One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome when attempting to help a family member agree to go to drug rehab is their fear and disinterest in making big changes and leaving drugs behind. Where they are in terms of their ability to envision themselves living a clean and sober life is called their “stage of readiness” and when you can aptly identify the stage they are currently in, you can act appropriately with the goal of guiding them toward treatment.
Stages of Readiness
The stages of change or readiness to pursue treatment include:
- Pre-contemplation: Not yet viewing their drug use as problematic or requiring any change or effort on their part
- Contemplation: At the beginning stages of viewing their drug use and abuse as a problem
- Preparation: Considering options for change that could positively impact the issue of drug and alcohol abuse
- Action: Actually taking steps toward making change
- Maintenance: Continuing to follow treatment principles in order to maintain the positive new changes
You may be in the third stage of readiness (e.g., you are considering your loved one’s options in treatment) but your addicted family member may be in the first stage and unable to see that his drug use is an issue at all. It can be difficult when you are so far apart on the subject, but the fact is that the only way to effect positive change in your loved one’s life is to accept them where they are in relation to the concept of treatment.
Things to consider:
- What matters to your addicted loved one right now
- What would your addicted loved one like to see change
- What others issues that may be connected to drug and alcohol use are identifiable to your addicted loved one as problematic
Rather than pushing the idea of treatment or that using drugs and alcohol is a bad idea or the source of all that ails him, focus instead on the issues he views as problematic. For example, if your addicted loved one is dealing with a break up, a job loss or recovering from trauma, and there is no doubt in your family member’s mind that the event was serious and troubling, suggesting therapy or treatment to deal with the fallout can be the first step toward helping him realize that his substance abuse is only compounding matters.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to stage an intervention for your loved one. In this way, you can present in a diplomatic, nonjudgmental fashion all the evidence that points to the fact that his substance abuse is harming him and those who love him. This can be the impetus for moving from one stage of readiness to the next and allow him to begin the journey toward a full recovery.
Learn more about treatment options available at Axis now. Call us at the phone number listed above.