The Dangers of Waiting Versus Acting

Woman is waiting

Finding out a loved one is using drugs or drinking unhealthy amounts of alcohol is scary and can be overwhelming. So many things run through your mind, and the thought of them going to rehab can feel impossible. The most important thing to do is act quickly and get them into treatment.

In my experience, if your loved one is unwilling to go to treatment, try doing an intervention. There are times when families want their loved one to be willing to go to treatment or ask for help and while that is an idea scenario, it is not always the case. Even if there is not an expressed willingness for treatment, loved ones and families can try to cultivate and quickly heighten willingness by arranging an intervention.

Waiting years for your loved one to come to you asking for help isn’t ideal. They may believe what they are doing is “not that bad.” Many addicts do not see the pain they are causing themselves, let alone the pain they are causing their loved ones. One of the ways I’ve learned that is best in getting your loved ones to treatment is addressing the different issues by doing an intervention.

Doing an intervention seems like a lot and may be a drastic measure to take, but the addict’s life could depend on it. Getting the people closest to them who love, and care can cause them to snap back into reality and realize they need help. Sitting around telling them how terrible they are isn’t going to work. I’ve heard many addicts say they feel as if no one cares, there is no support, and may be hopeless to change. Addiction is life controlling; once you get the addict to realize they can control their life and take power over their addiction, getting them into treatment will become easier.

Another important thing is to use tough love since that may be the difference between life and death. Constantly enabling them by giving them money and making their life easier is going to do nothing but show them their addiction is okay. Holding your ground and tell them what they are doing is not okay, and you are not going to support these choices is going to put it in perspective for them will inevitably help getting them into treatment. Once you set the boundary you cannot give in.

I am a former addict and experienced something similar. When my parents discovered I was using drugs and drinking heavily, they stopped supporting my habit. They told me I was cut off and took me to a detox. When I got home, they believed, or just hoped, everything was going to be okay. But unfortunately, they did not know what to do or how to manage this. All they wanted was their daughter back.

Upset mother

They had had it when I started going back down the path of destruction again. They were fed up with my crap and knew something more serious had to occur. They had started talking to an Intake Specialist at Narconon before I even knew rehab was an option. Then they sat me down and gave me two options. They said I could go live in my car and be homeless or go to treatment. I quickly realized the point my addiction had gotten them to. I also knew being homeless was not a viable option for me. So, I chose to go to treatment. Was I willing to go? To some degree, but I wasn’t the one who came up with the idea and I didn’t go to them asking for help. However, when they forced me to take a hard look at the options put in front of me, I knew treatment was the only one that was realistic. Even after I arrived, I wanted to leave treatment in the first week but over time, I realized it was time for me to make a change.

The most effective way to get them into treatment is a combination of doing an intervention and tough love. When you love someone so much, it is hard to imagine being stern with them. However, it would be best if you made it known that their behavior is not going to be tolerated, and you are not going to support them on this path of destruction. You must realize that tough love can save their life; enabling could be the end of it. You must be strong and know you can do it.

If you or a loved one are seeking help for an intervention, reach out to Narconon. We can assist you with with getting your loved ones into treatment and can facilitate an intervention if necessary. This may seem drastic, but it may be the difference between getting your loved one help or burying them. Please reach out for help before it is too late.


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.