Addiction can happen to anyone at any time. If you find that your loved one is suffering from addiction, you may feel compelled to do something to help them. Consider when it would be an appropriate time to intervene and what steps you may want to take beforehand, including allowing them to realize the consequences of their addiction. With this being said, the care you show for your loved one may be the nudge they need to take action and get help. Until they can admit that they need help and show a willingness to change, there are a limited number of things that can be done to help them. However, there are still ways that you can share your concerns and show support in a meaningful way.
How Do I Share My Concerns With My Loved One?
Addiction affects not only the individual with the condition but also their family members and friends who love them. The power of addiction intervention comes from a place of intense compassion and concern for the individual who is suffering. The process of expressing your concerns can be challenging and seem overwhelming, but unconditional compassion may help your loved one to acknowledge their problem.
Remember when expressing your concerns to your loved one that they are ultimately the one responsible for their recovery, including showing a willingness to change, seeking treatment, and maintaining long-term sobriety. Some may conclude that change is necessary on their own, but many may need to experience several behavioral consequences before they fully recognize their lifestyle is unsustainable.
While expressing your concerns verbally to your loved one, avoid threatening or shaming language. Expect defensiveness or hesitation to come from your loved one, as individuals who have yet to see their addiction as a severe issue may be in total denial. Try to speak from a place solely of compassion and concern. Instead of continuing a difficult conversation, let it go and converse with other concerned family members. If your loved one is receptive to your concerns, ask if they would be willing to seek professional help.
Consider the following four strategies when trying to get your loved one the help they need.
#1. Try to Write A Letter
Before having a conversation with your loved one, try writing a letter to get out all of your thoughts and concerns. You can address it either to yourself or your loved one. You may never want your loved one to even read this letter, but simply by giving yourself a place to express your frustrations and concerns in a healthy manner, you will be more conscious about how you express yourself constructively.
#2. Recognize and Express Warning Signs You See In Your Loved One
Another way you can intervene in your loved one’s addiction is by recognizing potential warning signs that could lead them into further distress. Oftentimes addicted individuals will spend large amounts of money on their substance of choice, isolate themselves, spend more time in destructive social settings, or become closed off to opportunities that arise in their life. Because you are able to see your loved one’s life from a clearer perspective, you may recognize some of the warning signs that they exhibit as their addiction becomes more severe. You can become more educated on the disease of addiction during this process as well. You may learn different ways to surface concerning topics or be able to empathize with your loved one in a new way.
#3. Try Your Best to Stay Involved in Their Life
One of the factors that lead individuals to addiction and substance use includes feelings of loneliness or unworthiness. Recognize your loved one’s need for social connection and reach out to them. We understand that this can be difficult, especially if you have personally experienced some of the consequences of your loved one’s addiction. Keep in mind that, although the connection is important for success with your loved one’s recovery, you must also prioritize your own mental wellness. If your loved one is draining your energy and not listening to your concerns, acknowledge when to step back. If your loved one does become involved in recovery programs, stay up-to-date on their treatment process. You may be able to visit their treatment center or send a care package if allowed.
#4. Set Boundaries With Your Loved One
While support is essential in recovery, it is crucial that you set healthy boundaries to protect the relationship you have with your loved one as well as the relationship you have with yourself. If your loved one refuses to seek help, set boundaries for the relationship and does not enable them so long as they are continuing to use substances. You may need to cut off contact if you are experiencing personal distress with your emotional well-being. Your loved one must want to change in order for recovery to begin. The best thing that you can do for them before they experience treatment is to express your love and care for them. You can be a cheerleader from a distance if necessary.
Knowing whether or not to intervene in your loved one’s addiction can be a difficult decision to make. You want your loved one to meet their endless potential, although they have become stuck in the cycle of addiction. They may need the nudge from you in order to understand their need for treatment. Either way, the only way that your loved one will change begins with accepting their need for change. You may want to express warning signs that may be present or try your best to stay involved in their life. You will know when to intervene based on their willingness to change as well as how receptive they are to your concerns. West Coast Recovery Centers understands your frustration and concerns about your loved one. We offer intensive services for mental health and addiction recovery treatment. For more information about the services we offer, give us a call at (760) 492-6509.