10 Tips on How to Convince an Addict They Need Help
In 2014, an estimated 21.5 million Americans had a substance abuse disorder. Substance abuse disorder is a mental illness and needs treatment if someone hopes to recover.
If someone has a substance abuse disorder, they have an addiction to drugs or alcohol and cannot function without regular use. This disease can lead to mental, physical, and social problems that will grow worse if not treated.
In many cases, people die as a result of their addiction.
If someone you love is an addict, you may feel it’s time to call an intervention so they can recover before something terrible happens. It’s important to approach them in the right way if you hope to help them.
10 Tips on Holding an Intervention for an Addict
If you want to convince an addict that they need help, you need to hold an intervention with them. Here are 10 tips for successfully convincing someone to seek help for their addiction.
1. Choose the Right People
An intervention involves the person who is suffering from addiction and a small group of people who care about that person.
You need to make sure you have enough people to show the addict that there are many people who believe he/she is sick, but not so many that it feels overbearing.
The people in the intervention should be those who have a good relationship with the addict, and who the addict loves, trusts, and respects.
It’s also important to get an intervention specialist involved. They can mediate the intervention and make it much more effective.
2. Timing is Everything
You need to choose a time for an intervention when the addict is sober. If they are never sober, then choose a time when they are as close to sober as they can be.
If you try to hold an intervention with someone who is under the influence, it will go poorly and end up in an argument. It will also make it more difficult to convince them to get help in the future.
By holding an intervention when your loved one is sober, you’re ensuring their judgment is intact. They will be more able to use logic and reason when hearing your concerns.
3. Find a Safe Space
You should hold an intervention somewhere private without strangers around. It’s important that the addict feels comfortable and as though they can speak freely.
If you can find a safe space that is outside of the addicts home, this would be best. While the addict will be more comfortable in their own home, it will also be easier for them to retreat into their bedroom when the conversation starts.
4. Plan the Order of Speaking
When holding an intervention, you need to plan out when each member of the group is going to speak. You don’t want to sit down and start a conversation just to have everyone start talking at once.
The order you choose to speak is important because it will have an influence on how the addict feels about the intervention. Choose carefully who starts the conversation and who ends it.
5. Rehearse What You’re Going to Say
When you are trying to convince someone you love that they need help, emotions will come out and make it difficult to get your point across.
The more you rehearse what you want to say to the addict, the better you’ll be at getting your message across even when emotions are flying high.
Try to rehearse as a group so you can get a feel for how the intervention will go and smooth out any kinks in the plan. This will make your intervention more effective and make the group more comfortable going forward.
6. Make a Speech and Bring Notes
Everyone in the intervention should have a specific pitch that they are going to make to the addict. If everyone says the same thing, it will get redundant and the addict will get irritated.
Each person should have a certain angle they use to speak to their loved one. Make sure you write the main points down on a notepad and bring it with you to the intervention.
If anyone forgets some of the points they need to make, they can look down at their notepad and continue on with their speech.
7. Body Language is Important
Once you’re in the intervention, you need to make sure the addict is perceiving you as helpful, loving, and open. If you have your arms crossed and hands clenched, your loved one may feel attacked or teamed up on.
Instead, keep your body open but attentive. Hold eye contact with your loved one and listen to what they have to say. Let them know you aren’t working against them, but you’re trying to help.
8. Don’t Lose Your Temper
People who suffer from addiction tend to have little control over their emotions. There’s a good chance your loved one will get angry or upset during the intervention. It’s important you expect this and respond in a careful manner.
Do not respond with anger or yelling. If you get emotional, you will have lost control of the intervention. Instead, let them release their emotions and then continue on with the intervention as planned.
9. Have a Plan
If your loved one agrees to seek treatment after your intervention, it’s important to have a plan in place. You need to know what type of treatment is best for your loved one, and where they will detox and recover.
This plan needs to be set in motion right away because your loved one can change their minds about seeking the help they need.
10. Don’t Give Up
There’s a chance your intervention won’t work and your loved one will continue abusing drugs or alcohol. If this happens, it’s important not to give up.
You may have gotten the timing wrong or approached the addict in the wrong way, but it doesn’t mean it won’t work in the future. Develop a new plan for helping your loved one and keep trying until you get through.
For More Information
Approaching a loved one who is suffering from substance abuse disorder is difficult because oftentimes they don’t think they need help.
But if you approach it in the right way and at the right time, you may be able to get them the help they need. For more information and tips on how to convince an addict they need help, contact us today.