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Enlightened Solutions’s Blog From Near Atlantic City, New Jersey

how to talk to a loved one

How to Talk to a Loved One About Their Addiction During the Holidays

The holiday season is upon us, and it’s supposed to be a time of fun, joy and reconnecting. Unfortunately, you may have someone in your family who is in desperate need of an addiction treatment facility. Having a loved one who has an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be extremely difficult for a family, and you may not know what to do. While you may want to have a conversation with your loved one during the holidays about how they need help, it’s important to understand the right way to go about it. 

How Addiction Affects the Family

The disease of addiction is extremely powerful, and it takes over the way a person thinks and acts. When someone is caught in the grips of addiction, they prioritize getting drunk or high above everything else. This happens because addiction takes over the part of the limbic system of the brain, which is responsible for survival. As the person continues to drink or use, everything else falls to the wayside. 

Without the help of an addiction treatment center, your loved one may become a shadow version of the person you once knew. Whether it’s your parent, significant other, child or friend, it can be difficult to stay mentally and emotionally well while they’re doing such harmful things to you. They might be lying, cheating and stealing, but it’s important to remember that they’re dealing with a sickness. Those who struggle with addiction are sick people, but they can seem like bad people. 

Although it’s important to empathize with the person who has an addiction, you still need to make your mental and emotional well-being a top priority. This is especially true if you’re a parent. You can’t be useful to your children if you’re allowing your loved one’s addiction to overrun your life. This is why you should seek help to ensure that you’re doing alright up until the point when you’re able to assist your loved one in going to treatment. 

How to Start the Conversation

Again, it’s important to remember that addiction takes over the survival part of the brain. The person believes they need alcohol or drugs in order to survive. This is why people become extremely defensive when discussing addiction treatment when you bring it up. If you bring it up in the wrong way, you may miss your opportunity to get them the help that they so desperately need. 

When starting the conversation, it’s important to take into consideration how long the person has been drinking or using. Addiction is a progressive disease, so those who are in the earlier stages of addiction will be much more open to change. Regardless of how long the person has been in their addiction, one of the best ways to start the conversation is through an informal intervention. 

An informal intervention is when you simply bring up the idea of the person getting help from a  drug detox center. There’s a therapeutic technique called Motivational Interviewing (MI), and this is an extremely beneficial way to have a conversation about the person getting help. Since most people get defensive when you talk to them about a problem they have, MI is designed to help the person come to their own conclusions by asking them the right questions such as: 

  • How would your life change for the better if you got clean and sober?
  • What would you be able to accomplish in your life if you weren’t drinking or using drugs?
  • Have you ever thought about the benefits of going to treatment?

It sounds simple, but it’s extremely effective in some cases. Believe it or not, there are many people who are in their addiction who have never considered getting help. Many people in areas like Camden County, Atlantic County and others want to get clean, but they feel hopeless. Sometimes, all it takes is a loved one to introduce the idea of getting help. 

If They’re Resistant to Getting Help

Those who have a more severe form of addiction may not go to treatment after an informal intervention. At this point, it’s time to have a formal intervention. This is when you sit the person down as a family and give them an ultimatum to get the help they need. This can be a highly emotional situation for everyone involved, so it’s always good to seek the advice of an addiction professional before having a formal intervention. At Enlightened Solutions, we are proud to offer families support in how to have an intervention, and in many cases, are able to provide intervention services.

If you have a loved one in need of a drug detox, allow Enlightened Solutions Detox to help. We help people come off drugs and alcohol safely and comfortably, and we also provide treatment services to help your loved one learn how to live a new life. Our team is available as well to discuss the best ways to help your loved one get help, so give us a call today at 833-233-7336.

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