Convincing someone to get the help they need for substance abuse can be a daunting task, and ensuring they get the right type of treatment can also be complex.
Comprehensive treatment will allow your daughter to recover from addiction and embrace a healthy life in recovery. Your support will be critical to that process.
If you suspect your daughter is abusing drugs or alcohol, you likely want to take action. But assuming an authoritarian approach in making demands of your daughter will most likely not be fruitful. Arguing with your daughter or making accusations will not force her into getting the treatment she needs.
A better approach is to express your concerns for your daughter based on the evidence that she is abusing alcohol or drugs. For instance, if your daughter is missing school or her grades are dropping, and you’ve noticed that she has seems the little disoriented at times, mention this to her. If you have concrete evidence that she is abusing alcohol or drugs. present that to her.
Do not accuse her, call her names, or imply that something is wrong with her. Instead, express your concern and love. Remind her of how happy life can be without substance abuse.
Use only factual information, and point out to your daughter the negative ramifications of her substance use. Your daughter will most likely believe that her use of drugs or alcohol benefits her in some way. If she is sharing with you, listen to her justifications, and respond with alternative ways to satisfy these needs that do not involve alcohol or drugs.
Your ultimate goal is to convince your daughter to get treatment. This may not happen with the first conversation. It may not happen with the second or third or fourth conversation either. Each one can be a step on a journey that ultimately leads her to rehab.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to stage a substance use disorder intervention for your daughter. You and other important people in her life will get together to discuss the effects of her substance use with her and convince her to get treatment.
Interventions are best performed under the supervision of a professional interventionist or another mental health professional with experience in this type of a process, like an addiction counselor.
The intervention team will generally meet beforehand to plan the event.
Oftentimes, group members write letters to the person struggling with addiction, outlining how their substance abuse is affecting those around them and damaging their future. The interventionist will help the group phrase their letters in the best way possible to encourage the person to get help. The focus will be on a loving, supportive message of hope.
You can work with an interventionist to determine the best people who should be on your daughter’s intervention team. This may include family members, her close friends, and other important people in her life, like colleagues, coaches, or spiritual leaders.
You’ll choose a treatment program prior to the intervention. This ensures you have a place to immediately take your daughter if she agrees to get help. Oftentimes, interventionists recommend choosing a couple options so your daughter can have some say in the final decision.
If she does agree to treatment, don’t delay. You or the interventionist should escort her there immediately following the intervention. If you delay, it gives her time to change her mind or engage in one last hurrah before rehab that could result in fatal overdose.
According to the book Parenting the Addicted Teen: A 5-Step Foundational Program,
There are five important ways to be supportive of your daughter’s recovery and to provide assistance.
Although there are general principles of an effective recovery program, treatment should be individualized. Oftentimes, women have distinct needs in recovery that need to be addressed.
Your daughter may benefit from the following:
A medical detox program is a program of withdrawal management. Many people in the initial stages of recovery from drug or alcohol abuse require some form of medical detox.
Your daughter should have a thorough assessment of all areas of functioning to determine the necessity of medical detox. The assessing clinician will establish the best forward for her particular case.
If you are deciding on a good program for your daughter, ask the treatment provider these questions:
The earlier your daughter gets treatment, the better. Take the first steps to help her get there.
Do your research, find a program that is a good fit, and approach her with love. It make take several attempts, but each attempt is part of the overall process. With your continued support, she is more likely to gain the confidence to seek help.