Seeing someone you love undergo tough times can prove to be difficult because there are instances wherein you may feel powerless to help them. Often times, this is what people experience when they witness someone dear to them battle addiction. There may be instances wherein they may already try several ways to help their loved one cope, but unfortunately, there seems to be no other way but to show him some tough love.
Tough Love in Brief
Tough love can be regarded as utilizing certain negative emotions as part of an overall learning process. For instance, in parenting, tough love may include having a particular set of boundaries for the children wherein parents may withhold paying the bills of their fully grown adult child who simply prefers not to get a job. In this case, the parents intend for their child to deal with the consequences of his actions, instead of stepping in and resolving everything for their child, even if their child is already fully capable to tend for himself.
Tough Love in Battling Addiction
Applying the concept of tough love in order to help someone you love battle with his addiction may prove to be helpful. However, it can also prove to be dangerous, especially if done without the help of the professionals who are well-adept in handling cases of addiction. For instance, parents may decline to pay for the debts or expenses for their child who refuses to get into a treatment facility, particularly if the money that their child ultimately gets is spent on drugs, alcohol, or other elements that he may be addicted to. This is one form of a healthy boundary considered as tough love and it is considered as effective. particularly when their child eventually agrees to get help.
The decision of cutting your support to a family member who refuses to get help is certainly difficult. But keep in mind that if you continue to do so, you will only enable them to continue with their addiction, which in the end can even prove to be fatal. Tough love is merely inhibiting them, instead of allowing them to self-destruct because of the bad habits they have been accustomed to.
Guidelines in Tough Love Intervention
● Clear Boundaries
If you wish to implement tough love in order to help your loved one battle with his addiction, it is important to set clear boundaries. It is important for you to consider the personality of the person you are trying to help because there are certain people who respond better if it is clear to them what they may lose because of their addictive behavior. Reminding them of these consequences may help them come to the decision of changing for the better.
● A shift in Power
More often than not, your loved one who is suffering from addiction is controlled by the element of substance he is addicted with. This is because his decisions greatly revolve around drugs or alcohol or how he will be able to consistently and immediately acquire more. A shift in power entails the need for you to define the problem and outline what they need to do, empowering them to fight over their addiction.
Tough Love with Help
Tough love can definitely be effective in helping someone battle with addiction, but only with the help of the professionals or a concurrent treatment program. It goes without saying that when they finally agree to register in a treatment facility, the next step is to choose one that can cater to their specific needs. While you can simply use the keywords “rehab centers near me” to find treatment facilities in your vicinity, this may prove to be insufficient because those near you may not be able to offer the specific treatment program that your loved one needs. Thereby, it is best if you consider the particular condition of the person you are trying to help to be able to have a comprehensive understanding of the kinds of treatment that may be applicable to him. This is what you need to look for when you search for a facility where he can receive the treatment program suitable for him.
In parallel to the proper treatment program, you can help someone battle their addiction by educating yourself. There is a great chance for you to come up with a rational and logical approach on how to help the person you are concerned about, the more that you know about his or her condition. It may be necessary for you to take some time to read about addiction or talk to key persons who were able to conquer their battles successfully.
It is also necessary to talk to your loved one about their condition, even if it can prove to be difficult. Try to practice a non-judgmental approach to be able to get them to open up to you and assure them that you are willing to listen. In this way, you will be able to establish trust and respect, which will eventually aid in their decision to take the appropriate steps to change. As a result, they will be able to feel the emotional support that they need to be able to win over their struggle.
Aftercare and Recovery
In the event that you successfully convince someone dear to you to get professional help through the tough love approach, and they eventually finish their program, you also need to consider their aftercare and recovery. While most rehab programs encompass this stage, it is important for you to offer emotional support to ensure that they don’t cave back into their addiction.
There are various ways on how to help your loved ones cope with addiction. However, keep in mind that what may work for one may not entirely be fitting for another, which is why it is important to have faith and never give up on trying. If restraining yourself from doing everything for them is what it takes to help someone dear to you with his battle, then tough love it is.