If you’re noticing significant changes in your loved one’s health and behavior, and you suspect that they have a substance use disorder, you may be wondering how you can talk to them about it without them getting angry or upset with you.
It’s completely understandable to have fears and worries about talking to your loved one, but remembering how important this conversation is will be key to having a calm discussion with them.
“Having a productive, calm conversations with a loved one that’s struggling is a very important first step in getting them the help they need,” says Dr. Negrini, founder and physician at OARS.
Approach this conversation with confidence using these helpful tips:
- Form the intervention team: This is the core group that includes a professional interventionist, close family members, friends, and coworkers.
- Make a plan: Schedule a specific day, time of day, location, and attendees. Also include an outline of how the process will work and what everyone will say.
- Gather information: Learn about the substance of abuse, addiction, the recovery process, and information about detox and rehabilitation programs. This information will not only help you understand their addiction, but your loved one will also feel understood and cared for.
- Write impact statements: The impact statement should be a personal statement that details how the addiction has harmed the person they love and has impacted relationship. It should also be honest and focus on love. These statements can help the person struggling with addiction to understand that their struggle not only impacts them, but those around them as well.
- Offer help: Support your loved one through their recovery. Whether it’s offering rides to treatment once a week, or attending family therapy sessions or support group meetings, this goes a long way toward helping them on their recovery
- Set boundaries: If the person refuses treatment, commit to ending codependency and enabling behaviors. Be clear that there will be consequences if the person refuses help.
- Rehearse: Emotions run high regarding substance abuse and addiction. To avoid taking too much time, blaming the loved one, or falling into self-pity, practice what you’ll say before the intervention.
- Follow up: Whether the person accepts help or not, it is important to follow up after the intervention. Checking in with your loved one can help their rehabilitation process and reduce the potential of a relapse or deeper substance abuse problems.
For additional guidance on creating a safe space for an intervention, OARS will work with you to provide the proper resources to ensure you and your loved one get the most out of an intervention and, ultimately, get your loved one the help they need.