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Rehab Motivation

How Do You Convince an Addict to Get Help? Inpatient Rehab Motivation & Dual Diagnosis Treatment. Help for a Loved One.

How to motivate a loved one to go to rehab?

Does rehab treatment work? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about one-third of people who are treated for alcohol problems have no further symptoms 1 year later. Many others substantially reduce their drinking and report fewer alcohol-related problems. [1]

While according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction treatment dropout is one of the major problems encountered by treatment programs; therefore, motivational techniques that can keep patients engaged will also improve outcomes. By viewing addiction as a chronic disease and offering continuing care and monitoring, programs can succeed. But this will often require multiple episodes of treatment and readily readmitting patients that have relapsed. [2]

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.  Drugs of abuse alter the brain’s structure and function, resulting in changes that persist long after drug use has ceased. This may explain why drug abusers are at risk for relapse even after long periods of abstinence and despite the potentially devastating consequences.

Rehab Motivation
Professionals in the drug and alcohol treatment field offer advice on what to consider when choosing a treatment program.
Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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How do you convince an addict to get help?

When someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is natural to want to help but to be unsure how or where to get rehab motivation for a loved one. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are common in this situation. You may have tried talking to said loved one or offered various forms of help, but to no avail. You are not alone. Getting someone to admit that they have a problem and that they need to accept help is rarely a smooth and quick process. Persistence is key. In due time, you can get your loved ones the help they need and deserve. Here are the 8 tips [3] to convince your loved one to get help:

  • Be patient
    • Becoming an addict doesn’t happen overnight and neither does recovery. Every step of this journey is going to be a process. Getting sober takes time and staying sober does not often happen on the first try. There will be good days and bad, but consistency in your patience, love, and support will go a long way.  
  • Become a part of the process
    • Get involved and let your loved one know that where possible, you will be by their side. Many treatment facilities include family therapy as a part of their program. In family therapy, you all can work through any underlying issues, as well as build better communication.
  • Understand the recovery process
    • Research addiction treatment so that you can speak intelligently about what treatment encompasses and what the different options are. Do you know what to expect from cocaine detox or how alcohol withdrawal symptoms are managed? Look into different types of treatment and find a few different centers that you can present as options to your loved one.
  • Find the right time to talk
    • Increase your chances of getting through to your loved ones by trying to talk to them when they are as sober as possible. You want them to be able to think clearly about your conversation and to be able to react in a calm manner. Talking to someone when they are intoxicated may go poorly or they might even forget the conversation.
    • Typically, the morning or after a major drug-related incident is the best time to try and talk to someone with a drug or alcohol addiction. After an incident, they may be particularly vulnerable and receptive to getting help. Additionally, whether you plan on having a one-on-one conversation or an intervention, making plans to have a tough conversation in the morning is a safe bet.
Rehab Motivation
Matching the right therapy to the individual is important to its success. 
  • Set and maintain boundaries
    • There is a fine line between supporting and enabling. To avoid crossing this line, set some boundaries. Make it clear that inpatient rehab and recovery mean they are expected to dedicate a certain amount of time to treatment programming. Offer support in the form of verbal affirmations, but make sure they contribute to their recovery in ways more than just showing up. This will help your loved ones help themselves. They will be forced to take their recovery seriously as well as take some of the pressure and stress off of you.
  • Don’t give up
    • An intervention or rehab motivation does not always guarantee admission to a treatment program. If your first conversation doesn’t appear to change anything, you can never know for sure the effect it will have in their head. It might take 2 or 20 attempts before you make a breakthrough and even once your loved one does enter a drug and alcohol treatment program, this does not guarantee long-term sobriety. Relapse is always a possibility. There may be times when your loved ones will want to give up themselves and they may need you to keep trying for the both of you. Don’t give up. You and your love are powerful. Check how to do an intervention for drug addiction for more tips.
  • Be intentional with what you say
    • Words have power and they can either drive someone away or lead to a breakthrough. Before you even try sparking a conversation or leading an intervention, make sure that everyone involved thinks long and hard about the words they use. The words you use and the way you say them are critical. Rehearse what you have to say and how you plan on saying it. Focus on being warm and open in your voice, tone, and body language. If things start to take a negative turn, change the subject and resist any urge you may have to fight or argue.  
  • Let them decide to identify as an addict
    • Don’t call your loved one an addict unless they have already identified themselves in this manner. It is up to the individual to designate how they identify. Additionally, saying “a person with an addiction” instead of “an addict” supports that they are more than their addiction and that this part of their life does not define their entire being.

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Rehab motivation for inpatient dual diagnosis rehab treatment

When asked how addiction problems are treated, people commonly think of 12-step programs or 28-day inpatient rehab but may have difficulty naming other options. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and what may work for one person may not be a good fit for someone else. Simply understanding rehab motivation and the different options can be an important first step.

Understanding “Dual Diagnosis

A person with a dual diagnosis has both a mental disorder and an alcohol or drug problem. These conditions occur together frequently. About half of people who have a mental disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives and vice versa. The interactions of the two conditions can worsen both.

Someone with a dual diagnosis must treat both conditions. For the treatment to be effective, you need to stop using alcohol or drugs. Treatments may include behavioral therapies and medicines. Also, support groups can give you emotional and social support. They are also a place where people can share tips about how to deal with day-to-day challenges. [4]

Behavioral Treatments

Behavioral treatments are aimed at changing drinking behavior through counseling. They are led by health professionals and supported by studies showing they can be beneficial.

Behavioral treatments share certain features, which can include:

  • Developing the skills needed to stop or reduce drinking
  • Helping to build a strong social support system
  • Working to set reachable goals
  • Coping with or avoiding the triggers that might cause relapse


There are medications currently approved in the United States to help people stop or reduce their drinking and prevent drug relapse. They are prescribed by a primary care physician or other health professional and may be used alone or in combination with counseling.

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How long does inpatient drug rehab last?

Because successful outcomes often depend on a person’s staying in treatment long enough to reap its full benefits, strategies for keeping people in treatment are critical. Whether a patient stays in treatment depends on factors associated with both the individual’s rehab motivation and the program. [5] Individual factors related to engagement and retention typically include:

  • Motivation to change drug-using behavior
  • Degree of support from family and friends
  • Pressure from the criminal justice system, child protection services, employers, or family

Within a treatment program, successful clinicians can establish a positive, therapeutic relationship with their patients.

Rehab Motivation
Simply understanding the different treatment options can be an important first step.

The clinician should ensure that a treatment plan is developed cooperatively with the person seeking treatment, that the plan is followed, and that treatment expectations are clearly understood. Medical, psychiatric, and social services should also be available.

As the addiction treatment community begins to realize that addiction is itself a mental disorder, the relationship between drug abuse and psychiatric disorders becomes more complicated. The greater treatment community largely lacks a proper understanding of dually diagnosed conditions, so these conditions are still treated separately, or worse–not treated or diagnosed at all. Our dual diagnosis treatment centers in We Level Up Florida, California, Texas, and New Jersey are some of the facilities that have professionals trained to help treat co-occurring disorders concurrently. This type of tandem treatment provides some of the best success rates.


[1] Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
[3] 8 Tips for Getting Your Loved One Into A Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program – Level Up Lake Worth, FL
[4] Dual Diagnosis – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health

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