Living with someone that hasn’t come to terms with an addiction is one of the most difficult experiences. Fortunately, help is out there—and it only takes a desire to change to begin down the road to recovery. That said, how to encourage a loved one to seek addiction treatment is not always an easy task. It may take time and effort, but with patience and love, healing is possible.
Learn About Addiction Before Starting
Understanding what addiction is or how it even happens is beyond most people. If you’ve never experienced dependency on a chemical stronger than sugar, then you should take the time to learn about it. For instance, if you know someone is struggling with barbiturates abuse, it doesn’t help to repeatedly nag them with uninformed opinions and demand they “just stop.” Learn about what the substance is, how it affects the mind and body, and where the addiction originates from.
Approach the Subject With Compassion
As mentioned, people who don’t know about addiction sometimes take the wrong attitude. Acting as though you’re somehow better or right because you aren’t suffering from usage doesn’t help anyone. Instead, try to be gentle and compassionate. Your loved ones need patience and guidance more than orders. If your emotions are running too high due to your concern, give yourself a little time to organize your thoughts and ideas before starting the conversation.
Avoid Pressuring With Too Many Questions
Encouraging a loved one to seek addiction treatment isn’t like flipping a switch. One common mistake people make is to drill an individual with questions. No one likes to have their every move and motive assessed, especially if they don’t necessarily agree with the interrogator. Demanding answers about what someone’s doing and why they’re doing it won’t make them snap into sudden realization that they need to change. Instead, you’ll simply force the person into a defensive state where they no longer trust your opinions.
Consider Professional Help
Ultimately, there’s a good reason why drug treatment centers are located all over the world and staffed with helpful and friendly professionals. Getting through to someone struggling with addiction is rarely easy. It’s only made harder if you really care about them. Involving a professional interventionist is a sound strategy to avoid creating more conflict with strained nerves.