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How to speak to my addict about going to rehab?


Can you feel in your gut that something is wrong?

Have you been playing the detective, trying to find signs, to prove your suspicions? 

Perhaps you been running the conversation in your head over and over thinking how to approach the subject? How to get the help so desperately needed? 

The family members are often the first to know and recognize that something is wrong, that the situation is dire, and that professional help is needed. 

Here are a few tips on how to speak to your addict about going to rehab. 

Change the narrative

There is so much stigma around addiction and rehabilitation centres and preconceived ideas. In simple, addiction is the desire to disconnect and rehabilitation is merely the process of restoration and connection.  If you go into the conversation with this in mind, it eases the anxiety and fear around the addict stepping into his journey of recovery.  

Have the conversation when you are calm

You will have more control and power over the situation if you are not shouting in anger and frustration. Rather be prepared with information and share your knowledge about the options available when you have this conversation.


Speak Without judgment or blame

Try not to accuse, blame, or shame.

Voice your fears over what you can see is happening, give examples of what behaviors are troubling you. Acknowledge the distress the person is experiencing and be supportive, reassuring, yet determined.

Speak about how YOU are feeling

Explain how the behavior you are noticing is making you feel.

When you (use substances, drink, miss work/studies/family functions) I feel (worried, frustrated, hurt, scared) 


Be there for the healing process 

Everyone needs to feel connected, leaving your family and home is a scary process for a person who is riddled with shame and guilt. Knowing that you are not going to be “dropped off and forgotten about” is a comfort for someone who doesn’t believe they deserve it after everything they put you through. 

Stick to your boundaries 

Make your boundaries clear and manageable, don’t threaten with a consequence you won’t be able to follow.

We suggest you encourage and support the recovery journey, but if the choice is not to get help, stop supporting financially, emotionally or in any other way. The message and your boundaries need to be clear; I will be here for recovery; I won’t participate in any way while substances are being used.


Be a united front 

Speak to all family members beforehand so you are unified in the decision and boundaries you set. Don’t allow any manipulation to split you up or play you against each other. Preferably have this conversion with all family members present so you can support each other and be united in your message and there will be no need to repeat what was said and discussed.