Is someone in your family struggling with addiction? Talking to a family member about substance use disorders can be a difficult conversation to have. But hoping that the problem will resolve itself is not enough — seeking professional help is the only way your loved one can begin their journey toward the recovery process. And often, the best place for recovery is an addiction treatment center.
Suggesting that your family member might benefit from a substance abuse treatment center can be done in a productive and meaningful way — if you keep an open mind. Here are some tips that can help guide you while you talk to your loved one about the possibility of finding a treatment center.
Before jumping into a conversation about treatment centers, take some time to prepare. Research the treatment centers’ programs and the process that your loved one might go through while in treatment. Having all your information ready beforehand will make it easier for you to explain what rehab involves and how it can help your family member. In addition, preparation will help you decide if you’d like to involve other people in this process or if you will have a one-on-one conversation.
Choose a Time and Place Wisely
Choosing a private location where you can have a meaningful conversation without interruption or distractions is vital. Look for an ideal time when your family member is calm and open-minded. Avoid bringing up the subject when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, overly tired, or otherwise preoccupied with work or school issues. If this isn’t possible due to distance or other circumstances, consider scheduling a phone or video call instead of waiting until you are together in person.
Be Honest and Open
Once you start talking, keep the conversation honest and open but always respectful. Your words should aim to reduce any feelings of guilt or shame that might prevent the person from seeking treatment while staying firm on why rehab may be beneficial. Avoid blaming language such as “you need…” which could make them feel attacked rather than understood. However, don’t shy away from expressing your concerns, including how their choices affect you or other family members.
Avoid Judgment or Criticism
The reasons that people develop substance use disorders can be extremely personal. Some people struggling with substance abuse deal with co-occurring mental health conditions, which can be hard to manage. Others use substances to escape traumatic memories or difficult life circumstances.
Many substance abuse support groups and therapy sessions have a “judgment-free zone” policy to ensure people can truly speak their minds. Keep this in mind while you talk with your loved one about their drug or alcohol addiction. Don’t judge, criticize, make assumptions, jump to conclusions, or interrupt them. Instead, let them truly say what they want to say about their experience without interjecting your thoughts and opinions.
Offer Support and Encouragement
Whether you’re simply bringing up the idea of treatment programs or strongly suggesting that your family member attend a treatment center, it’s important to be supportive and encouraging. The person you’re talking to will feel better about seeking help from experienced health professionals if they know you are rooting for them and supporting their long-term recovery.
While being supportive and encouraging, remind your loved one that you have a realistic approach. Let it be known that you don’t have any assumptions about their progress in treatment, and offer to support them when they are dealing with withdrawal symptoms, cravings, or other health conditions caused by substance abuse.
Care for Yourself, Too
Trying to convince a loved one to attend treatment programs for substance abuse can take a lot of time and energy. Watching your family struggle with a substance abuse problem can be frustrating and frightening. Be gentle with yourself during this process, and make sure to take time to care for yourself as needed. It may be helpful to read through resources made for family members of people with SUDs (substance use disorders) or seek mental health care for yourself during this difficult time.
Get Started Getting Help
To help a family member dealing with substance abuse or to get help yourself, contact Silver Pines Treatment Center anytime. We provide compassionate, caring treatment for individuals and families affected by substance abuse disorders.
To schedule treatment or to get other answers to questions related to substance abuse, contact us online now or dial 267.719.8689. We’re here to help, no matter what.