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Getting admitted to rehab is a scary reality for most people. Many shudder at the thought of being away from their family and making such a huge change in their life. Change is scary no matter what, especially the life changing decision to get clean. Communicating to your loved one how essential this change is to maintain their family, future, and health is the best way to encourage your loved one to attend rehab. If they keep going down the path of abusing drugs, there may be no returning from it. Rehab can open their eyes to the reality they are blatantly denying. Getting admitted to a rehabilitation center provides a chance to learn and motivate oneself to become a better person.
Eagerly waiting for them to make up their mind to go to rehab will get you nowhere. Pushing them constantly to attend rehab will make them resent you and never want to go. So, what do you do?
Educating your loved one about rehab will help ease their concerns on what rehab is really like. Sharing stories of other people in their situation that have attended rehab and have made a great recovery will bring them hope to achieve the same success. Educating them on what a typical day in rehab would be like helps them picture themselves in the situation. Bring positive words into the conversation, and try to accentuate activities they will be doing that they enjoy.
Many rehab centers have outdoor adventures such as sports, horseback riding, and even adventure rope courses. If they enjoy these things, make sure they know they will still have the opportunity to participate in these activities, pointing out that rehab isn’t all about sitting around and talking about their issues. The more you can give them information about rehab and the benefits it entails, the more your loved one is likely to feel comfortable about going and less scared of the unknown that the change might bring.
Although information on what rehab is and what attending would be like is extremely important to help show someone the benefits, it isn’t the only topic they need knowledge on. Drug use and its effects might be the most important subject a user should be educated on. Rehab won’t sound appealing if they think their drug use is normal or that it isn’t affecting them on a destructive level. They know drug use isn’t good for them, but do they know how bad it actually is? You need to communicate how detrimental it is to their health and their future. Wake them up to the reality of how much their drug use is affecting them and hopefully something will snap within them.
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The first rule in trying to encourage your loved one to go to rehab is to never push or force them. After communicating the benefits of rehab, check in with them. Ask them open ended questions and let them do the talking.
Examples of questions you can ask are:
How are they feeling about their use?
Take each answer into consideration. This might be an emotional moment for both of you which you can take to get closer to your loved one. Allow them to open up and really feel in this moment. A cry for help may come between the tears and their replies. Form the conversation about what they really want for themselves, bring up going to rehab, and check in with how they are now feeling on the subject. Ask them if this is something they feel would benefit them, and allow them to marinate in the idea. Always give them comfort and support no matter what they decide in that moment.
Be upfront and honest with your loved one about their drug use and how it’s affecting you. They may know they are hurting themselves with each dose, but they not know is how badly it affects you. Show your concern and how much you care about them. Move them with your words and your love, and be completely honest. Tell them you think rehab would be beneficial and that you just want what is best for them in the long run. If you don’t communicate how you are feeling about their decision-making patterns, they will never know, and chances are they won’t think it matters that much to you. Don’t yell or place blame. Just have a heart to heart conversation, and allow your feelings to blend into one decision.
If nothing else works, holding an intervention might help them understand how urgent rehab is. An intervention involves close friends and family members coming together to talk to their loved one who is abusing drugs, with the goal being to get them to check into rehab. Intervention specialists can be called in if you are unsure of how to hold the meeting or how the conversation should be guided. Interventions are not to put blame on the user or members attending, and it is not to be embarrassing for the user, it is solely for everyone to let out their feelings about the drug use and come together to solve a problem. Holding an intervention might be the best bet to encourage your loved one to go to rehab because it truly shows them they have a problem and that so many people are concerned.
No matter what you do to encourage your loved one to go to rehab, keep in mind to never point fingers and always give support. Letting your loved one feel comfortable and supported in their decision means the world to them. They need that push to get out of their comfort zone and take the next step to bettering themselves. Always be by their side, and be their shining light through it all. Eventually, they will realize they need to make a change, it just takes persistence, patience, and love.
Jasmine is the Digital and Social Content Specialist for Recovery Worldwide. She has a deep passion for writing, especially on topics that educate the audience and encourage action towards a healthy life. She hopes her words inspire those in need of help to take that first step in finding the best treatment for their addiction so they can live the life they deserve.