If you have a close friend, family member, or significant other with an alcohol problem, you won’t be able to sit back and watch them succumb to their addiction. You’ll have a hard time witnessing their lives fall apart and witnessing their health deteriorate without intervening. It’s natural that you’d want to help motivate them to seek treatment.
Most people who are suffering from alcoholism are not able to stop or change their ways on their own. They need professional help. They need someone to ensure they take the appropriate steps towards recovery, because it’s unlikely they will take these steps on their own. These steps include rehab, detoxification, counseling, group therapy, and abstinence. Your loved one is currently struggling, but with the right kind of help, they could be free of their struggles and able to lead a better life.
Some alcoholics are more resistant to help than others. However, with the right words of encouragement from someone they care about, they could see the light. You probably know that an intervention helps motivate an alcoholic to seek treatment, but what should you say in an intervention? What can you say to encourage someone to finally get the help they need? Here are 5 ways you can encourage a loved one to seek treatment:
- Demonstrate Empathy and Concern Instead of Criticizing Them
Someone who is addicted to alcohol is having a rough time, and they need someone to show them some empathy. Let them know the damage their disease is causing to themselves and others, but do so from a place of caring. Do not judge, blame, belittle or criticize. Show that you understand how hard it must be for them, and demonstrate your genuine concern for their well-being.
- Point Out Safety Concerns
There are plenty of potential deadly consequences related to alcohol abuse, and pointing out these safety concerns can help convey how serious the problem is. One of the most serious safety concerns related to alcohol abuse is drinking and driving. If your loved one tends to get behind the wheel and drive under the influence, you can remind them of how dangerous it is to drink and drive. Many alcoholics have a habit of driving when they’re drunk, and when they’re sober the next day they admit it was a stupid decision, yet the pattern continues of getting behind the wheel while drunk. Explain to your loved one that you’re concerned with their safety, because car accidents are one of the most common causes of injury and death in the United States. Just ask any personal injury lawyer, who sees cases of drunk driving injuries and deaths on a regular basis. For more information on this, visit https://www.noll-law.com/personal-injury/car-accidents/ and educate yourself on the sheer volume of alcohol-related car accidents.
- Explain How You Feel
Earlier, we discussed how it’s important to show an alcoholic some empathy. Don’t underestimate their ability to show you empathy, too. Explain how their drinking problem negatively effects you, and explain how you feel about it. As long as you don’t come from a place of nagging or criticizing, and as long as you don’t raise your voice or come at them in a harsh tone, they will likely be empathetic. They will likely feel bad about how their drinking effects you, and they might not even have known it was this bad.
- Present Them With the Facts
Many people are in denial about their problem with alcohol. They know they drink a lot, but they don’t see that it’s become a serious problem. They realize that they like to drink alcohol, but they’re in denial about the fact that they’ve become dependent on alcohol. Facts help break down the denial. You can present an alcoholic with facts about important opportunities they’ve missed out on because of a hang over, or friendships they’ve lost because of their drinking. You can also present an alcoholic with facts on the serious health problems caused by consuming too much alcohol, and facts on how many alcohol-related car accidents there are every day. Overwhelm them with facts they cannot ignore – facts they will have to take into account. Helping a loved one face the facts is a great way to motivate them to get help.
- Show Them the Ugly Truth
If you have video evidence of your loved one making a fool of themselves while intoxicated, you could try showing them these videos as a last resort. Perhaps you have a video of them intoxicated and acting out, being verbally abusive, being sloppy, or displaying other sorts out-of-control behavior. Showing someone a video like this shouldn’t be used as a first attempt to motivate them to go to rehab. These videos should only come out if most of your other ideas to convince them to get help haven’t worked. Hours of talking to someone about their drinking problem isn’t as effective of showing them video evidence of their embarrassing, abusive or out-of-control selves.