Unfortunately, addiction has touched and will continue to touch many lives. Addiction not only affects the addict but has a ripple effect through the lives of their loved ones as well. If your loved one is battling addiction, you may not know how to help them or where to even start helping them. This can be a very challenging time and it’s perfectly fine to not know where to begin. At Corner Canyon Health Centers, we not only help those battling addiction but are here for the families as well. Whether your loved one is facing alcohol, substance abuse, or another type of addiction, our team of experts is here for them and you. Navigating addiction can be overwhelming and difficult, so we’re here to help as much as we can. If you’ve been struggling with how to help a loved one through addiction, we’re here to break down what you can do, why you’re not to blame, and how you can help your loved one enter addiction treatment.
How to Suggest Addiction Treatment
Approaching your loved one about their addiction can be difficult, especially when they may not think they have a problem. Although there is a possibility they will become angry, saying something can save their life. When a loved one shows signs of addiction, it is imperative that you say something right away. Just starting a conversation might be what your loved one needs to hear to consider entering alcohol and addiction treatment, as those who struggle with addiction are often in denial of their substance abuse.
Showing compassion is key to approaching your loved one about their addiction. You should start by listening to them and offering support and encouragement through communication, which might help them feel less alone. This will help them acknowledge they have a problem and can help them realize they need help. There are ways to approach your loved one in a loving and supportive way.
When talking to your loved one, the focus should be on having a non-judgmental conversation. Focus on your own observations, talk about your concerns, and have the conversation when they’re sober. Here are some suggestions on how you can start this dialogue:
- I noticed you have been acting differently and I am worried about you.
- Here is what I see (talk about specific behaviors and actions).
- I notice you have been drinking a lot recently and am wondering how you are doing.
Here are some ways to show your loved one you care:
- Offer support and help to get them treatment right away and offer to go with them to support groups.
- Encourage your loved one to get help for their struggle with alcohol or drug abuse.
- Discuss the advantages of attending sober support groups.
- Learn about addiction so you can understand your role as a friend or family member throughout the recovery process.
A key element of discussing and suggesting addiction treatment is using supportive language and ensuring that your loved one feels cared for. It is critical that you continue to be supportive, encouraging, and caring throughout the recovery process.
Helping Your Family and Loved Ones Heal
As important as it is for your loved one with an addiction to heal, it is just as important to focus on your own journey of healing. Addiction can result in trust issues and while you are helping your loved one get help, you may find yourself hurting in the process. Once your loved one begins treatment, they will learn how to cope without using drugs or alcohol, how to avoid potential triggers, and how to make a seamless transition into a new, sober lifestyle. However, the family also needs to heal after a loved one’s addiction. Family therapy sessions and support groups are a great way to discuss feelings, listen to other peoples’ experiences, and gain insight about addiction. During the healing process, it is expected that family members will go through a range of emotions. A family therapist or individual counselor can guide the friends and family on the best way to talk to their loved one. It is crucial that family members do not shame, guilt, or demean their loved one’s addictive behavior. They already feel helpless, hopeless, and unworthy. Family members need to encourage their loved one’s sobriety, use positive language, and acknowledge their accomplishments in recovery. While it can be difficult, it’s important to focus on healing and moving forward throughout the recovery process.
Understanding Your Loved One’s Addiction is Not Your Fault
The most important thing to remember throughout the process of helping your loved one is that this is not your fault. Friends and family members often blame themselves for addiction, but that is unfair to yourself. Addiction is a complex disease and can be attributed to genetic, physical, psychological, and social vulnerabilities. There is nothing you did directly that lead to your loved one’s alcohol and/or substance abuse, so there is no use in blaming yourself. Your focus should be on finding addiction treatment and helping them get the help they need. The best thing you can do for the person you care about is to support them through recovery and be consistently there for them throughout the process.
Alcohol and Addiction Treatment at Corner Canyon Health Centers
Our inpatient alcohol and addiction treatment at Corner Canyon Health Centers is designed to help your loved one overcome addiction and get back to their life. With the aid of proven treatment methods, our treatment team can customize a treatment plan to your loved one and help them on the journey to sobriety. If you need help or want to help a family member or friend, contact us today.
Cheryl has a 24-year history of founding and managing treatment programs for adolescents, in addition to providing therapy for them and is now excited to work with adults at Corner Canyon Health Centers. Her own treatment experiences informed the development and implementation of the foundational components of Corner Canyon, and she looks forward to directing a program that meets all the expectations she had while in treatment and includes all the therapeutic practices that she has found to be effective throughout her career.
In 1998 Cheryl co-founded Second Nature Wilderness Program, which grew to be the largest private wilderness therapeutic program in the United States and included 5 separate locations. Cheryl also helped found Gateway Academy, a pre-eminent residential treatment program for adolescent boys, and looks forward to working with the Gateway Academy owners at Corner Canyon.
In 2003, Cheryl was elected by her colleagues throughout the United States to serve as a board member for the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs. Cheryl works clinically with addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, family systems problems, and other co-occurring issues. She loves working with clients the most out of all the different roles she has played. Cheryl completed her education at Brigham Young University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology in 1991 and her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1993. Her clinical training included CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Assertive Communication, and providing individual, family, group therapy and marriage counseling.
Cheryl is the oldest of ten children and has two adult children, a daughter and a son. Her interests include water sports, photography, interior design, household projects, and spending time with her family and friends. She loves house boating on Lake Powell, but her favorite pastime is spending time with her 5 wonderful grandchildren.