“What do I say to my loved one who needs treatment?” At Spirit Mountain Recovery, this is one of the most often asked questions we get from mothers, fathers, wives, siblings and grandparents in a family suffering from the effects of drug or alcohol addiction.
Being able to say the right thing that motivates a person to seek treatment is not easy. Unfortunately, it oftentimes doesn’t work. But accepting that fact should provide you with some much needed relief, because trying to control the uncontrollable just doesn’t work.
Remember: Someone struggling with drug addiction isn’t thinking logically or reasonably. They are under the influence of powerfully addictive substances and need help. The help they need is professional help. Family members or significant others around them are not qualified to guide them through recovery. We understand that and our guests confirm that fact to us.
Before exploring this very frustrating situation of trying to get your loved one to commit to drug rehabilitation, let’s first ask this very basic question: “Should I even be trying to get them to engage in treatment?”
The short answer is yes. There is no need to wait until they hit “rock bottom.” It is likely that your loved one has already hit a bottom and likely a number of previous bottoms.
Rock bottoms are hard to measure and every rock bottom involves considerable pain and suffering to the person afflicted and their family. Also, waiting for a rock bottom is a very dangerous thing to do in this age of illicit drugs often spiked with deadly other substances.
So What Can Be Done?
There is a lot of advice out there on how to deal with this issue of getting your loved one to engage in drug treatment, but no easy or consistent answer. The success anyone will have getting anyone to engage in treatment will depend to a great degree on whether the person suffering realizes or admits they have a problem and whether they are willing to commit themselves to the recovery process.
Aside from someone willing to go to treatment, even reluctantly, what I can tell you from my experience is that there is no amount of incentivizing, bargaining, bribing, cajoling, shaming or logic that works if your badly addicted loved one is unwilling to go to treatment.
There is no amount of forcing them to go, but there are some things you can do that will make it increasingly clear to them what you will or won’t do unless they engage drug treatment; Some personal bottom lines they need to come to know about you. Ideally, your loved one will commit to an inpatient drug treatment, which is critical in the initial recovery from addiction.
The Advice of Spirit Mountain Recovery’s Solidly Recovered Peer Support Staff
When asking Spirit Mountain’s Peer Support Staff what a family member or significant other could have said to them that might have had them going to drug treatment sooner, their responses are very enlightening. These are guys who had heard all the pleading and begging from family members and loved ones to try to get them to seek treatment.
The following is a summary of Spirit Mountain’s Peer Support Staff’s advice to parents who are most often enabling them to remain “acting out” or actively engaged in their addiction:
1. Please say no to me when I ask to live, eat and hang out at home as if nothing was wrong with my drug use. Say no to any requests I make for money. I can’t trust myself. It will very likely go to purchasing drugs. When I do ask for support, say to me in a loving way, “I will ONLY support helping you find and be able to afford a Residential, Day or Intensive Outpatient drug treatment program.”
2. It will be near impossible to deal with me while I am high on my drug of choice. Chances for a meaningful discussion on engaging treatment won’t be my priority. Sorry I can’t help myself.
3. When you do catch me in a lucid moment, please realize that “recovery talks” with family most likely will not work. The conversation I need to hear should be from professionals who work in the field of drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Please refer me to them.
4. Seeing an Interventionist could work. I love it that my family thinks this could help me.
5. If I do commit to try residential treatment, please help me find a safe, comfortable, highly personalized environment where I can be with a staff that gets me. A place where they can help me get a reprieve from the abysmal loneliness and dysfunction of my current life. To be shown a more genuine solution for my life than the one I am currently living.
Spirit Mountain Recovery is Here to Help!
We are one of the most remarkable substance use and co-occurring mental health disorder treatment centers in the United States. Recovering from drug addiction on the side of a mountain in the beautiful Ogden Valley of Utah is extremely effective. We are staffed by an amazingly knowledgeable medical, clinical and Peer Support Staff, and are fully licensed by the State of Utah and accredited by The Joint Commission (JCAHO).
Contact us today to speak to an admissions counselor about your loved one.