Five Ways to Get Your Parent to Seek Help About Addiction

Throughout our lives our relationship with our parents can take all manner of twists and turns. Life has its challenges and seeing one of your parents struggling with addiction is certainly one of those.

Five Ways to Get Your Parent to Seek Help About Addiction

It’s something that is occurring more frequently, particularly when it comes to alcohol, with hospital admissions as a result of alcohol rising among the over 65s and over 50% of that age group drinking. With retirement can often come isolation and turning to drink is becoming an all too frequent coping mechanism. Of course, there’s trauma such as grief and other health-related stresses that can arise too, and alcohol is becoming the antidote. Except it isn’t one.

Watching your parent struggling with alcohol can be heartbreaking, so if you are encountering this it’s important to try and get them to seek help. That in itself can be a challenge, but there are ways to handle it delicately and increase the chance of them seeking the help they need.

Express Concern and Empathy

First and foremost, you need to express your concern but in an empathetic manner. Show genuine concern for their welfare and don’t blame or judge them.

It’s important to address the situation but in a way in which you’re supporting them and showing compassion about their own welfare rather than pointing the finger and telling them to clean up their act.

Provide Information and Resources

Actually, taking the initiative and doing the work for them can be really useful and will emphasize that you know what you are talking about when approaching them about your concerns.

By reading up and educating yourself around addiction and the treatment options available you can go to them with an authoritative air about you and have evidence as to why they have a problem as well as the potential solutions. Not only will it give them a much easier pathway to help, but it also showcases your support at the same time.

Initiate a Collaborative Approach

Don’t speak to them as though it’s their problem. Approach the conversation as though it’s a collaborative effort and you are there to assist them and support every step of the way.

Avoid any ultimatums and instead encourage them to take ownership with the help of yourself. Work together to find the best approach and be that confidant to help them in their treatment and recovery.

Share Personal Concerns and Boundaries

Your parents will always want what’s best for you, and indeed any grandchildren they may have, so tell them how it’s impacting your relationship with them.

While you need to be delicate with this, it can be the wake up call they need, while setting up boundaries can help them understand the severity of the situation. For example, if they’re often too under the influence or unreliable to take grandchildren swimming, for example, that can be quite hard-hitting.

Encourage Professional Intervention

Finally, seeking professional help can be a hugely important step and help guide you through the whole process of getting a parent into alcohol rehab. You could work with a rehab itself to do this or speak to the various charities, advice lines and counselling services to help you with this.

They can speak to your parent as well as facilitate any interventions or conversations you wish to have with them about the matter, encouraging them to take that important first step they need to get their health, and life, back on track before it’s too late.

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