Never let an addict make you feel guilty

Sober Interventions use a Tough Love model, which is explained here

Ian Young Addiction Treatment

Using Tough Love Tactics to Help Treat Addicts / Alcoholics

Never let an addict make you feel guiltyIn a world moving closer to nurture and farther away from nature, concepts like unconditional love are being shelved and replaced with things like tough love, with many so-called experts proclaiming loudly that the former just doesn’t work. This is because relapse rates are astronomically high for addicts surrounded by enablers, and for those of you not sure; bending to the will of an addict is very much enabling them.

It’s incredibly important to remember that recovery is about the addict’s wellbeing first and foremost, but also about the feelings of the addict’s loved ones. A family’s quality of life is the most important part of the process, despite the goal being about getting your loved one sober and drug free from their addictions, and therefore, whenever we provide our Sober Interventions, it’s about restoring the families’ quality of life as well as the desired goal of preparing the addict / alcoholic for detox and residential rehab. This is facilitated much smoother through tough love techniques.

Tough love measures can be likened to a series of ultimatums.
Whether used on your children, your spouse, your family or your peers, these measures can be effective at enabling the addict to face the truth: They must accept proper help through rehabilitation or face severe consequences.  We do this by offering them a graceful exit strategy – “Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

10 Tough Love techniques for counteracting addiction and alcoholism

1: Cut Off Funding

Any money given to an addict or an alcoholic is simply enabling them to carry on engaging with their addiction. It helps them purchase the substance of their choice, or it helps them pay bills with money that may have been set aside previously and then spent on their addiction. It is essentially allowing them to live an addicted life, and thus funding should be cut completely off. Justifying it by saying that I’m buying their food and cigarettes only, is thereby allowing the addict or alcoholic to spend more on their debilitating substance of choice, rather than their own responsibilities.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

2: Detaching Emotionally

Many addicts bring their promises and pity stories directly to loved ones, hoping to be forgiven, or to manipulate. More often than not, the addict presents a series of lies and emotional pleas in order to continue using and get what they want. This is where the loved ones must be firm and completely detach emotionally.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

3: Ask Them to Leave

Though it will be incredibly tough on you, asking the addict to leave the home may be the harsh dose of reality needed. A wake-up call in the truest fashion, most addicts quickly realize that their home life is far more appealing than a life on the streets, and will be instantly pushed into reconsidering their lifestyle choices of active addiction, before being put out onto the street.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

4: Refuse Legal Aid and other expenses related to the consequences of their behaviour

Addicts often get in trouble and rely on you to pay their bail, legal defence, etc. Stop raising capital, spending your resources / savings or re-mortgaging your property to pay for lawyers, and insist that the addict in your family deals with the consequences of their crime, selfishness and harm caused to others. Make them fend for themselves. It teaches them that they are truly on their own if they wish to continue using. Do not support them any longer until they’re prepared to live a life in recovery rather than continuing to compromise your own values and morals.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

5: Seek Custody of Children

If there are children involved, these children are in grave danger around a practicing alcoholic or addict. Seek custody of all the children under the age of and keep them separated from their addict parent(s). The law is on your side in these instances, so be tough in this area. It’s largely for the children’s safety and to save them from further damage or exposure to dangerous situations like drink driving, neglect and possibly much, much worse. But it’s also for the addict’s benefit; hoping that they’ll see the light, and realise just how much their addiction is costing them.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

6: Use the Police to Your Advantage

The police are available to you in these instances; so don’t be afraid to use them. You might not want your loved ones dealing with legal implications from their addiction, but if they’re refusing to leave, stealing, threatening, or causing trouble in any way, calling the police shows that you’re no longer going to be manipulated or abused by the addict and their illness.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

7: Find the Right Scare Tactic

A great way to play the ‘tough love’ card will be the potential threat of the harshest environment should the addict / alcoholic not comply with your wishes for them to accept the help you’re offering them. For teenagers and young adults there are some “Brat Camps” that can seem incredibly harsh to both the parent and the teenager threatened with it, but remember these facilities are effective – otherwise they wouldn’t exist. For an adult you could show them the typical future they may have if they continue to experience consequences, by showing them some of the homeless shelters, rough sleeper spots, street beggars, street drunks, prison cells, rehab services, etc. These can be a real eye-opener.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

8: Offer Your Honest Criticism

Conventional interventions don’t typically allow you to air personal grievances in a very honest fashion. However, during a Sober Intervention, you’re led in a structured manner to tell your loved one precisely how their addiction is affecting you. We’ll need you to be truly honest at this point. Tell the addict exactly what’s on your mind and be explicit in the feelings this is generating within you. This may well be the first time the addict realises just how their addiction is affecting everyone around them, and it may well be the breakthrough moment as they finally realise the pain they’re causing the people they love.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

9: Show the Addict His/Her Behaviour

Another good tough love tactic is to actually show the addict how he or she acts when intoxicated. Using a video camera and recording the addict can show this person a side they didn’t know existed, and this reality check could help bring about change, especially if you’re able to show it to them when they’re sober and in a good mood.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

10: Stick with Your Bottom Line Boundaries

Tough love tactics are ultimatums – they’re the last resort, the bottom line. Pandering to an addict with unconditional love is just enabling the addict, whereas putting your foot down and cutting the addict off is giving them a harsh dose of reality. But via a Sober Intervention we do offer them a graceful, face saving exit. They are given the choice to accept the help we’re offering you, with love, or they will lose all support, help and assistance that we can possibly think of removing from them. They’ll be left to their own devices to engage in their debilitating and negative life style. We won’t tolerate it any longer. So it’s either they change, or they lose. Many fear that addicts will take the latter road, but believe me; the addict always understands what’s at stake here. So long as they believe you in your determination to carry through with the new boundaries, then the addict is 90% likely to choose to accept the help you’re offering. You just have to follow through with the tough love sometimes to prove to them you’re serious.
“Accept the help we’re offering you today, and we’ll support you.”

It’s never going to be easy to help a loved one fight their addiction, and tough love measures can never be guaranteed. That said, not engaging in tough love and permitting them to carry on is likely to shorten their life quite considerably. But by deciding to confront their addiction head on might just provide you with the weaponry you need to help you win this battle, and to facilitate their own permanent recovery.

If you’re not sure whether you want to go through a Sober Intervention with your loved one, then you may gain some more insight here