How To Get A Loved One Into Rehab

Watching someone you care about struggle with a substance use disorder can be overwhelming. Convincing someone that they need professional help is challenging on many levels. How to get a loved one into rehab starts with knowledge. Understanding the signs and symptoms of substance abuse is essential before staging an intervention or convincing someone to go to rehab.

It can often be challenging to differentiate between normal moods or behaviors and signs of a substance use disorder (SUD). For example, a teenager who frequently sleeps or seeks solitude might be exhibiting signs of addiction. Moreover, individuals in need of help may not recognize they have a problem or might be resistant to seeking treatment.

Understanding Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) and Addiction

Understanding substance use disorders (SUDs) and addiction is crucial for developing effective treatments and supporting those affected. Substance use disorders are complex conditions characterized by the excessive and harmful use of substances such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco, which can lead to significant impairment or distress.

Defining Substance Use Disorders and Addiction

Substance Use Disorder (SUD): This is a medical condition diagnosed when an individual’s use of alcohol or drugs leads to health issues or problems at work, school, or home. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), SUDs are characterized by a pattern of symptoms including the inability to control use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.

Addiction: Often used interchangeably with SUD, addiction is a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a brain disorder and a mental health disorder.

The Science of Addiction

Addiction is primarily a brain disease. It involves alterations in the functioning of the brain’s reward system. When a person consumes a substance that induces pleasure, such as alcohol or drugs, their brain releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. Over time, the repeated activation of this reward system reinforces behaviors that promote the use of the substance, leading to compulsive behaviors and dependence.

Risk Factors for Developing a Substance Use Disorder

Developing a substance use disorder (SUD) involves various risk factors that can influence the likelihood of someone starting and continuing the use of substances in a way that becomes harmful. These risk factors can be broadly categorized into biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

A mother learns how to get a loved one into rehab.

Biological Factors

  • Genetics: A significant portion of the risk for developing SUDs is genetic. Individuals with a family history of substance abuse are more likely to develop similar issues.
  • Brain Chemistry: Substances can provide a shortcut to pleasure or relief by activating the brain’s reward system, leading to repeated use by those whose brain chemistry may make them more susceptible to addiction.
  • Age of First Use: Early use of drugs or alcohol can interfere with developmental processes and increase the likelihood of developing an addiction.

Environmental Factors

  • Family Environment: Growing up in a home where drugs or alcohol are present and where parents or other family members use substances can normalize the behavior and increase the risk.
  • Peer Pressure: Especially during adolescence, peers play a significant role. Associating with friends who use drugs or alcohol can increase pressure to partake as well.
  • Availability: Easy access to drugs or alcohol can increase the risk of substance abuse. This could be through legal means (like prescriptions) or through illicit markets.
  • Stressful Environments: Living in a stressful environment, whether due to economic hardship, frequent conflicts, or general instability, can lead individuals to substance use as a coping mechanism.

Psychological Factors

  • Mental Health Disorders: Individuals with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication.
  • Trauma: Experiencing trauma, especially in childhood such as physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or severe emotional abuse, can increase the risk of developing SUDs.
  • Personality Traits: Certain personality traits such as high impulsivity, sensation-seeking, and aggressiveness can predispose individuals to engage in substance use.

Social Factors

  • Social Isolation: Lack of social support or feelings of isolation can drive individuals toward substance use as a way to alleviate loneliness or fit in.
  • Cultural and Social Norms: Cultural factors, such as social acceptance of drug use, can also play a role in shaping an individual’s attitudes and behaviors toward substances.

Understanding these risk factors can help in developing targeted prevention and intervention strategies. Effective measures often involve addressing multiple aspects of an individual’s life, including their family dynamics, mental health, and social environment, to reduce the risk of SUD development.

When figuring out how to get a loved one into rehab, approach the conversation with empathy, care, and without judgment to increase the chances of a positive response.

The Signs & Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder

Substance use disorder is a medical condition that can happen to anyone. It is not the result of a lack of willpower or low morals. Whether substance use starts with experimental, recreational, or prescription drugs, once addiction gets a choke hold on someone, it’s tough for them to quit. Learning the signs and symptoms of addiction helps one to understand how to get a family member into rehab and help them recover safely.

When someone needs the substance to feel normal, and the following signs and symptoms of a disorder are evident, it’s time to seek professional help.

Common Signs of SUD or Addiction

  • The urge to use the drug regularly
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Needing more of the drug to achieve the desired effect
  • Maintaining a steady supply of the drug
  • Spending more than one can afford on the drug
  • Missing obligations related to work, school, or family
  • Continuing to use the drug, even though it’s causing personal or psychological problems
  • Engaging in illegal or risky behaviors to get the drug
  • Driving or engaging in other risky activities while under the influence of the drug
  • Failing in attempts to stop using
  • Experiencing intense withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using
  • Problems at school or work, including more frequent absences, a sudden disinterest in school or work-related activities or work, and significant drops in grades or work performance
  • Physical health issues, like a frequent lack of energy and motivation for weight loss or weight gain
  • Neglected appearance, like wearing the same outfit day after day, lack of hygiene
  • Changes in behavior, like being secretive about going out with friends or drastic changes in friend groups
  • Money issues, like requests for money without an explanation, stealing from family members

The risk of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs varies according to several factors. These include one’s genetic makeup, environment, the possibility of a co-occurring mental health disorder, and the drug itself.

A woman wondering how to get a loved one into rehab.

The Consequences of SUD

As people often say in recovery, things get worse before they get better. Most people battling SUD also struggle with psychological symptoms such as depression and severe mood swings. They’re more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as driving while intoxicated or committing crimes to get more drugs. 

Additionally, a substance use disorder has severe physical effects, ranging from brain, kidney, or liver damage to rotting teeth. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, even one instance of alcohol or drug misuse can have negative consequences.

Some negative consequences of drug or alcohol abuse include: 

  • Immediate consequences: Substance abuse can have immediate, direct implications for health, ranging from effects on heart rate and regulation of body temperature to psychotic episodes, overdose, and death.
  • Indirect consequences: These are consequences related to the risky behaviors that often accompany substance abuse. Because alcohol and drugs can impair judgment, risky behaviors like driving under the influence (DUI), unprotected sex, or syringe sharing can easily follow.
  • Long-term health effects: Heavy drinking can lead to hypertension, liver disease, and cancer. Regular marijuana use is associated with chronic bronchitis. The long-term use of stimulants like cocaine can lead to heart disease.
  • Long-term societal consequences: These include reduced productivity at work or school, higher healthcare costs, unintended pregnancy, the spread of infectious disease, drug-related crime, interpersonal and domestic violence, and many other effects on families, communities, the economy, and society.

Initiating an open and compassionate dialogue about the benefits of treatment is a crucial step when trying to get a family member into rehab.

A New Day Begins with Tennessee Valley Recovery

Visit the admissions page at Tennessee Valley Recovery today to learn more about our treatment plans.

Convincing Someone to Go to Rehab

Getting a loved one into rehab can be extremely difficult but not impossible. Knowing how to convince someone to go to rehab may be tricky, but ultimately could save their life. It requires compassion, strategy, and preparation. Here are some tips on how to get someone into rehab. 

Do They Want To Go? 

Determining whether a loved one recognizes that they have a problem is crucial. If they are open to rehab, it’s time to help them choose the treatment facility to fit their needs. 

Have A Plan

A drug or alcohol intervention is the most effective way to get a loved one into rehab. However, this requires a plan. A solid intervention plan includes the loved one’s closest family and friends.

Interventions frequently include a licensed drug counselor or intervention professional, also known as an interventionist. Intervention may be necessary if the person denies a problem or refuses to get help. Inviting an interventionist to help make the process smoother and more successful. 

Planning what to say before approaching a loved one about substance abuse is also a good idea. Write down what to say in advance. 

While working on how to get a loved one into rehab, it will alleviate a lot of stress to lay out all the necessary resources, finances, and logistics, such as packing and transportation. Once a loved one agrees to go into rehab, have a plan in place to take them directly to a facility.

Learn the Most Effective Treatment Options

Everyone’s recovery journey is unique. The safety, comfort, and best recovery prognosis of your loved one are vital when choosing a rehab facility. Over the past few decades, addiction treatment has grown more comprehensive, compassionate, and effective.

Before getting someone into rehab, everyone involved should familiarize themselves with the different addiction treatments available.

Discuss Options with a Professional

Consulting with addiction specialists or counselors can provide guidance on how to get someone into rehab and prepare for potential challenges during the process. The team here at Tennessee Valley Recovery can help.

Now is also the time to contact insurance companies and review options. Most insurance plans cover addiction treatment. Address all copays and deductibles in advance.

The team here at Tennessee Valley Recovery can help with all of these important details and will guide you through the process. 

Lots of Love and Support

Overcoming SUD is one of the hardest things a person can go through—both physically and emotionally. It is crucial to let the loved one know they are not alone and should never feel ashamed. A solid support system is essential to the success of any recovery journey.

A couple who learned how to get a loved one into rehab recovers successfully.

Learn How to Get a Loved One Into Rehab with Tennessee Valley Recovery

Helping a loved one enter rehab is a powerful step toward recovery, not just for them but for everyone involved. It requires courage, compassion, and commitment to initiate this challenging conversation and support them through the process. Remember, you’re not just helping them to overcome a disorder. You’re offering a pathway back to their best self.

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed or uncertain—these feelings are a natural part of the journey. By reaching out to professionals and utilizing available resources, you can provide your loved one with the best possible chance for a successful recovery. As you navigate this process, take care of your own emotional needs too, and know that hope and help are always available at Tennessee Valley Recovery.

Contact us today for more information about how to get a loved one into rehab.

A New Day Begins with Tennessee Valley Recovery

It is time to put your health and wellbeing first. Call us right now to learn more about how we can help you put a stop to your active addiction and begin living a life of recovery.

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