It’s rare for someone living under the crushing weight of addiction to one day have an epiphany and put themselves in rehab without incident.
While that sort of thing can happen, again, it’s a rarity. It is the exception rather than the rule.
That’s backed up by some revealing data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), who in their 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found the following:
- An estimated 2.3 million people aged 12 or older who needed substance use treatment received treatment at a specialty facility in the past year. This number represents 10.8 percent of the 21.7 million people who needed substance use treatment in the past year
- Among the estimated 19.3 million people aged 12 or older who were classified as needing but not receiving substance use treatment at a specialty facility, 95.4% did not think that they needed treatment in the past year for their substance use
Therein lies the issue at the heart of the matter; people have a very tough time admitting they have a problem. Particularly when it comes to substance use disorders.
It is called denial and it’s hard to overcome.
Signs Your Loved One Is Struggling with Addiction
Before touching on how to get someone into rehab, it’s imperative to understand what addiction looks like. The signs can vary by the substance being used, but the behavior associated with addiction, broadly speaking, has the same symptoms.
- Taking more of a substance than intended and for longer periods
- Unable to maintain responsibilities at work, home, or school
- Developing a tolerance that requires larger doses to achieve the same high as before
- Spending a lot of time getting, using, and recovering from drugs or alcohol
- Inability to quit or cut back despite genuine efforts
- Drug or alcohol use causing interpersonal issues with family and friends
- Continuing to use despite the abundantly clear negative effects
- Skipping activities and events once enjoyed in order to use
- Finding oneself self in increasingly dangerous situations like driving while intoxicated, sharing needles, having unprotected sex, etc.
- Intense cravings
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using
These won’t necessarily appear all at once and not all addictions will necessarily manifest to include all of these signs at first. However, the longer a substance use disorder goes unchecked the more and more of these will creep in and as time passes, will only get worse.
How To Get Someone into Rehab
You’ve likely already discovered that asking politely hasn’t done the trick.
That’s the nature of addiction and, more importantly, that’s the nature of denial we mentioned above.
The key to getting anyone into rehab and having an iota of hope that it’ll work is for the addict to “see the light.” They need to be shown how their drug or alcohol use is not only affecting them but others as well. To personalize the pain the addiction is causing and the havoc it’s creating.
Often, something more is needed to get them into rehab, and that something is called an intervention.
An intervention isn’t a silver bullet but it is a pointed call to arms in the fight against addiction. Interventions force the user to be face to face with the consequences of their actions in a healthy, non-confrontational way – nothing turns a person off quicker than being aggressively attacked and badgered, that goes for everyone, not just addicts.
It’s like turning a mirror on their behavior and making them see what it’s doing to themselves, family and friends but in a caring and controlled environment.
There’s a lot that goes into planning an intervention from who participates to what you’ll say to the actionable ultimatums, it’s a lot. Given that, you shouldn’t try to do one on your own.