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How to Get Someone You Care About to Get Addiction Help

I recently read an article about ‘enabling’ people who do drugs. According to the article, family members are most likely to actually keep someone they care about addicted instead of getting them the addiction help they need. Why, because the addicts play on their emotions. And, as the author of the article pointed out, addicts are very good at doing that.

An interventionist who grew up in a family of alcoholics was featured in the article. The family had a TV in every room and the mother was an avid reader. They used TV and reading to escape uncomfortable situations – as long as they were watching TV or reading, they didn’t have to interact with others.

Computers and other digital tools can, and do, serve the same purpose.

As a teenager, the interventionist found that lying, deflecting blame, postponing his schoolwork and avoiding his chores also helped him not have to face up to the discomfort, but by his mid-teens he was following in his family’s footsteps even more aggressively – he took his first drink when he was 15 and within two weeks had also smoked marijuana and taken LSD. Needless to say, this interventionist is also a recovering addict.

In his experience, he found that family members often feel too sympathetic and guilty to really help the person. They can’t face up to the emotions that unravel when they try to get the person to stop, if they try at all.

In fact, they can’t even confront getting the help of an interventionist. For example, only one in ten of the families who can afford intervention actually get it – despite the fact that intervention has a 90% success rate.

Oddly enough, the unwillingness or inability to face up to uncomfortable situations is also what makes intervention so successful: “An addict goes into treatment for one reason, and one reason only,” said the article. “Because at that moment, going into treatment is less uncomfortable than not.”

I know what it’s like to live with addiction and, believe me, in the end it’s a lot more difficult than insisting – even if it has to be done by intervention – that the person gets into drug rehab. Making sure they get the addiction help they need is temporarily uncomfortable, but it does get them off drugs! They will thank you for it, and you will not regret it. You may even save their life.

If you need help getting someone you care about to get off drugs, call Addiction Help Services. Our experienced counselors will help you get them to get the help they need.

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