Getting a Loved One to Rehab: How to Support Someone Struggling with Addiction
It can be difficult to watch a loved one struggle with substance abuse. While you want to be there to help them get through it, it is often hard to know what you can say at the moment or what you can do to support them properly. You may want to say something in an attempt to help but your loved one is adamant that their use of substances is not a concern or they may deny their use of substances. This often makes many people feel helpless in intervening and offering their loved ones the support they need to overcome their addiction by going to drug rehab.
It is important to remember that addiction is a personal disease that begins for reasons that are unique to that person and oftentimes, people living with addiction are experiencing feelings of shame and guilt about their addictive behaviors. Offering support and empathy to the person struggling with addiction to release the feelings of shame and guilt by allowing them to know that they are not alone in their journey to recovery and have nonjudgmental support from others will help to empower your loved one to get the help that they need to find their way towards addiction recovery and healing.
What to Say to Someone Who Needs to Go to Rehab
Approaching a loved one experiencing addiction can feel like a sensitive subject to approach. You want to offer your unwavering support in a manner that will empower your loved one to get the help they need without the risk of pushing them further away. Offering your words of encouragement, unconditional love and support can be what your loved one needs to agree to accept help within a drug rehab program. After they have decided to go to drug rehab, they must know that they have a support system around them that will be there with them throughout their healing journey offering love, care, and unconditional support. If you know someone going to drug rehab, here are some things that you can say to offer your support and care:
- I love you. During a person’s active addiction, many will feel immense feelings of shame or guilt surrounding their addiction. These feelings can often lead someone to isolate themselves from loved ones or feel as though they are alone in their struggles with addiction. Sharing your love for them helps them know they are cared for and have someone who genuinely cares about their well-being.
- Ask how they are doing or feeling. While you are undergoing the process of healing, there can be deep-rooted emotions brought up through therapy, and a lot of work is put in towards personal growth and change. Although this process is a positive step in the right direction towards healing, your loved one must have the opportunity to express how they are doing and be validated in their current emotions and thoughts.
- You are not alone. During an addiction, many feel alone in their struggles with addiction. When you put the work into your healing process, you want to know that you have the support of others around you to complete your drug rehab program.
- Encouragements such as “I am proud of you” or “You can achieve your sobriety goals.” Going through addiction therapy will have its ups and downs and during those difficult times, it is helpful to hear that someone else believes in your ability to change and heal.
- Ask how you can support or help them in their recovery journey. Some individuals may feel they have not had the option for autonomy or choice in their life during their addiction. Asking what you can do to help allows them to be the ones making decisions in their life and provide insight into what support looks like for them and their healing process.
What to Avoid Saying During an Intervention
Just as there are words of encouragement you can offer a person, there can be words you can say that may not be helpful in a person’s recovery journey. If you are supporting someone in drug rehab, here are some things to avoid saying to someone going to drug rehab:
- Why don’t you stop using drugs? If you wanted to stop, you could. These kinds of words often diminish a person’s experience with drug addiction. Many people living with an addiction to drugs have the desire to quit but are unable to due to the harsh severity of their dependence and addiction to drugs.
- Avoid ultimatums. Using an ultimatum can lead a person to feel as though they are abandoned. Asking someone to choose between their addiction or give the impression that they don’t value you or your relationship or can quit alone. Instead, ask them how you can support them in getting the help they need or how you can support them.
- Avoid encouraging addictive behaviors with statements such as “can you have just one drink or one hit?” It is important to remember that addicts cannot have one hit or drink without triggering their addictive behaviors. Supporting them in their abstinence by offering encouragement or activities that foster sobriety will help them stay on track for maintaining recovery.
Once a person decides to go to drug rehab, it is important that they feel the support from their friends and families to encourage them to continue with their recovery journey. While they are in rehab, you can offer your support by:
- Answering phone calls when they call to hear about their progress and let them know they are not alone.
- You can send them letters or cards in the mail.
- Send care packages of their favorite snacks or activities to help them feel at home
- Take care of responsibilities at home for them including caring for their children or pets and helping manage any financial responsibilities.
- Show compassion and empathy about their healing process. Rehab will come with ups and downs and it is important that they feel validated in their experiences by those they love most
How to Support Your Loved One’s Recovery After Rehab Ends
After completing a drug rehab program, the transition from rehab to home can be met with several emotions and reservations. This transition period is a crucial time to support your loved one to ensure that they can remain sober while developing their new lifestyle in sobriety. Helping them navigate support groups in their community such as narcotics anonymous meetings by finding meetings or offering to take them to a meeting will help them get started in this next phase of their recovery journey.
Continue to check in and ask how they are doing. This is a critical time and it is important that they feel like they are not alone as they move through this portion of their recovery journey. Offer opportunities to share their emotions and engage them in sober activities they might enjoy. You must allow your loved one to tell you what they need for support and that their requests are met with respect and understanding.
Call TruPath Today to Help Someone You Love Start Drug Rehab
If you know someone who needs support from a drug rehab program, TruPath is available to provide them with an individualized treatment plan that will help them achieve their overarching goals of sobriety. Call us today at (888) 292-1933 to hear more about our drug rehab programs and how you can provide your loved one with the gift of sobriety and healing now.