Family members of individuals struggling with addiction often wonder if they can do anything to help.
The answer is emphatically yes!
Family and friends often play a pivotal roll in motivating their loved ones to seek help for their addiction. In fact, recent research shows that as few as 3% of those who get help for their addiction are self-motivated to seek help. The vast majority of people who seek help do so because of outside factors, like the influence of a family member or loved one. Here are some simple but important guidelines on how to help your loved one take that first step toward recovery.
Wait until he/she is sober. No matter what just happened, confronting someone when they are drunk or high is a bad idea. Better to wait until everyone is sober, calm and in a relatively good mood.
Don’t accuse, illuminate. Making accusations only puts people on the defensive. Instead, approach the conversation from your own experience. “Your drinking makes me feel . . . “ or “When you are high, our kids say that you . . .” Strive to communicate to your loved one how their addictive behavior is hurting the people they love. But make sure you do so with compassion, not anger.
Patience and Persistence are key. Sometimes a loved on who is struggling needs to let your words soak in. Don’t get discouraged if they don’t respond right away. Be patient and keep trying.
See it through. When they are ready, help them make the call for help. 217-224-6300. Drive them to their first appointment, work out the details with them. Do whatever it takes to let them know they are not alone.
Helping a loved one struggling with addiction is never easy. But really, truly loving someone never is. I hope this helps you start that hard conversation.