If you have a friend or loved one who is suffering from substance abuse or addiction, the best thing to do is let them they’re not alone. Many times, people don’t seek help because they don’t know where to turn or don’t know how to get help. Encouraging them is often enough to get them to rehab, but sometimes you need to know the right time or in the right way. Here are some things you should (and shouldn’t) to check your friend in or encourage them to go to rehab.
Don’t Bail Them Out
This is a hard one, because you want to be supportive and be there for your friends, but you should also not be bailing them out every time they get in trouble. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for someone is to let them fall. This doesn’t mean you don’t help them if they need the help or let them do dangerous things, but if you get asked to cover up their addiction, lie to someone about their drug or alcohol use, or bail them out of jail, don’t do it. It’s not going to help them.
Be Open and Honest
Communication is essential when you know someone struggling with an addiction problem. Don’t sugar coat the problem or act like it doesn’t bother you. Be honest and upfront about your concerns with their addiction problem and how it negatively affecting them and everyone around them. This is similar to an intervention, but one-on-one conversations are better in the beginning. It gives them a chance to absorb the information without feeling like they have an audience.
Don’t Talk to Them Under the Influence
If your friend is currently under the influence of drugs or alcohol, do not approach them or attempt to has things out. They need to be completely sober for you to have an appropriate conversation about their drinking or drug use. Don’t be pushy, judgmental or give them a reason to react negatively and become overly defensive. Both of you should be in a clear mind when you have these conversations and you should be kind, honest and forthcoming.
Stage an Intervention
If they are still unwilling to admit to their problem or recognize they need to go to rehab, have an intervention with their close friends and relatives. This should be a place where loved ones share how their addiction is affecting them on a personal level, and again, should not appear judgmental.
Offer Your Help
Perhaps your friend admits to thir problem, but doesn’t know what to do next. Be there with them every step of the way, to find a good rehab center and be there when they are released.
Nobody can be forced into rehab unless they are under 18. There is no way to check in your friend to a rehab on your own, but you can encourage them to seek help.