Helping A Loved One Get Treatment For Drug And Alcohol Abuse

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Drug and alcohol abuse can be challenging to detect early on, and convincing a loved one to get professional treatment can be daunting but it is possible. The key is to be frank, strong and heedful of his or her feelings. When voicing concerns, do not downplay the seriousness of them or allow personal feelings to suppress the truth.

Handling and Revealing the Truth About A Loved Ones Drug and Alcohol Abuse

While the truth may hurt; it has to be addressed with your loved one. Unfortunately, countless toxins cloud addicts’ mind and suppress their ability to use good judgment, so they may be incapable of handling the truth, let alone using it to better themselves. Consequently, many will reject the truth and be contentious, but remember that there is always hope for them, their future and the family that is suffering as well.

The Two-Step Confrontation About Drug and Alcohol Abuse

When confronting a loved one about their substance abuse, remember to act out of concern, compassion, support and in a nonjudgmental way. It is imperative to understand that timing can be essential at helping your loved one hear your concerns. Take the time to approach him or her at the most opportune moment and then do all the following:


Every addict suffering from drug and alcohol abuse is different, but all individuals suffering from addiction are vulnerable and dealing with intense emotions.  Start by explaining to your loved one that you are concerned for their health and that you want to offer your love and support but cannot condone the current behavior.  Let your loved one know how much their drug and alcohol abuse is affecting the family and their network of friends.

Introduce the idea of getting treatment

Once the loved one has been confronted about their drug and alcohol abuse, there is no turning back. Explain to your loved one that safe, effective professional treatment that is available–specifically say why it would be best for their overall health and well-being. The idea of getting treatment can be overwhelming for the person to accept so don’t be discouraged if they out rightly reject the idea.

The Final Decision & The Contributing Factors

The final decision is for the loved one to make as only he or she can take that extra step toward recovery. The one way that family and friends can influence the final decision is by showing unconditional love, advice and support. You may need to draw a line however, and you’re your loved one that while you will always love and support them, you cannot participate in condoning this behavior.  Regardless of the route that is chosen, the person suffering from drug and alcohol abuse should understand that you are not threatening them or forcing them into treatment.  Treatment is most effective when a person chooses to go by themselves.

Understand that substance abuse is a disease that adversely affects the mind, body and spirit. Therefore, the loved one will likely go through several denial phases before coming to the realization that getting professional drug and alcohol abuse treatment is best. For family and friends, watching the loved one go through such phases will be difficult, but remember that treatment can ultimately give a loved one back their life.