How to Convince Someone To Go To Rehab
Finding out your loved one has an issue with drug or alcohol abuse is never easy. It can be incredibly painful to see your family or loved one struggle with the effects of addiction, and even more difficult to get them to stop and go to rehab. You might be tempted to drag them into recovery yourself, in an effort to make them get help for substance abuse. Below are several things you should keep in mind when helping a family member check in to rehab.
Never Force Recovery
As painful as it is to watch someone struggle with addiction, it’s virtually impossible to get someone to start rehab unwillingly. If your loved one is in the depths of addiction, convincing them to get help for substance abuse might seem impossible. Although there is a rise in popularity of shows such as A&E’s intervention, it’s important to know one thing: forced recovery doesn’t work.
In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy showed that there are virtually no improved outcomes for people enrolled in compulsory drug treatment programs. What does this mean, exactly? For starters, it means that even people who are court-ordered by a judge to drug treatment programs don’t always have positive outcomes from treatment (i.e., long-lasting sobriety).
You should never force someone to check into rehab, without first setting some ground rules.
Although you can’t force somebody to go to rehab, you can definitely set boundaries for them, such as limiting contact and funds. Boundaries are an important part of any healthy relationship, be it between a mother and child, a couple, or even between friends and siblings. However, when there is a lack of boundaries between you and your loved one that is addicted to substances, this leads to codependency.
Codependency is incredibly common between families of people with substance and alcohol use disorder, and it can be one reason getting your loved one to attend a rehab can be difficult. Your loved one might not respect your decision or your opinions, and due to the codependency, you might find it difficult to force boundaries between your relationship.
Before getting someone the help they need, it’s best to get yourself help also by breaking the codependency in your relationship. A co-dependent relationship can be characterized by things such as:
- Lack of communication
- Increased need for approval
- Lack of emotional insight
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Fear of abandonment
Allow your relationship to heal and start off by setting boundaries. This will make it much easier, in the long run, to gain respect and understanding from your loved one, which will allow them to make the decision to seek treatment for themselves.
Meet them Where they Are
What does this mean, exactly? For starters, everyone is in a different stage of addiction. Some people might have been abusing substances for years, while others might just be in the beginning stage of substance or alcohol use disorder.
Whether your loved one is ready for treatment, denying treatment, or is even in the process of treatment, it’s always best to meet them where they are and support their decisions. It might seem counterintuitive, but meeting someone where they are is an excellent way to build trust in your relationship.
The more trust someone has in you, the better the chances are they will seek help from you before their addiction gets out of hand. It’s important to care for your relationship and meet someone where they are, whether that’s a close friend, a neighbor, or even a client if you are an addiction therapist or recovery specialist. The best thing to do for someone who is hesitant about recovery is simply listen and support them in their recovery journey.
Give Treatment Options
If your loved one is finally convinced to check into rehab, it’s important to inform them of the different types of treatment options they have available. There are a variety of different treatment options for recovery, including:
- Medical detoxification
- Inpatient rehab
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP)
- Outpatient treatment
- Sober living arrangements
Depending on your loved one’s treatment goals, all of these options are excellent choices to help someone along their road to recovery. For instance, if your loved one has already completed an inpatient program, but now wants more help due to fear of relapse, don’t force them into inpatient treatment again. Instead, look for other options such as intensive outpatient treatment, which can be just as effective as inpatient treatment on sobriety outcomes.
By listening to your loved one’s needs and allowing them to make the decision for their right recovery program, you can rest assured they’ll get the help they need in one way, shape, or form.
Do Not Guilt Them
One of the most important parts of getting someone to start rehab is to not guilt trip them into attending a recovery program. By making someone feel negatively about themselves, this can backfire and, in turn, worsen their drug abuse or feelings of depression.
If you’re having trouble communicating with your loved one without getting angry, consider going to couples counseling or seeing a therapist. They can help you find ways to help your loved one without using guilt or anger as a means of convincing them to get help.
Instead, using effective communication skills, positive reinforcement, and unconditional positive regard are some of the best ways to convince your loved one to get help and attend rehab. Unconditional positive regard means you will be there to support your loved one through their recovery process, no matter how difficult or long it may be.
Take Time and Have Patience
It takes strength to start the recovery process and go to rehab, and it’s never an easy feat. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to make sure you’re doing the best you can in helping your loved one get the help they need without forcing them into recovery that will simply be ineffective. It’s important to remain patient, continue to try to help your loved one with support, and talk to professional counselors and therapists if necessary.