Just about everyone who abuses alcohol or drugs has heard about it from their family or friends who've tried to get them to drink less, quit drinking or drugs altogether, or get help in an alcohol rehab or drug addiction treatment center. Often, however, the advice, suggestions, pleas and demands fall on deaf ears. This is very frustrating for concerned parents and spouses who know the abuser is seriously in need of an alcohol or drug addiction treatment center. What causes this breakdown in communication? And is there anything you can do about it?
First of all, if you haven't figured this out by now, no amount of talking - whispered or screamed, friendly or hostile - is going to get the person to stop even though the addict would usually like nothing better. But he just can't do it. Addiction isn't an incurable brain disease, as some would have you believe, but the horrible symptoms experienced when you need your next drink, pill or fix make it all but impossible to quit on your own. And these symptoms are very real, sometimes even medically dangerous.
Also, if the person quits drinking or taking drugs they will no longer have an escape from whatever drives them to alcohol or drugs in the first place.
Both the withdrawal symptoms and the reasons behind the addiction can be helped in a drug addiction treatment center; your goal is to get them there.
That said, here's a few communication do's and don'ts.
Don't make them feel guilty. It won't help. Chances are they already feel guiltier than you can imagine - despite what they say or do that makes you think otherwise. In fact, their guilt may be one of the reasons they continue.
Don't talk to them about it when they're drunk or high. Get them when they're thinking straight.
Don't get drawn into a screaming match or break down in tears. This can be hard. Someone who's bent on defending their actions - especially when they know they're wrong - can get very argumentative. Maintain your calm or the conversation will end without resolution.
Line up a drug addiction treatment center before you even have the conversation. Have it all arranged, no matter what it takes. You can always call an interventionist if your efforts fail, but having things lined up will enable you to get them there before they change their mind. And they will.
Once they agree to go to an alcohol rehab or drug addiction treatment center, take them there immediately. Day or night. It's pretty much guaranteed that if you go along with waiting until tomorrow, tomorrow will never come. The person will have all kinds of reasons why they can't go to a drug addiction treatment center right now. And you'll be tempted to agree with them - they can't just quit their job without notice, they have to take care of the bills, there's no hurry because they said they'd do it and they will - you'll hear all kinds of things.
What should your reaction be? Don't fall for it, no matter how logical the reasons seem. It isn't that the person isn't trustworthy - they probably are, underneath it all. But as long as they're going to need another drink, another fix, another pill, you can depend on whatever stellar personality traits they have going right out the window. The person is out of control.
When you arrive at the drug addiction treatment center you've chosen, you can make arrangements to handle the reasons the person said they couldn't go. used as After they're checked in, go through those details with them so you can handle any problems that may arise during their absence. You can tell the boss there's an emergency family situation (which there is), handle the bank transfers, bills, and so, on yourself. Just get the information you need.
Last, but not least, realize they might be in the alcohol or drug addiction treatment center for a while. In fact, it could take months. Get help and support from friends and family, whatever you need to cope with it.
This may seem like a lot to handle but, really, consider the alternatives; if you don't do it, things will get worse, not better. And you might even lose them altogether. A good, long-term residential alcohol rehab or drug addiction treatment center can handle their problem, but you have to get them there. Find the best treatment center you can right now, and get things rolling. Your life could be very different, very soon.
Gloria MacTaggart is a freelance writer that contributes articles on health.
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