Addiction is tragic. It damages more than the individual. It effects friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and most importantly, it hurts family members. When addicts fall deeper and deeper into the grasp of a drug, it might feel easy to give up on them. Is there anything you can do to persuade them to seek help? Yes, there is! You can’t force people to change, but you can help them see that they want to change. Here are eight tips for convincing addicts to seek help.
This can be hard, especially when there can be so much damage surrounding an addict. When talking to your loved one, choose to use “I” phrases to express your feelings. For example, saying, “You are always drunk, and then you miss work and special occasions,” can make a person feel like they are under attack. Instead, rephrase it to say, “I feel sad when you can’t get to work on time or be at special occasions because of the alcohol.” It will draw the line between the addiction and the addict; “I love you, but I don’t love your addiction.”
Act, Don’t React
This is probably the most important advice I can give to someone, no matter what the situation is. We are all human, and when we feel threatened, our initial response is to react. This might come in the form of yelling, saying harsh things, throwing items, or doing something we might regret later. If you truly want to help an addict recover from an addiction, do it with preparation, thought, and love. Don’t demand that they get help in the heat of the moment. Instead, take a few days to think things over and devise a plan. Never react to a situation.
Watching someone close to you suffer from an addiction is incredibly heartbreaking and painful. It can quickly take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. You need to be in your best health, so don’t forget to take care of yourself during the process. Talk to a professional on what approach you can take that will be safe and guide your loved one to seek help. Speaking to someone outside of the situation will give you an unbiased perspective and prepare you for when you approach the addict. After speaking to a professional, get support from close friends and relatives. They can be there for both you and the addict.
When I was an addict, I didn’t feel loved. My self-esteem was the lowest it had ever been. I hated myself and felt undeserving of anyone’s love. Showing that you genuinely care can be a huge push in the right direction. Knowing that someone was there to support me no matter what gave me the courage to get the help I needed.
This won’t be easy, but prepare your case. List everything that the addiction has affected. Was there a job loss? Were crimes committed? Are bills being paid? Are children involved? Are relationships broken? Write it all down. When I realized I wasn’t only affecting myself, I knew that my choices were unfair to those around me.
Write Them a Letter
A letter is a wonderful way to avoid conflict and fighting. You can express your emotions and exactly how you feel without the fear of getting the door slammed in your face. It is alright to list the effects of the addiction, but try to keep the letter positive. Focus on what life was like before and how wonderful the future can be.
Create a Plan With Them
If your loved one is open to talking, sit down and talk about getting help. Provide recovery resources, success stories, therapist information, helpful phone apps, and a list of websites. Don’t make any quick decisions, but instead, let the addict use the resources you provided to make their own decisions and plans.
Don’t Give Up
Don’t give up just yet. An addiction can be conquered. Letting your loved one know that you refuse to quit will give them the reassurance of your constant support. As you come prepared with a positive attitude, a plan, a firm voice, and a sensitive spirit, you can show an addict that you take the situation serious. Don’t quit until you give it one more try; I am where I am today because someone didn’t give up on me.