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Helping Your Loved One Find Addiction Rehab: What You Need to Know

Since addiction can greatly alter a person’s behavior, it can be daunting to approach them about their substance abuse problem. Seeing a loved one go from bad to worse while feeling powerless can be a very difficult experience. Helping your loved one find addiction rehab isn’t usually as simple as just telling them there’s a problem and they need help since most addicts are actively avoiding treatment.

6 Minute Read | Published Sep 10 2023 | Updated Mar 10 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Dr. Ash Bhatt
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Dr. Ash Bhatt
Reviewed by

The Do’s and Don’ts of Helping Your Loved One Find Addiction Rehab

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In a country where over 72,000 people died from drug overdose in 2017, helping someone you care about find the help they need is crucial to prevent further harm coming to them. But when it comes to bringing up the topic of substance use disorder treatment, they may be very unresponsive and elusive. Saying the wrong thing can completely shut them down to the possibility of recovery. Therefore, in this article, we will look at the ways that you should approach helping your loved one find addiction rehab and what things you should avoid.

What You Should Say and Do

We will first explore tips on helping your loved one find addiction rehab.  The purpose of a drug intervention, whether in a group or just one-on-one, is to help the addict come to the sudden realization that without help for drug addiction, the situation will only get worse. By closely following the suggestions, you have the best chances at helping your loved one come to this realization.

Learn About Addiction

One of the first facts about addiction that one discovers when doing research is that it isn’t just about willpower or self-control, but it is actually a mental disorder that alters the way that the addict’s brain operates. This fact can change the way that someone from the outside views addiction.

Learning all you can about the science of addiction is one of the most powerful tools for helping someone with addiction to drugs. It will also help you to realize that many of the things that they may have done in the past that hurt you was not because they changed as a person but rather just symptoms of a disease, allowing you to let go of anger, resentment and pain you may be feeling.

Get Professional Assistance

Helping someone with addiction to alcohol or drugs isn’t a burden you have to carry alone. Help is everywhere and all you have to do is ask.

Getting professional help can not only lessen the burden on yourself, but it can ensure that the right steps are taken during the intervention. In fact, intervention specialists are available at many drug rehabs that are ready to help you with the entire process of intervention.

Use Non-Confrontational Tones and Words

When helping your loved one find addiction rehab, the way that you word things and the tone you use is crucial. Since it’s easy for an addict whom might believe that they have their situation under control to take a defensive stance when being confronted about their addiction, how you begin the conversation should be as follows:

  • I’ve noticed you have been drinking more than usual lately, and it’s made me wonder how you are.
  • You haven’t been yourself lately, so I wanted to see if you’re okay.
  • I’ve been concerned about how you’ve been doing lately.

Once they started to open up and the conversation is started, you might want to ask them:

  • How long have these feelings been going on for?
  • How do you feel about your alcohol or drug use? Do you think it’s a problem?
  • How can I best show my support for you now?
  • Have you considered getting help to quit?

During the conversation, remember that you are not there to judge. You are there in a supportive role, and their wellbeing and happiness is what you are concerned about. Listen more than you talk. You can also add encouraging words such as the following:

  • Even if you feel like you’re alone, remember that you aren’t and that I’m here to help you in any way I can.
  • Even though it may seem like you’ve lost control over your life, you can always get it back.
  • I love you and want to do what I can to help, even though I can’t fully understand what you are going through right now.

What to Avoid When Helping Your Loved One Find Addiction Rehab

Helping someone with addiction to drugs can be a difficult because it is a delicate situation. There are certain things that you can say and specific approaches to helping them that may cause them to be unreceptive. They include the following.

Avoid Threats

While in other situations threatening to do something if your request isn’t met can be effective, when it comes to dealing with the mental disorder known as addiction, threats are ineffective. It can have the exact opposite effect because a large part of why people get addicted to drugs is due to poor coping skills and threatening to kick them out of the house or something along those lines will only cause more stress.

Avoid Guilt Trips

Blaming an addict for their wrongdoing is actually counterproductive is you are trying to get them help for drug addiction. Saying things like “you’re ruining your life and mine” only serves to further alienate the individual or cause them to shut down and not care.

Avoid Confronting Them While They Are Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

When someone is one drugs or alcohol, their rational mind is often clouded. They may act and respond differently because they are being influenced by the effects of a drug. It’s best to limit helping someone with addiction to alcohol or drugs to when you can be sure that they aren’t currently high or intoxicated.

Participate or Enable

Whether you are actively participating in their use of drugs or alcohol, even if you aren’t addicted, it can make it seem like you are fine with their use and that there is no problem. Furthermore, if you enable their substance abuse by either covering for them or helping them finically, then you are essentially part of the problem and not the solution

Don’t Blame Yourself

You may have tried to help them stop before or feel that your actions and words aren’t doing anything to help, but it’s important that you don’t blame yourself. It is a mental disease and you can’t be expected to help someone who is ill by yourself. Feeling guilt or blaming yourself for the problems of the addict can make it more difficult to play the supportive role you need to play.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.


bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
"Finding Quality Treatment for Substance Use Disorders."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
"Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet American Addiction Centers.
"How to Help a Loved One Find Addiction Treatment."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Recovery.org.
"How to Help a Loved One with Drug Addiction."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Verywell Mind.
"How to Help a Loved One Find Drug Addiction Treatment."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Addiction Center.
"How to Help Someone with a Drug Addiction."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Psychology Today.
"How to Help a Loved One with Addiction."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet HelpGuide.
"Helping Someone with a Substance Abuse Problem."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet DrugAbuse.com.
"How to Help a Loved One with Drug Addiction."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023
bullet Partnership to End Addiction.
"How to Find the Right Treatment Program."
Retrieved on June 28, 2023

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