Struggling with a drug or substance addiction can be a debilitating and humiliating experience for the sufferer. Addiction is still rife with stigma and stereotypes, making it exceptionally difficult for people struggling with addiction to feel comfortable getting the help they need.
If you have a friend, family member, or loved one who is struggling with addiction, you know that they need help beyond the support you can give them, but you probably also know that seeking out that help is a fraught and embarrassing experience for many people struggling with addiction.
To help the person in your life get the help they need, it may be time to introduce the idea of rehabilitation. This is a delicate process that should be undertaken with care so that you don’t alienate the person who needs your help the most.
Here are four steps we recommend you take to help get someone into rehab:
1. Recognize the signs and see if they recognize them as well
The first step to any recovery only starts when you realize there’s a problem. Many of us go into denial when someone we care about is suffering. We don’t want to consider that someone we love is being consumed by addiction. Identifying and accepting the signs of a drug or alcohol addiction is essential to prepare you to help. Also, you should see if your loved one is aware that their behavior is dangerous or problematic. Not everyone is at the point where they are ready to admit they have a problem, which will make recovery much more difficult.
2. Research treatment options
There are loads of options for rehabilitation out there, which is why doing your research before speaking to our loved one is key. You don’t want to overwhelm them with information or make them feel like they’re being institutionalized. First, understand what kind of addiction they’re struggling with. This will help narrow your options immediately. From there, try to find a rehab that you feel would be the best fit for your loved one. Each rehab is different and has a different way of treating patients. Places like Punta Gorda Rehabilitation combine a mixture of cutting-edge therapy and self-motivated care plans to help people succeed, but other facilities use different methods that may work better for your loved one.
3. Find out if they’re open to the idea
There’s no point going through all the steps of introducing someone you love to the idea of rehab if they’re not yet ready. A lot of being ready has to do with the person accepting that they have an addiction and that they need help—two things that are extremely difficult for people to do. There is also a lot of shame involved with addiction which might make people block it out as well. If you know your friend well, you probably know whether they are open to the idea of rehab yet.
4. Plan an intervention
While it should not be your first step, if your loved one refuses to discuss rehab or admit they have a problem, it may be time to consider an intervention. An intervention can be a jarring experience for someone, so tread carefully here and involve experts early. It’s not about attacking your loved one, but about showing them that you care—which can be a delicate balance to strike in these situations.