If you have a loved one who is struggling with a drug use problem, family support for drug addicts in treatment is something that most programs offer. However, it is not always the best idea to plant in someone’s head that they are responsible for someone else’s substance use problems, which is what drug treatment centers often do.
Dealing with a person who has a substance use problem can be difficult and frustrating as you try to convince them to seek help, especially if they are not willing to listen. In some cases, the person wants help but their family is in denial, is unsure how to proceed, nobody knows the best way to bring up the topic, or there may be a breakdown in communication. These are typical concerns that families experience when there is a drug use problem. It’s important to know that the majority of individuals who are successful in overcoming their drug issues do so because they had family support for their treatment.
Approaching a family member who has a drug use problem will take patience and keeping the lines of communication open. Every family is different. While some television programs promote the idea that a confrontational intervention is the way to go, but in many cases, this only drives a wedge between family members, fractures communication, and sometimes drives the loved one deeper into drug use.
Professionals suggest that the more the lines of communication are open and the situation is calm, the more likely that the loved one will accept the help they need. It’s best to avoid accusations, labels or name-calling. A positive approach will promote a positive outcome and may help the entire family address unresolved issues.
It’s also very important to not force a substance user into a problem that has already been ineffective for them. If rehab truly didn’t work for them and they are voicing their concerns that is a red flag. Many people who have been labeled as “drug addicts” are tired of 12 step programs, recovery meetings and therapy. They are ready for a proven solution. Respect a substance users wish if they are truly voicing that they do not want to re-enter the same programs that have failed them before. It may be hard to trust them, but they have been through it enough times to know that they statically don’t provide great results. It’s important to be supportive in their decision making as well.
If your family member is seeking an alternative solution, try researching a non-treatment or non-12 step program. It has been proven that 12 steps lack success. Research has also shown that a residential program is more effective for long term success than an outpatient one. A substance use program that helps people address their choices and behaviors is more effective than one that treats the individual like they are “diseased” and are not in control of their actions.