When a family member is struggling with their addiction to substance abuse, it can be a very challenging and difficult experience. Addiction doesn’t pick and choose who it would prefer to strike. As a result, you might find that your brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, or even your own parents may be addicted to some form of substance abuse. When this happens, you may not know how to approach them about the situation or how to even address the topic. It’s natural for you to worry about them, but life never prepares anyone for these kinds of circumstances, so you may not know what to say to them about their addiction.
What you can do is approach it from a perspective that you may be already comfortable with. This is a loved one in your family. You love them very much and only want the best for them. You have probably spent many years together and have been through many different milestones in your life together. You don’t want drugs and alcohol to take that away from both of you. You don’t want to watch your loved one waste their life away by using drugs or struggling with alcoholism, because you already know that the more they continue to use these substances, the less they will be like the person that you used to know. Instead of walking away from the situation, you might want to try to get them interested in rehab.
Tell them how much you care about them and that while you would like to be able to help them on your own, you know that you cannot. They need help from professionals. They need to be around likeminded people who are struggling with the same insecurities and problems. They need to be around counselors and healthy environments that will prevent them from getting into further drug and alcohol abuse. You can’t do this on your own because you can’t be with your loved one to watch out for them 24/7. If they were to join rehab program, this wouldn’t be so much of a problem because they would be surrounded by people and methods that would keep them sober.
Don’t make rehab seem like a punishment or that you are disappointed in them. Avoid seeming preachy or judgmental. You don’t want to make your loved one feel worse than they already may have realized. The goal here is to make them realize that there is hope and help for them. Remind them of how much you love them and that you would do almost anything you could to help them out. Explain to them that the best way you can help them is to get them referred to the rehab program. Tell them that you will even go to the meetings and other required events with them if it will help them to get more involved with a rehab program in their area.