How to Get a Drug User to Rehab
If you’ve ever watched a loved one struggle with drug abuse or addiction, you’ve probably experienced a wide range of powerful emotions, including confusion, sadness, fear, anger and helplessness. Your loved one may seem bent on complete self-destruction, which can be especially frustrating if they were once a healthy, happy and loving individual. They no longer act like their normal self, participate in the activities they once enjoyed or treat their family members with the kindness and love they deserve. You may feel like telling them they just have to stop, but unfortunately this is not usually effective in helping the individual enroll in the rehabilitation treatment they need.
Helping a Drug User
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health has reported that over twenty-three million Americans suffer from drug abuse or addiction problems. Unfortunately, less than eleven percent of these individuals actually enroll in the rehabilitation treatment services they need. One would think that if simply telling the individual they need treatment worked, far more individuals would receive treatment. Obviously, this is not the case, and therefore it’s important to understand exactly what must be done to successfully help a drug user get to rehab.
First, it is important to learn about drugs, addiction and rehabilitation. When you understand the power of addiction, you better understand what your loved one is going through and what will have to occur in order for them to successfully and fully recover. It may be quite possible that your loved one is aware of the destructive effects of drugs, and wishes to be free from them, but unfortunately they simply don’t have the know-how, power or ability to do this on their own.
It is also very important to be hopeful about your loved one’s successful recovery. The journey through rehabilitation treatment to full recovery is often long and hard, and the drug abuser or addict himself will likely want to give up more than once. If you hold out hope that with persistence they can and will reach success, this can drive the individual to continue past the difficulties and challenges they encounter along the way. However, if you also give up hope when your loved one already has little or no personal hope for their recovery, the odds are that rehabilitation treatment will become horribly difficult at best.
Recognize that your loved one is entirely responsibility for the choices that led to their drug abuse or addiction problems. Blaming yourself for these problems will help no one, because it will not lead to any sort of resolution. Even if your loved one himself tries to blame you this is simply another form of denial. That said, it is no more profitable to blame the drug abuser or addict for his drug problems – this requires far more responsibility than they are prepared to take on at this stage. You will have to calmly and firmly present your loved one with the facts about their drug use and the damages it causes, as well as the consequences of continuing their drug use and effective treatment solutions. This is best done with a well-planned intervention meeting.
Interventions are normally staged by a group of the drug abuser or addict’s close family members and friends, and involves confronting the individual with their drug problems so that they break the cycle of denial, admit they need help, and agree to enroll in rehabilitation treatment as soon as possible. Interventions must be well-planned, and should be overseen by a professional interventionist to better ensure a successful outcome. Intervention teams are also highly encouraged to research an appropriate rehabilitation treatment facility and program that can immediately receive the individual following the intervention meeting, so that there is no opportunity for the individual to change their mind.
In some cases, an individual who is presented with the facts about their drug use still refuses to admit that they have a problem or that they need help. Once again, it is very important to hold out hope. Sometimes the individual walks away from an intervention meeting, encounters some of the consequences enforced by their family members and friends, and recognizes that help is ready and waiting. It may take a few days, a few weeks or even a few months, but the individual can come around and request help, at which point you can smoothly assist them with enrolling in rehabilitation treatment.