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Dealing with someone else’s chemical dependency is complicated. You want to talk to her about it, but have you really thought about what you will say or how she will respond?
Since your reaction could make a difference in whether she chooses to get help or continues to abuse drugs, success lies in the preparation.
Let’s take a look at some common excuses and how you can best handle them:
What you can’t do is make her quit. If she continues to deny her problem, the best thing you can do is educate yourself about addiction. Learn more about what she’s going through – physically, emotionally and mentally. A better understanding of her situation improves communication and provides insight into how you can help.
She feels awkward in social situations; turning to substances to help her “loosen up” and “have a good time.”
Is she truly more social because of her drinking? Is her behavior socially acceptable? Get her to look at her overall drinking pattern, which likely includes drinking alone, and at her social life, which likely hasn’t improved by drinking.
Remind her that rehab will make her more productive in the long run. Her substance use will no longer consume so much of her time and energy. Her quality of life, career and health will improve.
Remember, you can’t do the work of recovery for her, no matter how much you want to. What you can do is continue to talk about it. Turning to denial, shame or excuses won’t help.
Continue to educate yourself about addiction and the resources available to both of you. Get yourself to a healthy, knowledgeable place. That way, when she reaches a place where she’s willing to accept help, you’ll be ready to give it.
Additional Reading: True or False: Things Would be Fine if You’d Listen!
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