Aretha Franklin had it right when she demanded R-E-S-P-E-C-T in her famous song. We need to keep that same tune in mind when interacting with anyone who is dealing with a substance abuse problem.
Televised intervention programs and treatment reality shows can make the process look like a bit of a circus, but in truth, treatment center staff are trained to treat everyone who comes through the doors with respect – and to show family members and others how to do the same.
Emotions are usually running high with all involved by the time someone is approached about seeking treatment for a substance abuse problem. There’s no need to add to that with more drama. Ambushing the person with a problem, running down a laundry list of all they’ve done wrong or bringing up painful family issues in a disrespectful or blaming way will only hinder their ability to accept the help.
Instead, try to treat everyone in the process with respect, from the time the subject of treatment is first discussed and all points forward. Respect alone isn’t going to overcome a substance abuse problem, but it will help all involved in the recovery process hold their heads high.
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