Seeking Treatment for a Loved One
People often struggle with admitting a loved one has a substance use disorder. Even if you already recognize that your loved one needs help to cope with their substance use, talking to them about getting treatment may feel like a daunting task.
No matter how your loved one reacts when you bring up treatment, remember that they may not accept they have a problem or may be afraid of seeking treatment and what treatment will involve. However, if you share your life with a loved one whose substance use disorder causes stress and harm to both of you, you need to seek help to restore both of your lives.
Do They Need Help?
It can be tough to decide whether a loved one needs help with their substance use. However, you might notice trends in the person’s substance use that serve as warning signs:
What is Dual Diagnosis?
Your loved one uses the substance so often that their body has gotten used to always having it. Without the substance, the person might be irritable, anxious, or have other symptoms of not feeling well. These signs of withdrawal can show up as minor or severe.
Your loved one may have started taking more of the substance to get the same effect they used to. They also may have started noticing that they do not get the same effect from their usual amount of use. If your loved one keeps increasing the amount they use, this may warn you they need help.
You may notice that your loved one will do things to get or use a substance that may put them in harm’s way. They may also use the substance in places where it might cause serious problems. If you notice the person seems to be taking reckless risks for drugs or alcohol, they may need help.
Where Do We Start?
The best place to start is a long and serious conversation with your loved one. Convincing someone to seek treatment if they feel unwilling can seem like an impossible task. However, your loved one may have some idea how much harm they have caused with their substance use disorder.
An honest conversation helps everyone clear the air and understand why you are encouraging them to seek treatment. If your loved one consents to treatment, the next step can involve looking for a facility where your loved one will feel comfortable and where you can help participate in their treatment process.
How Do We Choose the Best Treatment?
People with a loved one in treatment may look for a treatment facility that lets them spend time with their loved one and seek some help for themselves. The best programs will offer family therapy to help mend family wounds and time for families to come together and spend with their loved ones in a comfortable, friendly setting.