Denial is a key aspect of drug and alcohol addiction that creates a blockade between the individual and help. As the loved one of someone suffering from addiction, you know how important it is for them to get help, but you may not know what you can do to help them seek the professional assistance they need. Pleading and reasoning doesn’t usually work, but there are other ideas you can try.
Remember that there is no way for you to make someone, especially an individual suffering from an addiction, do something. Instead of trying to push and prod them, remain calm and attempt to help motivate them to get help.
Disagreeing with or arguing with the individual will not help the situation. Instead of making statements of fact like “You need help,” or “You need to change your behavior,” ask open ended questions to get the individual thinking about the situation. These questions will hopefully help the individual to realize that they have a problem. Showing concern is ok, but don’t let these feelings overwhelm you or control the conversation.
For a person to change their lifestyle for the better, they will need to take responsibility for their actions and decisions. Avoid enabling an individual by stopping any actions that help or hinder them. Also avoid giving advice until they are receptive and open to hear it. This advice will probably upset and offend them, pushing them further towards their negative actions.
To save your sanity and reduce the pain and stress that comes along with continuing a relationship with an individual addicted to drugs or alcohol, set firm boundaries for yourself. Let them know what these boundaries are and do not change your mind when it comes to these limits, no matter how much they plead with you.
Provide support for your loved one, but remember to protect your sanity as well. When they are ready for help or if you are in need of someone to talk to, contact Melissa Babiarz LMHC at 716-572-8677.