What you can do as a friend or family member
That being said, there is a great deal that you can do as a friend or family member that can go a long way, particularly if they’ve specifically come to you for help. However, it’s important to set boundaries at the beginning so the person who the intervention is being held for doesn’t become dependent on you for guidance and unable to deal with any of his problems without you. As long as it does not impair the ability of your loved one to make their own life changes in order to fully recover, feel free to offer support in the following ways:
- Assure them that you know that what he is doing is very difficult and that it’s also the right thing to do
- Convince them to see a doctor, which at the very least will give him an outside, professional opinion on his condition from someone with whom he does not have a personal connection with
- Encourage them to seek medical help, as the problem has gotten bigger than the two of you
- Listen to their struggles and successes throughout recovery and encourage them to persist when times are tough
For many, relapsing is a normal part of recovery and is far from a death sentence
Remember to support your loved one in the period following rehabilitation as well. Being released from treatment doesn’t mean being cured. Addiction is for life; it’s only substance abuse and professional treatment that ends.
Always remember that you can’t make your addicted loved one quit and you can’t do his work in recovery for him. Don’t be discouraged by a relapse, it isn’t your fault. For many, relapsing is a normal part of recovery and is far from a death sentence. For the most part, your loved one’s progress is in the hands of professionals so remember not to take things personally when treatment isn’t going well. When they finally get out of rehab, check up on them regularly but do so in a way that doesn’t undermine their autonomy or recovery.