Healing Together: How to Get a Loved One into Treatment

Get a Loved One into Treatment
Table of Contents

Addiction and mental health struggles affect not just the individual, but the entire family. If you have a loved one fighting addiction or mental health issues, you understand the emotional toll it can take. However, convincing someone to get help can be challenging. In this blog, we’ll explore how to get a loved one into treatment and important considerations along the way.

Why Do People Resist Getting Help for Addiction and Mental Health?

Maybe you’re struggling with addiction and wondering, “Can they make me go to rehab?” Or perhaps you’re not sure how to get a loved one into rehab. Seeking help isn’t always easy, and encouraging someone to do so can be just as difficult. So, why do some of us avoid getting the support we need? Common reasons include:

  • Fear: Many of us fear the unknown or worry about what treatment might entail. Fear of judgment or the stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues can also hold us back.
  • Denial: Some of us may not fully recognize or accept the severity of our problem. We might believe we can handle it on our own or that it’s not as serious as others suggest. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 94% of people with a substance use disorder did not receive any treatment in 2021. And nearly all of the people didn’t think they needed treatment.
  • Stigma: There’s a lot of stigma surrounding addiction and mental health, which can make us hesitant to seek help. We may worry about how others will perceive us, or fear being labeled as “weak” or “broken.”
  • Lack of Awareness: Not everyone is aware of the available resources or treatment options. It’s common to not realize that help is out there or how to access it.
  • Financial Limitations: In 2022, cost-related issues (no insurance, out-of-pocket costs) prevented 37% from getting mental health care and 31% from receiving substance abuse care.
  • Loss of Control: The idea of surrendering control can be frightening for some. We may worry about losing our independence or having others dictate our treatment.

Understanding these reasons can help us approach our loved ones with empathy and support as they navigate their journey toward healing. 

What Is Rehab?

Rehab, short for rehabilitation, is a structured program designed to help individuals struggling with addiction or mental health issues. It’s a supportive environment where they can focus on recovering and getting better.

In rehab, there are different kinds of therapies and activities to help with various issues. Rehab can help with problems like drug or alcohol abuse. It provides a safe place to detoxify from substances and learn new ways to cope with their problems without relying on drugs or alcohol.

For mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or trauma, rehab offers psychotherapy and holistic treatment. These sessions help you better understand your feelings and teach you how to manage them in healthier ways. Sometimes, rehab also includes medication management for mental health conditions.

Rehab isn’t just about treating the symptoms — it’s about addressing the root causes of addiction or mental health problems. It teaches skills for coping with stress, dealing with triggers, and building a support system for long-term recovery.

Rehab can take place in different settings, like residential facilities where people stay for a set period of time, or outpatient programs where they attend sessions during the day and go home or back to sober living homes at night. The length of rehab varies depending on individual needs and the severity of the issues.

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Can I Force Someone to Go to Rehab?

If you’re wondering how to get someone into rehab or how to get a loved one to go to therapy, you’re clearly worried about their well-being. But can you force them to go? While it’s natural to want to intervene, the answer isn’t straightforward. In most cases, individuals must willingly choose to enter rehab for it to be effective. However, there are some situations where legal mechanisms allow for involuntary commitment, especially if the person poses a severe danger to themselves or others.

If you’re trying to get a family member into rehab, it’s crucial to seek guidance from professionals who can assess the situation and provide guidance on the best course of action. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage your loved one to seek help voluntarily while ensuring their safety and well-being.

Before You Start

Having a conversation with a loved one about addiction can be challenging, but proper preparation can make it more productive. Here are some tips to consider before starting the discussion:

  • Educate Yourself: Take the time to learn about addiction and mental health disorders. Understanding the nature of these conditions can help you approach the conversation with empathy and insight.
  • Speak with a Professional: Consult with a therapist, counselor, or addiction specialist for guidance. They can offer valuable advice on how to approach the situation and provide resources for support. This is especially important when it comes to getting mental help for a family member.
  • Establish Goals: Determine what you hope to accomplish from the conversation. Whether it’s encouraging your loved one to seek treatment or setting boundaries, having clear goals can help guide the discussion.
  • Choose a Good Time and Place: Find a quiet and private setting where you can have an open and honest conversation without interruptions. Choose a time when both you and your loved one are calm and receptive.
  • Allow Plenty of Time: Addiction conversations can be emotional and complex, so it’s essential to allow enough time for discussion. Avoid rushing the conversation and be prepared to listen patiently to your loved one’s perspective.
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Tips for Talking to a Loved One About Treatment

Interventions are often thought of as the best way to get someone into treatment. However, they can be a lot to coordinate. Often, a simple conversation with just the two of you can be as helpful. Part of knowing how to get a loved one into treatment is knowing how to discuss the subject. It’s essential to approach the conversation with care and sensitivity. Here are some tips:

  • Express Empathy and Concern: Begin the conversation by expressing your love and concern for their well-being. Let them know that you care about their health and want to support them in their journey toward recovery.
  • Use “I” Statements: Focus on expressing your own thoughts and feelings using “I” statements. For example, instead of saying “You need to go to rehab,” you could say, “I’m worried about your health, and I think rehab could help you.”
  • Listen Actively: Allow your loved one to share their thoughts and feelings without interruption. Practice active listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding in understanding, and summarizing what they’ve said to show that you’re engaged and empathetic.
  • Avoid Judgment and Blame: Don’t criticize or blame your loved one for their behavior. Instead, focus on understanding their perspective and offering support without passing judgment.
  • Provide Information and Resources: Offer information about treatment options and resources available to them. This could include rehab facilities, support groups, therapy options, and hotlines they can contact for assistance.
  • Explore Their Concerns and Hesitations: Take the time to understand any concerns or hesitations your loved one may have about treatment. Validate their feelings and address any questions or fears they may have.
  • Encourage Collaboration: Approach the conversation as a collaborative effort rather than a confrontation. Let your loved one know that you’re there to support them and work together to find the best solution for their needs.
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Be realistic about what you can expect from the conversation. Recovery is a journey, and it may take time for your loved one to come to terms with the idea of seeking treatment.

What Should You Not Say When Trying to Get Someone into Rehab?

While your intentions may be good, certain phrases or approaches can be counterproductive when encouraging someone to seek treatment. Avoid:

  • Ultimatums: Threatening or forcing your loved one into treatment may create resentment and resistance.
  • Minimizing Their Experience: Dismissing their struggles or belittling their feelings can further alienate them.
  • Comparisons or Criticism: Avoid comparing your loved one to others or criticizing their past behaviors. Focus on supporting their journey forward.

Helping Loved Ones with Addiction Treatment at Aliya Health Group

Getting a loved one into treatment requires patience, empathy, and understanding. At Aliya Health Group, that’s exactly how we approach providing treatment. We provide a wide range of evidence-based treatments to meet the needs of each client as they start on the path to long-term success. Whether recovering from alcoholism, drug addiction, polysubstance abuse, or co-occurring mental health disorders, we have a program that can help.

Our recovery centers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, and Washington State offer addiction treatment programs including medical detox, residential inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services.

Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Contact us today to begin the recovery journey and foster healing for the entire family.

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