A number of barriers—denial, fear, anxiety, life consequences—can contribute to people not willingly entering a substance abuse program. Family or friends of those struggling with alcohol addiction often believe they must “get” them into treatment.

Many believe that a better perspective is to facilitate accessing the help they need. Resistance is a common response, particularly if alcohol rehab is a legal or familial stipulation, but how we frame the experience can be a critical first step in a loved one’s successful rehab.

Reframe the Experience

Reframing, or “cognitive reframing,” is a psychological counseling term to encourage patients to look at a situation from a different perspective. It often allows a person to avoid typical “hot button” areas, such as conflicted relationships, and be more objective.

If the goal is to enter a rehab center, try changing the idea of “getting” someone into treatment and instead frame it as “facilitating.” Take it further and say you’re partnering to help your loved one and validating their input in the experience.

Do Your Research First

As the prospective patient’s loved one, you’ve most likely done research on what to expect in alcohol treatment. It’s important to not exclude them from considering this information. Treatment options vary across the spectrum of services provided and type of setting, such as private vs. public.

Sharing details about facilities and options with your loved one will help them anticipate what’s ahead. Do your best to answer questions, or direct them to resources that can.

Remove Barriers to Alcohol Rehab

As part of facilitating entry to treatment, you may need to help remove barriers—real or manufactured. Many people requiring treatment worry about losing their jobs. While laws in states differ and companies have individual policies, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act protects workers in many cases from taking time away from the job for health or family reasons. Find out if your situation applies.

Worry about leaving family, home, and responsibilities can be a substantial roadblock to residential alcohol treatment. Assist your loved one in making arrangements for an absence from home—pet care, paying bills, etc.—so they have peace of mind while in rehab.

Financial concerns can also be eased if the alcohol treatment center is covered by your loved one’s insurance provider. Make calls prior to the admission process to explore this possibility.

Seek Out Allies

In addition to professionals in the treatment facility, seek out trusted medical and spiritual advisors who your loved one can count as other allies in this process. Trust is often challenged on both sides of the treatment door, so respected and known persons are invaluable. Any way a partnership approach can be demonstrated will help ease the rehab entry phase.

Allow Pros to Join the “Team”

It’s admirable that you’re prepared and have included your loved one in the admission process. But it’s also imperative that you let the professionals and medical staff to take the reins when treatment begins.

The collaborative stance you’ve taken in helping facilitate alcohol rehab for your loved one will go far to demonstrate support and a healthy perspective. An added benefit is your new understanding of the key components to a successful entry to treatment.

If you have questions about entering treatment, call 866-349-1770 or contact our trained admissions staff.