Seeing a loved one suffering from addiction is heart-breaking. Knowing that there is nothing you can do to help unless they want to help themselves, is devastating. However, when it comes to addiction, it is often necessary to be tough.
Just because you love someone, does not mean that you have to give in to his or her every whim. Moreover, when it comes to addiction, tough love may be just what is required. In order to get your loved one to accept that he or she has a problem that needs help, you may have to ditch the soft approach and change tactics.
Does Tough Love Work for Addiction
In some instances, it is necessary to be cruel in order to be kind, and this means that you must be harsh or stern with a loved one for the greater good. Many addicts will play on the emotions of their loved ones to get what they want. The nature of addiction is that it changes the affected person and makes them manipulative. They may lie and cheat if it will mean giving them the thing that they crave.
Friends and family members of addicted loved ones often do not know what they should or should not be doing to help and will just allow their loved one to continue with their destructive behaviour. Sometimes they will be afraid that by being harsh they will push their loved one further towards addiction.
The thing that people need to realise is that, for long periods, many addicts will be in complete denial about their situation. They will not accept that they have a problem and will usually think their loved ones are making a big deal out of nothing. It is in these situations that tough love can be effective.
The Dangers of Enabling Addicts
Many family members are of the opinion that they have to protect the addict from their actions, but this process of enabling an addict can have a negative impact. It is important that addicts understand how their actions affect those around them. By sheltering them from the negative consequences, it can take longer for them to reach a point where they will be willing to get help.
Another danger of enabling addicts is that their actions will continue to affect others in a negative manner, while the addict carries blissfully unaware. Not confronting him or her about their behaviour may be construed as consent to the addict. Allowing them to continue to feed their addiction without any confrontation may send them deeper into addiction.
How to be Tough with Addicts
If you have decided that the time for niceties are over, and you are ready to employ some tough love, you can do so by firstly giving the addict an ultimatum. In many cases, this can be enough to make them seek help. If this does not work, you may have to take things further by severing contact with your loved on until they have sought help. This may be hard, but it may also be necessary.
Do not negotiate with the addict or be manipulated into changing your mind once you have made a decision. In many cases, you may find that stopping any financial handouts is one way to make him or her get help.
If you need help with how to be tough on an addicted loved one, call Rehab Helper today. Our expert advisors have in-depth knowledge of the best way to deal with addicted loved ones and can help you by putting you in touch with a suitable rehabilitation centre.