It’s not always easy to get our addicted loved ones to agree to go to inpatient drug treatment. Denial is a powerful aspect of addiction; it helps many addicts persist in their belief that they don’t really have a drug problem and don’t need help. Most active addicts don’t want to quit, at least not until something happens that forces the issue.
Addiction, by its very nature, causes brain changes that rob the addict of his or her ability to see the truth of his or her reality. Your addicted loved one will make excuses and rationalizations to justify his or her substance abuse and putt off treatment for as long as he or she can, all because he or she has come to rely on substances to function. The bodies of most addicts fail to function normally without drugs or alcohol, and the prospect of quitting can feel literally life-threatening.
But don’t worry – you’re not powerless when it comes to convincing an addicted loved one to enter inpatient drug treatment. There are things you can do and steps you can take to get your loved one the help he or she needs.
Educate Yourself About Addiction and Inpatient Drug Treatment
First and foremost, it’s vital that you understand the chronic, progressive disease that is addiction. Learning about addiction can help you understand why your loved one continues to abuse drugs in spite of mounting evidence that his or her drug use is destroying his or her life. It can help you wrap your head around the fact that your loved one seems to care more about using drug than anything else, even his or her own family.
You need to be able to understand the reality of addiction before you can offer your loved one the support, compassion, patience and understanding he or she needs to recover.
Take Care of Yourself
You can’t take care of anyone else without first taking care of yourself. Recognize that, no matter how painful it may be, your addicted loved one’s behavior is beyond your control. You can’t force your loved one into inpatient drug treatment, no matter how much you might want to.
The effects of addiction extend beyond the addicted individual; they can devastate everyone close to that person as well. Get the help you need to cope with your loved one’s addiction. Go to therapy and attend support group meetings.
When someone you love is an addict, it’s tempting to “help” them by taking care of the things they can no longer take care of due to their addiction. But when you do this, you’re not being helpful at all. When you do for the addict what he or she ought to be able to do for him or herself, you’re enabling his or her addiction.
Enabling is bad for both you and your addicted loved one. Enabling erodes your boundaries and can cause you to lose your sense of personal identity and control over your own life. It can also delay the time when your addicted loved one realizes the need for inpatient drug treatment, because it protects him or her from the consequences of addiction.
While conventional wisdom says that addicts need to “hit rock bottom” before they will realize the need for inpatient drug treatment, it isn’t necessary for you to withdraw all support in an effort to force a calamity. In fact, such a plan could easily backfire, leaving your addicted loved one dead of an overdose.
Decide what boundaries you need to set to maintain your own emotional health, and defend them staunchly, but don’t shy away from supporting your addicted loved one in ways that could further his or her journey toward recovery. You could help your loved one find an inpatient drug treatment program, for example, or look for a job, or agree to take care of his or her children, but you could draw the line at allowing your addicted loved one to come into your house when he or she is intoxicated.
Stage an Intervention
Interventions are very effective at getting addicts into drug rehab. They’re a great way to get an addict’s attention and break through his or her denial. Interventions can range in complexity from a one-on-one conversation to a big family affair. If you think an intervention might be for you, you need to talk to a professional interventionist.
It can take time for an addict to come around, so you might have to talk to your loved one about drug rehab several times. Even after he or she gets addiction treatment, relapse is likely. Your loved one will continue to need your support.
If you or someone you love needs inpatient drug treatment, FHE Health is here for you. Call 844-299-0618 now.