TABLE OF CONTENTS
Millions of Americans grapple with the devastating effects of alcohol or drug abuse. Our nation is currently in the throes of a widespread opioid addiction epidemic. Despite the staggering number of people who suffer, addiction is often misunderstood. Many see those suffering as weak or simply lacking self-discipline. However, the causes and effects of addiction run far deeper than simple willpower and require professional help to alleviate.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, you most likely see the toll it takes on them. You also know intimately the effect that their suffering has on their relationship with you and the rest of their family.
This eBook intends to provide some guidance on how to approach your loved one and successfully encourage them to seek treatment in order to start on the path toward a lasting recovery. This process can be difficult and uncomfortable, but nowhere near as devastating as the path of NOT getting better.
We believe that if you follow the advice found here, you may be able to save your loved one from further pain and suffering. You may also end up helping them heal their most valuable relationships, including the one they have with you. Please read this entire document to get a comprehensive look at how you can help a loved one commit to treatment and agree to get the help they desperately need.
CHAPTER ONE Why Rehab?
Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.
If you’re reading this, it’s probably safe to assume that you already recognize the need to help a loved one
get into a rehabilitation program. But before we start delving into how to help the person down that path, it’s best if we first explore what a rehab program can and can’t do while also setting some realistic expectations for the future.
First, treatment is necessary to overcome addiction. Many people have recreationally experimented with drugs or alcohol and were able to stop using when they saw fit. Addiction is an entirely different situation. When someone has an addiction, there is a mental and physical compulsion to continue the behavior – even against their own better judgment. Have you ever tried to use personal discipline to keep yourself from eating something you desperately wanted? Do you remember how distracting and uncomfortable that was, and how your body was craving it even though your brain was telling you it wasn’t good for you? Multiply that feeling and mental stress by 1000 and you will start putting yourself in the mindset of an addict.
It must be understood, then, that overpowering addiction is not simply a matter of willpower. Addicts already know they hurting themselves, they just can’t stop and are terrified. Overcoming addiction requires the help of a third-party support system with the necessary knowledge and expertise to convince the person that there is hope and happiness on the other side.
That brings us to our next point: Families are usually not equipped to treat the cause of the addiction on their own. Family members and loved ones have high emotional ties, memories of anger, grief and apathy often cloud judgment and decisions. Addiction is almost always related to another underlying issue, the one that causes the person to be trapped. This could be a mental illness, trauma or some other psychological issue the addict is facing. Often, it is a series of events that spiral into a pattern of loss. This is loss of self-confidence, self-respect loss of dreams, and with it is replaced an increasing sense of guilt, shame and
despair. Addiction is, in essence, a symptom of that larger issue, not the cause. If a person were without pain and truly happy in life, they would not usually choose to throw their life away for drugs.
Therefore, in order to effectively supplant the addiction, the underlying cause must be addressed. The best treatment centers have professional counselors and experienced, credentialed staff trained to properly help the addict address the source of the addiction and work towards resolving it. While many families are well-intentioned, they do not have the knowledge or resources that a professional treatment facility will have.
Addiction treatment centers offer a community of camaraderie and support. Addicts often feel isolated and misunderstood in their addiction. Usually that isolation is accompanied by an overwhelming sense of failure and helplessness. An addiction rehab center is full of individuals who have similar feelings and experiences. In fact, many rehabs have staff that were once addicts and who have now dedicated themselves to helping others. This environment helps addicts to not feel so alone and to find strength through bonds made with those who are on the same path to recovery.
Finally, not all rehabs are the same. We’ll delve into this more deeply in the next section, but suffice it to say some rehabs are better equipped to handle the complexities of your loved one’s situation than others. This is both good and bad. On one hand, you have a range of treatment options available instead of one cookie-cutter approach to addiction treatment. On the other hand, you must dedicate time to researching which treatment modalities will best suit your loved one’s needs.
On that same note, it should be made clear that no matter how rigorous the treatment protocol is, rehab is not the final step. Think of rehab like a hospital. If you break a bone in your arm, the doctors at the hospital will perform an X-ray, make a diagnosis and prescribe specific treatment (such as placing the arm in a cast). However, the process of healing and strengthening the surrounding muscles and tendons will take a long time – sometimes years of physical therapy and care.
The same principle applies to addiction. Once the program is completed, the journey must continue so that the individual can be completely healed and maintain lasting control. In this respect, a rehab program should be viewed as an initial diagnosis and primary treatment – but not the full recovery. Some patients have a harder time resolving root issues or are resistant to doctor’s orders. In those cases, there may be a relapse. So while a rehab program is a critical first step toward recovery, it alone cannot guarantee long-term success – which depends on the individual and, to a large extent, the environment and habits that follow.
It is important, then, that you adjust your expectations accordingly by recognizing that rehab is just one part of the journey. It is also critical that the addict’s loved ones are prepared to offer continued support and encouragement to keep the addict on track with recovery. This means that there must be a lasting change in the addict’s environment going forward.
The last thing an addict needs after going through a treatment program is to return to life as before with the same friends and patterns of enablement. Taking your kid out to the bar for a drink to congratulate them for completing rehab is about as wrong as you can get. Your life must change too, at least in front of them, and you should prepare for that.
None of this should overwhelm you or dissuade you from helping your loved one into a rehab program. On the contrary, it should help you recognize that you are a critical figure who must play an active role in helping your loved start a very important journey.
If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.
CHAPTER TWO Choosing a Rehab
choosing a rehab
The first big step in helping a loved one get into rehab is to choose a treatment program that you believe has
a good program. It is important to select a specific rehab before you approach the addict, because you need to have a plan in place. You don’t want to waste time researching rehabs after getting a commitment from an addict to attend, as this gives the person an opportunity to change their mind or go on a potentially dangerous "last hurrah" before treatment.
Even worse, if you leave the selection up to the addict, they will likely try to shoot down every rehab and end up ruining that positive commitment by turning the process into a source of contention and argument. They may refuse anything longer than a week or two. If you give them the power to choose, they will likely choose what looks easiest, not necessarily what they need. You also run the risk of ruling out the treatment options that are best suited to the addict’s personal needs by trying to defer to their clouded judgment.
With all that in mind, the choice of a rehab center is critical, as not all treatment programs are created equal. The amenities, locale and resources on hand are all big differentiators between rehab facilities. However, the biggest – and most important – distinction between rehabs is the treatment approach they follow.
MEDICAL/DISEASE MODEL: The medical/disease model, as the name implies, is driven by medical and scientific data that classifies addiction as a disease and treats it with medication and therapy. This treatment can be seen as a body-focused model, as the primary goal is to break the cycle of physical dependency. Thus, this model of program will often have a prescribed time frame
with an emphasis on detox and prescription medication, such as methadone or Suboxone. Not much time is spent on learning how to deal with life, just more on managing the disease. The problem with these systems is that there is little emphasis on rooting out the psychological and emotional issues that may have led to chemical dependency in the first place.
BEHAVIOR MODEL: The behavior model is in many respects the polar opposite of the medical/disease, in that its focus is almost entirely on the psychological symptoms. The emphasis is on correcting behaviors through discipline, meetings, etc. Many,though certainly not all behavior model programs will feature a variation of the 12-step program. Many faith-based treatment centers employ the behavioral model. While some behavior-based programs may also incorporate medical approaches, many do not. It should be noted that the majority of behavior-model facilities are groupand community-centric, meaning that care is given in groups, rather than on an individual basis.
INTEGRATED MODEL: The integrated model is in many ways a bridge between the other two, but also has some features unique unto itself. Rehabs employing this approach will often advertise their treatment as holistic (which can be confusing, as some facilities use the term to mean homeopathic, which is not the same thing). In this regard, programs following the integrated model aim to treat the person as a whole – physically, emotionally and psychologically, not just manage their symptoms.
In that endeavor, integrated programs will typically have a very individualized emphasis while focusing on the root causes of the addiction. The integrated model may use medication when necessary to get a person over the pain and discomfort of detox, yet not allow the addict to become dependent on a prescription drug and wean them off all drugs entirely. It is not uncommon for an integrated program to try
to get the addict to take part in getting their health back after detox, such as providing dietary and fitness protocols while refraining from prescribing medications like methadone. The confusion with this model is that many rehabs claim themselves as holistic or integrated simply as a "buzz word" or marketing approach while aligning more closely with one of the other two treatment models. There are very few truly holistic and integrated treatment programs.
In many respects, the rehab industry operates more like a spectrum between these three types of programs, with individual centers falling somewhere between one methodology and another. Alternatively, some centers operate more like spas or resorts than they do a true treatment facility. Those facilities liken rehab to a hotel or resort. While it is nice to pamper yourself and relax, overcoming addiction takes hard work. While the facilities should definitely be comfortable and adequate, high-end luxury is not necessarily effective. Therefore, in order to know which program is best for your loved one, you should investigate the rehabs in your region and even pick up the phone and call them to find out specifics about their methods, facilities and staff.
In choosing a program, you should look for a facility that offers an uplifting environment. While a clinical setting should not be a deal-breaker, it is often not optimal for many recovering addicts. They usually prefer to talk to someone that looks more like them than someone in a white lab coat or scrubs. You’ll also want to pick one with professionally trained staff and sufficient resources to meet your loved one’s treatment needs. The center should employ a blend of actual medical professionals and not just counselors. For privacy reasons, many rehabs don’t publish any data or information regarding their clients, but some may have testimonials and success stories from former addicts that can give a more personal perspective into the program.
FINALLY, it is important to understand that rehab stays can be anywhere from a few days for detox to several months for extensive recovery treatment. Thus, it can become very pricey. If your loved one has insurance, their plan may cover addiction treatment completely, partially or not at all. But remember that getting your loved one back healthy and happy is priceless, so don’t consider comparing rehabs like you are buying a used car. The right program that leads to real success is worth nearly any investment, as it will mean the end of other expenses such as stolen money or items, attorneys, or a funeral. While that may seem morbid, statistically the end result of addiction is nearly always jail or death. So please don’t try to nickel and dime your way to the perfect deal when it comes to rehab. Find the right program and commit.
To find out what payment opportunities are available, contact the rehab facility in which you are interested and ask the representative up front about insurance and/or sponsorships. There is no point in building recovery plans around a rehab you won’t be able to afford.
Once you have selected a recovery program for your loved one, you will need to plan how you will start the topic with them and how to best motivate them to get started. The following chapters give insight into how to approach your loved one and what to keep in mind to be most effective in helping them choose to get treatment.
CHAPTER THREE ONE-ON-ONE
Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.
The simplest, and sometimes most personal way to help get a loved one into rehab is to have a direct one-on-one
conversation with them. It should be noted at the start that this method may not be effective for all addicts or all situations. And unlike a group intervention, a one-on-one discussion could lead an addict to conclude that you are the only one taking issue with their choices, so you should be avoided. That should not dissuade you at all from having a conversation, but instead should help you recognize that the conversation must be handled thoughtfully.
Indeed, in some situations, a full-blown intervention is not necessary or even effective, while a quiet talk with someone they love may be all they need to start the path to recovery. With that in mind, the following items are some solid considerations and techniques to employ that will help you be effective in connecting with and helping your loved one.
1. EXPRESS FEELINGS WITHOUT ACCUSATION. It is very easy for this sort of conversation with an addict to devolve into confrontation or accusations. However, that path should be avoided, as it is a surefire way to force the addict to get defensive or shut down. Instead, approach the discussion as a presentation or explanation of the effect the addiction has on you and others close to the addict. It’s hard for an addict to argue with you about your own feelings and experiences. Likewise, they are forced to grapple with consequences outside of themselves.
Think of it this way: As a child, when your parents told you that you shouldn’t do something because you’d regret it, you often ignored them. But, if they told you that your behavior was hurting or affecting them personally, you were far more likely to pay attention and cooperate.
If an addict believes that it is only their own failure as consequence of their actions, it is much easier for them to be okay with their addiction. By its nature, addiction forces an individual to feel
like a helpless slave – incapable of controlling their own impulses and behavior. When addicts are presented with consequences and effects far beyond themselves, they are more likely to feel inclined to seek help with making a major change. All you really want to do is get them to ask for help. Any help.
2. HAVE A PLAN. As discussed in the previous chapter, it is critical that you choose a rehab facility before you approach your loved one. You should also plan a time and place to have the discussion in advance. Choose a place that is comfortable and where you can open up without being surrounded by strangers or eavesdroppers. You may also want to consider a setting that doesn’t allow for easy retreat from the topic, such as on a hike or by a campfire. It’s hard for an addict to run away from the discussion if you carpooled somewhere.
It is also important for you to prepare your thoughts and responses to potential arguments so that you are not blindsided when confronted with the actual situation. There is an adage that courtroom lawyers follow: Never ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer. The reason is that you don’t want to find yourself being surprised or contradicted in front of the jury. The same concept applies to your one-on-one talk: You want to be in control of the discussion.
One way to go about this is to prepare a letter or video in advance. This enables you to express your feelings in a controlled, polished fashion without interruption. When you have your one-on-one, you can read the letter aloud or view the video with your loved one. If you choose to write a letter, write it from your perspective directed at the addict as if you were writing them from long-distance. Treat the video the same way, as if you are videoconferencing with them.
Another option is to dedicate part of the video to footage of your loved one when they are under the influence of their choice substance. Seeing themselves slurring words, acting outrageously or embarrassingly incapacitated can be a rude awakening. Whether you choose either of these methods, remember that your objective is to express concern and compassion in order to motivate them into recovery, not to shame them.
Another way to address rehab is to ask for it as a gift to you. Treating rehab and healthy living as something they can do for you can be a very effective tool in motivating a loved one to enter a program. They often feel like they are not deserving of anything themselves, but they may do it if it is for you. Some families would like to see their loved one voluntarily choose to better themselves and their own lives, but that is not necessary to get them to commit to treatment. What is important is getting them to agree to enter rehab. Once there, they can explore their motivations and heal more completely – but you have to get them there first.
3. DO NOT HAVE AN IMPROMPTU CONVERSATION. This is really an extension of the last point, but it bears extra stress. Yes, you may have selected a facility, planned a way to broach the topic, and resolved potential arguments in your head. Yet, you may be inclined to just unleash on your loved one when they do something dramatic such as steal from you, lie, or flake out on a commitment. Don’t do it.
As covered above, you need to approach the topic in a prepared, cool-headed manner that is not angry or accusatory. If you launch into a tirade and say everything on your mind in the heat of the moment, you likely won’t have much success. Instead, stick to your plan and refrain from letting your frustration and anger guide you.
Likewise, don’t try to just seize on a moment of potential opportunity. Part of having a plan means being prepared to immediately drive the loved one to rehab or to an airport once you have a commitment. If you bring it up over breakfast and then have to go to work for the next day or two before you can take them, you can bet that any commitment to treatment they may have had is gone quickly. You have to prepare to act fast and put the rest of your life on hold. Don’t mess around shopping for the cheapest plane ticket with three layovers - buy a nonstop flight. The longer it takes from the moment the addict agrees until they are actually enrolled, the more chances they have to change their minds.
4. BE PREPARED FOR A NEGATIVE RESPONSE. Pointing out flaws and failings makes people defensive, and addicts are certainly no exception. Most addicts don’t simply hang their head in shame, apologize and agree to treatment. They argue. They blame. They throw your enabling, ignorance or judgmental attitude back at you with force. Interventions and one-on-one conversations like this often get very ugly. Your responsibility is to be the controlled voice of calm compassion in the situation.
As mentioned previously, drugs and/or alcohol are used as a coping mechanism to deal with a deeper issue. When you suggest treatment, you are telling an addict to remove the only source of comfort they recognize. It is a difficult thing, and they will not be comfortable with it.
5. DO NOT GIVE HARSH ULTIMATUMS OR THREATS. Tough love is not always a bad thing. And it wouldn’t be inappropriate to refuse to enable an addiction while insisting on treatment. However, like so many parents, the urge is often to make threats or give drastic ultimatums that you probably can’t enforce. One of the worst things you can do is make an idle threat and then not follow through.
In order to maintain their addiction, addicts become adept at manipulation. If they see that you are weak or unwilling to carry out a stated consequence, then their job is that much easier. If they can divide one parent against the other, or somehow force people to take sides, they will succeed in getting what they want.
There is certainly a time to set ground rules and even ultimatums – but this isn’t it. As noted previously, this conversation should not be a confrontation. Use this as a time to express love and compassion while you help seek a solution, instead of as a means of asserting authority. Your loved one will be much more responsive if they think you are on their side, rather than at odds with them.
CHAPTER FOUR DOCTOR CONSULTATION
The best doctor gives the least medicines.
While a heart-to-heart can be very effective, sometimes you need a professional touch. If you have a close
relationship with a doctor, and they have watched the addict grow up, it may be effective to use them to help. People tend to trust their doctors – to the point that they are willing to share information with them that they may be unwilling to express to their spouse or parents. Likewise, people are more willing to listen to the advice of a medical professional than that of a relative. There are a few reasons for this:
1. DOCTORS CARRY AN AIR OF AUTHORITY. Doctors are seen as professionals and experts who can be trusted. An interesting study showed that people were more willing to listen advice when it was given by someone wearing a lab coat. Even though the person giving advice was not actually a doctor, the simple visual cue of a white coat gave that impression, and thus people tended to give their opinions more weight. Your loved one may be willing to listen to your concerns. However, they are far more likely to take heed of a doctor’s guidance.
2. DOCTORS ARE CONFIDENTIAL. Everyone is familiar with the concept of doctor-patient privilege. Because of this, people are willing to open up to their doctor in a way that they wouldn’t with others who may be prone to gossip, or even judgment. A doctor also is able to give the most accurate diagnosis when they have all the facts, so patients are more inclined to share intimate (and even embarrassing) details with their physician so that the doctor has the full picture.
3. DOCTORS HELP PROVIDE A LONG-TERM PLAN The physical effects of addiction can be horrendous. And, as we have discussed previously, recovering from addiction is a long-term process. When a doctor seeks to treat the physical harm caused by substance abuse, they will likely see detox and rehab as the first step in a longer path toward a healthy life. This is precisely the mentality you want your loved one to share. When your loved one sets health goals that go well beyond simply avoiding a substance for a short time, they set themselves up for success in the long term.
Seeking the help of a professional in getting your loved one into rehab need not be limited to your family physician. You can also seek the help of a nurse, therapist, counselor or other profession. The important thing is that your chosen ally is in a position of expertise and/or authority that your loved one can respect.
One important note: You and the professional with whom you consult must be on the same page. As noted, doctors can’t share your loved one’s intimate information with you (per doctor-client privilege). Consequently, you will want to speak with them in advance so you can be assured that they will, in fact, counsel your loved one to get into a rehab program in order to properly address the addiction, not just write a prescription.
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.
CHAPTER FIVE FAMILY INTERVENTION
Perhaps the most well-known and popular method of approaching a loved one to help them get into rehab
is to stage an intervention. This is because interventions tend to be the most efficient and effective way to help a lovedone recognize the severity of the problem and get motivated to take action.
A family intervention is one that is staged by, and comprised of, family and friends. This is distinguished from a professional intervention (covered in the next chapter), in which a dedicated interventionist or counselor leads the process.
For a family intervention, you will want to gather the adult members of the family and any close friends or relatives that are respected by the addict. The goal is to express, in solidarity, concern and empathy for the addict while applying positive pressure on them to seek immediate treatment.
Virtually all of the points made in the one-on-one talk apply here, but there are a few additional takeaways that are relevant for this setting:
1. GET EVERYONE ON THE SAME PAGE. Like a one-on-one, an intervention should be a presentation, not a confrontation. This is not a time to air grievances or fling accusations. If any members of your family are not able to control their anger or refrain from fighting with the addict, then they shouldn’t be present for the intervention. An intervention should be serious, but positive – honest, but hopeful.
Likewise, you want to keep the situation calm. The addict may become upset and argumentative, but you and the other people there can’t play into that. The intervention isn’t a time for fighting.
You are not making demands or shaming them. You are expressing love and concern. You may want to make the point that regardless of the pain they may have caused or the discomfort of the situation, everyone is there because they love the addict.
2. MAKE IT A SURPRISE. If you tell an addict that they are invited to a family meeting or to their own intervention, they probably won’t attend. You DO NOT necessarily need to lie to get them there, but it’s not a bad idea to plan like you would a surprise party. The key point is that you get them there and start the path to treatment.
3. DO NOT TRY TO PROVE THE ADDICTION. Often, an addict will deny there is a problem. The knee-jerk reaction is to try to disprove that notion. DO NOT. Your intention is to express concern, not prove the existence of a problem. To that end, you are far better off expressing your perceptions and feelings than to try to conjure an admission of guilt. Many interventions are derailed by quibbles over which drugs are being used (and how much) or whether the addict is able to function while using.
Instead, address the issue from a first-person perspective. Statements that mention behavior can be effective such as, "We used to laugh and talk, and now I never see you," or, "You used to smile and I loved to see you enjoy life. I want to see you happy and healthy again. You DO NOT need to tiptoe around the issue, but try to not to focus on accusations – and most importantly, DO NOT try to prove your point through argument.
As with a one-on-one conversation, you may want to have some or all of the family members write letters or give video statements for an intervention. This is fine, but try to keep them short. If you have ten people all giving lengthy presentations, you run the risk of losing the emotional impact and even your loved one’s attention. An intervention shouldn’t take more than an hour. In fact, if you are two hours in and there has been more arguing or dismissive behavior than meaningful discussion, then it is likely time to call it quits and try a different approach another time.
4. DO NOT SECOND-GUESS A COMMITMENT. Oddly enough, when some addicts agree to rehab, the family may feel inclined to ask, "Are you sure?" or, "Why?" to try to ensure that the loved one is agreeing for the right reason. Take the commitment at face value and go from there. Your objective is to get them to agree to treatment – no matter the rationale. Once they are at the rehab facility, the professionals there will help them toward a healthier perspective.
You can’t expect an addict to have the best reasoning skills. Their judgment is clouded by their addictive behaviors – if not by the intoxicating, lingering effects of the substance itself. DO NOT try to talk them out of a good decision because you feel their reasoning might not be sound. Take the good decision for what it is: a step in the right direction. Who cares why they agreed to go? They agreed to go!
5. GO TO THE REHAB IMMEDIATELY. Once an addict agrees to treatment, DO NOT wait. Commend them on their decision and get going. You DO NOT want to give them time to second-guess or back out. Once they have agreed to treatment, the intervention is over and it’s time to pack. At the very latest, you want to go the next morning. The more time you give them, the more
likely they will go missing when it’s time to head to the rehab. All they really need are clothes and personal hygiene products. Honestly, rehabs usually have extras of the essentials just in case. You aren’t going camping, get them there fast and if you forgot something you can usually ship it, or put money on their account and the rehab can buy it. DO NOT pack like you are going to Europe, just the basics.
To that end, it is important that you coordinate with the rehab center in advance so that they know you are coming. You want to be able to make a smooth transfer to the rehab. The addict may have doubts or second thoughts. You want everything to transpire quickly and efficiently so that there isn’t time for them to dwell on it. Likewise, when you drop them off, DO NOT wait around with them. Get them there and to the right person, give them a word of positive affirmation and encouragement, give them a hug and head out. It may seem harsh, but they need to separate from their old world and immerse themselves in treatment as soon as possible.
CHAPTER SIX PROFESSIONAL INTERVENTION
A professional intervention is generally viewed as the best means of getting a loved one into rehab.
It combines the group compassion and solidarity of a family intervention with the reputation and success of a professional. Generally, all of the same principles discussed in the previous chapter apply here, but with one major caveat: The professional is in charge.
That means that they will both conduct the intervention AND guide the family on what to do. They may have different advice than what we have discussed here, but more likely than not, they will simply augment our suggestions here, not amend them. However, here are a few general guiding principles to consider with a professional intervention:
1. The professional is in charge. A professional interventionist is trained in what they do. You don’t need to second-guess their directions, and you certainly should not interrupt, contradict or argue with them during the intervention. The interventionist has done this before, dozens or hundreds of times – you have not. They are professional and have your loved one’s best interest and the goal of treatment in mind – so you are both on the same side even if they are telling you what to do.
2. Do not mimic the interventionist. Unless specifically directed otherwise by the interventionist, you should refrain from being critical of the addict and instead focus on positively encouraging treatment. The interventionist has a unique role as an outsider, which gives them more leeway with being more direct and blunt with the addict. They can operate in a manner that would be counterproductive for family members to try.
Recall that the family is supposed to be a positive front of solidarity in an intervention. The interventionist is not included in that, so don’t try to "follow their lead" by becoming more confrontational. That is a tactic to be employed only by them and at their professional discretion.
3. Do your homework. We’re giving a lot of credit here to the interventionist under the implied notion that you have chosen a real professional. For that to be the case, you must do your homework in choosing an interventionist. Look for someone with a solid track record and professional credentials. Usually, the rehab you are choosing has a couple of people that they like to use or refer to. The important part is that you find someone sufficiently qualified to lead the intervention and effectively motivate your loved one.
I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.
While the above may seem difficult emotionally, there are only a few actual steps. Getting a loved one into rehab is not always an easy feat. It is important to remember, though, that professional treatment is critical to the addict’s regaining a healthy life, free from substance abuse. If you don’t give it your all and do everything you can get help for your loved one, you will have to live with the results which can be tragic.
Whether you have a one-on-one conversation, consult with a doctor/professional, stage a family intervention, or bring in a professional interventionist, there are a few key points to remember:
- Approach the addict out of love.
- Treat rehab like a solution, not a punishment.
- Research treatment centers in advance and go in with a plan.
- Once committed, don’t wait to get the loved one into treatment.
- Remember that recovery doesn’t end with rehab.
Above all, remember that most addicts will not be inclined to commit to treatment right away. If you are not successful in your first approach, you can always try another. Your loved one is in a difficult place and will undoubtedly make poor decisions as a result. What they need more than anything is for you to not give up on them, even if they are doing everything they can to push you further away.
Finally, if all else fails, get on the phone with a rehab facility. They deal with similar situations all the time and can help give you guidance and support, as well as point you to support groups and other resources in your area that may be able to help.
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