How to Help a Loved One Get Started in Drug Rehab

If someone close to you is suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction, it may be up to you to help him, or her get the necessary help to overcome it. But, persuading someone to start drug rehab is often not easy. The idea of rehab is daunting for most people. But, so many people do not find their way back to living free from addiction without help. What you do to help your loved one get the treatment they need could be life-saving. Below are some tips for helping your loved one get into an effective drug rehab program.

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Why Do People Often Refuse to Go to Rehab?

There are multiple reasons why so many people struggling with drug or alcohol addiction reject the help they need and choose to continue suffering rather than start rehab:

  • Admitting Addiction: One thing people face going into rehab is the fear of admitting they have an addiction. Being forced to accept that they have a drug or alcohol addiction can feel too challenging to do.
  • Facing Failure: So, people struggling with substance dependency are often unwilling to get drug addiction treatment because it feels like acknowledging they’ve lost control of their lives. That’s another sensation that people who need rehab often try hard to avoid.

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How Can I Convince My Loved One to Go to Rehab?

Talking with your loved one about their need to start rehab is likely to be an uncomfortable conversation. But, it can help you be more relaxed and clearer to have a little list of your points for your talk. Use this quick little guide to help you convince someone you love to seek treatment for alcohol or drug addiction:

Have a Heartfelt Conversation.

Plan your talk for a time when your loved one is not under the influence of the drug. If possible, choose a time when they are relatively relaxed and has time to talk without rushing. This is when they are likely to be most capable of reasoning well and recognizing the truth. If possible, have your talk in a safe environment, like in their home or yours, not a public place where you might be interrupted or overheard.

Try to keep the conversation simple, with just these key points:

Tell Your Loved One You’re Concerned and Want to Help.

Just start by saying you’re concerned about them and you hope to help. A typical response you may expect is, “I’m fine,” or, “I don’t have a problem,” or, “Don’t worry about it, I can quit that anytime I want to.” Then you can offer this:

  • Some examples of things you’ve noticed that make you think they need help.
  • One or more reasons why it appears they aren’t able to overcome the problem alone.
  • Reasons why you believe professional addiction treatment could offer the solution.

Share How You Feel.

Although the conversation you’re having is about the addicted person, focus your points on how the problem makes you feel and why you’re reaching out to help. In expressing how you feel, stay away from talking about being disappointed, angry, fed up, etc.

Any language that sounds like blaming the person for their actions increases the risk of just making your loved one feel defensive. That decreases the likelihood that you will have a good outcome of your talk. Some examples of accusatory phrases to try to avoid include:

  • You don’t
  • You never
  • You always
  • You didn’t
  • You should have
  • You shouldn’t have
  • You were supposed to

Use objective phrases to express your feelings, for example:

  • I feel like
  • It hurts me when
  • It makes me sad when
  • I’m afraid that
  • I miss the times when
  • It worries me when

Say Why Your Loved One’s Well-being Is Important to You.

Tell your loved one why you care about them and why you are reaching out to help. Remind them about your shared history. Talk about memories of better times you shared. Use phrases such as:

  • I remember when you used to love to...
  • I love to remember when you…
  • You were so great at…
  • I remember when you...

Recalling shared times helps connect the two of you and establishes that you have a personal reason to care about your loved one and their well-being.

Talk About The Most Troubling Details of the Situation.

When you have your loved one’s attention, and they seem a little open to talking about it, allow yourself to talk with them about the details of their alcohol or drug problem:

  • You can ask about how long they’ve been struggling with it.
  • Ask about health symptoms they may be experiencing.
  • Ask about legal problems they’re facing.
  • Talk about other major problems they’re having from using the drug.
  • Finally, talk about the reality that they have not been able to overcome the problem on their own.

It’s important to convey the seriousness of continuing substance abuse as they have been.

Explain What You’ve Learned About the Rehab Program.

Explain that inpatient drug rehab or residential addiction treatment provides what they need. Tell them how the Pathways program works and talk about some of the things they would do as part of the program.

Talk about how so many other people have come into the program feeling they couldn’t beat their addictions. Tell about how they went on to live more meaningful, satisfying lives free from addiction.

Tell your loved one that you’ll be there for them throughout the process. Tell them you’ll provide emotional support and attend family sessions.

After You’ve Had the Conversation About Rehab

Even if you don’t get the outcome you had hoped for from your first conversation, you’ll probably feel a little relieved to have finally opened the door for discussion. Living in addiction puts a person at high risk of various serious consequences. Getting into drug rehab as soon as possible maybe your loved one’s best or only chance to recover from alcohol or drug addiction.

If you need help approaching your loved one on the sensitive subject of rehab, it may be time to ask for support from other people close to the situation or for professional assistance.

We Can Help Your Loved One Overcome Addiction

Pathways Real Life Recovery is a state-of-the-art group of drug treatment centers in Utah. We help people overcome the sense of guilt and shame that so many individuals suffering from addiction experience. Our therapists, counselors, and addiction recovery specialists work with our clients to create a personal recovery program. Every member of our professional team is available 24/7.

If your loved one needs drug rehab, call Pathways Real Life Recovery, Sandy, UT, at (801) 895-3006, or fill out our contact request form online to schedule a free assessment today.

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Michelle Amerman
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