Watching someone demonstrate the unmistakable signs of an addiction to alcohol or drugs, especially in the case of a relapse, is frustrating and frightening. You do not have to wait until your loved one hits bottom before getting help — in fact, growing evidence indicates that early intervention prevents the most serious consequences, which can include overdose and death. Here is what to do when a loved one is addicted to alcohol or drugs.
Acknowledge the Problem
Avoiding the problem will only prolong it; instead, gently confront your loved one when he or she is sober. Cite specific examples of questionable behavior, and show any evidence you may have found. Do not back down or allow your loved one to convince you that substance abuse is not a problem. Be prepared for denial, accusations, lies, and excuses. Do not make threats.
Ask for Help
Although you might feel alone, millions of people in the United States alone are addicted to alcohol or drugs. That means millions more loved ones deal with the stress of substance abuse every day — and you do not have to handle the consequences of your loved one’s addiction alone. The addiction treatment facility at Clarity Way helps families of people addicted to alcohol and drugs every day learn more about the nature of addiction, as they heal their relationships with their struggling loved ones, including scheduling an intervention.
Schedule an Intervention
Clarity Way partners with many of the most respected interventionists in the field to help you convince your loved one to seek treatment. During intervention, people close to the struggling person confront that person about the damages caused by substance abuse. Your interventionist will plan and lead the intervention with your help; if it is successful, the interventionist will lead your loved one into the live-in addiction rehab center at Clarity Way. If the intervention is not successful, your interventionist will help you proceed along the path that is healthiest for you and your supportive family members.
Separating the myths from the realities of substance abuse is essential when convincing your loved one to get help. Your loved one, trapped deep in the web of addiction, may beg for forgiveness or promise to quit using but be unable to fulfill those promises. Keep in mind that involuntary treatment is just as likely to be successful as voluntary treatment. In addition, just because your loved one tried treatment before that does not mean a future attempt will not be successful. Many people addicted to drugs or alcohol lapse or relapse at some point; do not give up hope.
Most importantly, do not cover up for your loved one or blame yourself for his or her self-destructive behavior. Although watching your loved one struggle with addiction is a great challenge, you have the right to live a healthy lifestyle of your own.