser to get help, you can't force an individual to attend substance abuse treatment; begging or threatening won't work either. You can only encourage someone to consider treatment as an option. Recovery will come, only if and when the substance abuser truly decides to seek a healthier lifestyle.
Discuss Substance Abuse in A Way That Places Importance On The Topic
It's a tough subject, and sometimes it's even harder to have time for a conversation that seems meaningful. Having a quick conversation in between texting and phone calls, or in the car on the way to work, doesn't always signal the gravity and importance of the topic.
In approaching a loved one with substance abuse, the key is to choose your words and moment carefully when telling him or her how you feel. Ideally, pick a time when he or she is sober and when both of you are feeling calm.
- Begin the dialog in an open, caring and supportive frame of mind. Anything less and the dialog may not go as planned.
- Plan what you are going to say. This can be an emotionally charged conversation. There is a risk that you may say things under the stress of the situation that you don't mean.
- It is important that your loved one knows where he or she stands with you and that you mean what you say. Script out what you'd like to say, and go over it - it will help keep you on track.
If you have questions or are concerned about a friend or family member, contact Gateway and let us provide you with the answers you need to take the next step.