Considerations When a Helping a Loved One with Substance Abuse Problems

Man helping his friend from substance abuse

If you’re concerned regarding a loved one’s substance abuse problem, it’s important to understand that you can help, but you’re not in control. You can start by demonstrating caring and concern, but don’t force them to quit or get sober. Know that for some individuals with abuse problems, experiencing the consequences of their actions is the only way to recognize their problem and get help.

Drug and alcohol rehab centers in Los Angeles share some helpful considerations when helping others:

Expressing Concern

Expect initial resistance, but don’t be discouraged. It’s also best to anticipate that your loved one may try to joke about their problem, change the topic, or suggest that substance abuse is not that serious.

Problem Sharing

You may expect the person to share some problems they’re experiencing with substance abuse. Keep in mind that these will not get any better unless they do something about their alcohol and other drug abuse.

Talking with compassion

Be sure to talk in a compassionate way instead of simply accusing them. Let them see what you see by saying things like, “I’ve noticed that you have been missing work or classes lately.” If you have a factual knowledge about their problem, you can mention it, but be careful not to be judgmental.

Seek assistance

It’s a good idea to create a suitable plan or refer your loved one to a professional. You can also explore treatment centers that might appeal to them.
Get educated or learn more about addiction, including the signs, treatment approaches, and relapse triggers.

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Feeling Fear

It’s normal for your loved one to feel fear when getting a professional treatment. The best thing you can do is assure them that treatment and rehab centers will keep them safe and comfortable.

If a loved one decides to go into treatment, be sure to offer them ongoing support. You can tell that you admire their courage and support their decision. Moreover, note that triggers will be everywhere, so find ways to encourage your loved one to avoid them. Relapse can also happen, but assure them this is not a failure and encourage them to get additional treatment.