One of the greatest challenges faced by the loved ones of someone suffering from addiction is knowing how to help. But no matter how much we desire to rescue friends or family from the burning houses of their addictions, we can’t force anyone to recover. Your loved one must recognize their need for help and be willing to receive it.
Considering Your Loved One’s Situation
How, then, might you approach your loved one and guide them toward making a good decision and entering treatment?
Let’s start by looking at the context of the loved one’s addiction. Depending on that person’s relationship with their substance abuse disorder, they can be in any one of these types of thought spaces:
- Phase 1: Total Obliviousness to the Addiction
- The person seems totally unaware of their addiction and may be blindsided by any suggestion that they might have a problem.
- Phase 2: Complete Denial of the Addiction
- The person immediately denies they have a problem, also denying any options for treatment.
- Phase 3: Resistance to Entering Treatment
- The person may admit to the addiction but refuse to get help, making the conversation feel hopeless.
- Phase 4: Openness to Treatment but Refusal to Take It Seriously
- The person seems to flirt with the idea of recovery but never really follows through. They’re receptive, but not active.
- Phase 5: Acceptance and Entrance into Recovery
- The person is able to accept their need for treatment and to put forth the effort to achieve and sustain recovery.
No matter which phase your loved one is in, strive to be gentle but firm. Tell your loved one what you have observed about their behavior, their moods, and even their appearance. What has changed? How have those changes affected you?
Also, ask questions that show you care, and be willing to listen. Maybe your loved one will be willing to open up and talk about their struggles. If they remain in denial or lash out at you, be patient. Consider contacting a therapist, addiction interventionist, or your local Al-Anon group for guidance on how to set boundaries, communicate clearly, and take care of yourself throughout the process.
If They Are Ready to Take Action
If your loved one is responsive to your observations and willing to get treatment, what next?
As you help your loved one research addiction treatment facilities, consider the value of a faith-based program. These programs are designed for all clients regardless of their religious or spiritual background. Why choose faith-based treatment? 84% of studies show that having faith is a positive factor in addiction prevention and recovery. In addition, the nature of spiritually rooted programs support recovery in the following ways:
- Supplying the person in recovery with a sense of purpose
- Encouraging community service or some form of giving back to others
- Encouraging the practice of mindfulness
- Giving the person a chance to focus on something bigger than themselves
- Integration of the person into a recovery community
- Encouraging the feeling and spreading of gratitude
- Encouraging accountability
Your loved one does not have to adopt a certain faith to have a successful recovery. However, the principles upon which a spiritually based treatment program are built can prove tremendously helpful in the journey to sobriety.
We Are Here to Help
We at St. Gregory Recovery Center welcome the opportunity to support you and the person you love. As a faith-based institution that aims to offer our residents the ability to remold their reality into a virtuous life of joy and freedom, our doors remain open to secular and non-secular residents alike. At St. Gregory’s we have faith in faith-based and evidence-based treatment, and we hope to share our expertise with all of our clients.