Watching someone you love struggle with addiction is one of the most devastating and frustrating parts of life. If you’re wondering how to get someone you love to check into drug rehab, this article is for you. Read on to learn more about drug addiction and how to help your loved one help themselves.
Know Why Your Loved One Resists Drug Rehab
Unless the loved one in question is your minor child, you can’t force him or her into drug rehab. (Of course, if the loved one in question is your minor child, then you shouldn’t hesitate to put him or her in drug rehab whether he or she agrees to go or not.) One of the most frustrating and heart-wrenching parts of watching a loved one be consumed by drug addiction is wondering by why they won’t just go to drug rehab when they so clearly need to.
Your loved one resists drug rehab because of the powerful and insidious nature of addiction. Addiction isn’t about lacking willpower or having a flawed character or failing to make the decision to quit. If every drug addict could simply force themselves to stop being addicted through sheer willpower, no one would ever need to go to drug rehab again. Addiction isn’t a moral failing or a character flaw, it’s a physiological brain disease. Even if they did go to drug rehab, they might still relapse back into full-blown addiction. The relapse rate for addiction is 60 percent – as high as for diabetes or any other chronic illness.
Your loved one resists drug rehab because they are trapped in denial. Denial lets them believe that their drug use isn’t really a problem, that it’s only hurting them, and that they don’t really need to get help in drug rehab. In order to get your loved one to agree to go to drug rehab, you’re going to need to break through the cocoon of denial in which they’re hiding from the world. You might need to be patient and keep bringing up the subject of drug rehab again and again until you get through to your loved one.
Speaking to Your Loved One About Going to Drug Rehab
You may not want to stage a full-blown intervention the first time you speak to your loved one about going to drug rehab. Interventions take a lot of planning and professional organization and they’re generally seen as a last-resort option. Besides, a full-blown intervention may not be necessary to convince your loved one to go to drug rehab.
The first time you speak to your loved one about going to drug rehab, you can bring up your concerns in a private one-on-one conversation. Conversations about drug rehab should take place in a private location, such as your home or your loved one’s, where you can’t be overheard by strangers.
Don’t place blame or be judgmental or insulting when you talk about your loved one’s need for drug rehab. You can avoid sounding judgmental, blame-y or insulting when you talk about your loved one’s drug problem by making your statements about your feelings and concerns, rather than about your loved one’s behavior. Do that by making statements that start with the word “I.” Some examples include:
- I feel frustrated and concerned when I see you using drugs so heavily.
- I worry that your drug use might damage your health, or even kill you.
- I feel sad when I think about all the things you could accomplish if you weren’t using drugs.
- I feel disappointed when you spend all of your money on drugs and I need to pay your bills.
This conversation is an opportunity for you to tell your loved one about the consequences of his or her drug use, as you see them, and express your belief that your loved one needs drug rehab. Your loved one may deny that they have a problem. He or she may even get angry. If your loved one doesn’t agree to go to drug rehab, you may need to back off and have the conversation again at a later date. It may be helpful to have others whom your loved one respects approach him or her privately and express their concerns.