Get Them on the Road to Recovery: How to Talk to a Loved One About Going to Rehab

young man standing in a dark tunnel

It can be devastating to watch someone you love destroy her life by abusing drugs or alcohol. At the same time, it's impossible to force an addict to quit if she doesn't have the motivation to help herself.

So, how to convince someone to go to rehab? There are a number of approaches you can use that could have an effect on your loved one's behavior. Let's explore how you can start the conversation and express yourself meaningfully.

1. Talk About Your Own Feelings

You have probably heard the advice to use "I" statements rather than the accusatory-sounding "you" statements when engaged in an argument. That's true when talking to someone who's struggling with addiction as well.

Instead of saying "You're ruining your future!" or "You're going to end up dead if you don't sober up!" try telling them about your own concerns and fears. Here are some suggestions as a jumping-off point:

  • "I'm afraid that I will lose you."
  • "It hurts to see that you don't care about your own safety and well-being."
  • "I don't want to have to attend your funeral."
  • "I want to help you but don't know how."

In addition, reassuring the person that you love them is never a bad idea.

2. Hold an Intervention

Confronting an addict about his or her behavior can be tricky, and an intervention won't do any good if you're not prepared to give them (and follow through on) an ultimatum. 

Your best bet when it comes to this approach is to enlist the help of an interventionist. They can help you steer the conversation and set healthy boundaries.

3. Look for the Perfect Treatment Center—Together

Letting your loved one have a say in where she gets treatment can make the idea of rehab a little easier to swallow. And if she helps to choose a facility, rather than having the decision foisted on her, she's more likely to be invested in doing well there. 

There is a huge variety of settings, philosophies, amenities, and therapeutic modalities available today. These include rehabs that incorporate nature or working with animals, some with a focus on faith, and others tailored to the unique needs of the LGBTQ community.

One big draw is a facility located in a stunning location, like this rehab in beautiful Malibu, California.

4. Choose Medically Supervised Detox

Make no mistake: withdrawing from drugs or alcohol isn't a pretty picture. Your loved one has doubtless heard horror stories, or maybe even tried to quit cold turkey on her own. Detoxing under the close supervision of doctors and other professionals, who can administer medication to help people over the roughest parts, is imperative.

Remind her that she won't be alone during the rehab process. There will be many friends, old and new, not just cheering her on but also helping in practical ways.

5. Tell Her You'll Get Help, Too

Addiction affects everyone in the addict's family and circle of friends. So it makes sense that they should be involved in recovery, too. Reassure your loved one that even while she's in rehab, you will be undergoing therapy and participating in support groups. That way, you can learn how best to support her during this time, and in the years of sobriety to come.

Final Words on How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

While it's true that you can't make another person do something if they don't want to, there are ways to present your case that improve the odds. If you have additional questions about how to convince someone to go to rehab, browse through the health section of our blog.

Good luck!


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