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Help Your Loved One Seek Addiction Treatment In Canada

By April 14, 2018 June 15th, 2023 No Comments
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Addiction claims the lives of at least 47,000 Canadians each year.

If your loved one suffers from addiction, that statistic is all too real and too close to home. Treatment is often the last resort, but most effective way to save an addict’s life.

If you’re struggling to approach your loved one to suggest treatment, you aren’t alone. This conversation can go wrong in an instant, and the consequences are dire.

Luckily, there are some simple guidelines you can follow to help your loved one choose treatment on their own.

If you’re interested in helping them help themselves by choosing addiction treatment in Canada, keep reading.

Addiction and Mental Health

Before you approach your loved one, it’s important to realize that substance abuse issues often come with emotional problems as well.

Sometimes, addicts turn to substance abuse in the first place because they are unable to cope with trauma, stress, or anxiety. The core causes of their addiction don’t go away when they start using; using is a band-aid for deeper issues.

Most commonly, addicts will also suffer from low self-worth, intimacy issues, codependency, self-harm, depression, etc.

Mental health issues are tightly intertwined with addiction, although they both need to be treated independently. When you’re ready to choose a treatment facility, find out how they address mental health issues.

Is there cognitive behavioural therapy?

Do they teach healthy coping mechanisms?

Do they use holistic and scientific approaches?

As you move forward with addiction treatment in Canada, remind yourself it will not be a quick and easy fix.

Recovery from addiction as well as fragile mental health is a lifelong process.

1. Forget Being in Control

It’s common for loved ones to be angry and frustrated with their addicted loved one.

Why can’t they just go to rehab and stop this behaviour? That’s what you would do, right?

It isn’t that simple. Addicts have zero control over their addiction; it’s sometimes called a disease because that’s how little power they have over this compulsion.

After repeating the behaviour for so long, the body requires the substance. It’s rewired the brain. The reward-pleasure part of the brain connects good feelings with the substance.

As a loved one, you need to give up the idea that they can control this issue but are choosing not to. You must also give up the idea that the harder your push and force, the more likely they’ll get help.

If you want to help them get addiction treatment in Canada, start by being a good influence.

Act out of compassion, patience, and understanding. Show them you care by wanting to get them help, not by enabling them (keep reading for more on that).

Being an influence in their life is more likely to impact their decision to get help rather than being controlling and forceful.

2. End the Codependency

Loved ones often feel responsible for the addict’s safety and wellbeing. Especially in the case of parents and guardians, seeing your child abuse substances can feel like a direct result of your failure.

Unfortunately, these feelings can lead loved ones and the addict to be in a co-dependent relationship.

Essentially, the critical component of codependency is enabling. When was the last time you loaned out money?

When was the last time they sold (or stole) something from your home without permission?

How often do they abuse a substance in your home, or you take care of them after?

These are all examples of a co-dependent relationship, and they need to stop.


You need to create boundaries that they can’t cross. There need to be consequences that you will enforce if they are. For example:

  • Start putting locks on cabinets that hold wallets, cash, or valuables
  • If they aren’t allowed to be in your home intoxicated, ask them to leave
  • Stop loaning them money until they pay you back for previous loans
  • Prevent them from seeing child family members if they aren’t sober

Depending on your situation, your specific boundaries may vary.

The critical thing to remember is that enabling them to use is not helping them in the long run. The longer an addict uses, the more likely they are to become another victim of addiction.

Establishing boundaries is part of the process of addiction treatment in Canada.

3. The Big Conversation

Bringing up the suggestion of addiction treatment in Canada is a touchy subject.

It should occur in a comfortable, calm setting with no distractions. Ideally, your loved one is a good mood and sober.

Banish all judgment from your end; focus on being empathetic.

Tell them you’re concerned about their behaviour. With compassion, ask if the addict would be willing to have a calm and open conversation about it.

If your loved one feels safe enough to open up, they may be able to discuss their thoughts on treatment. They likely have lots of fears and concerns about it. Address each one and work through their anxiety about it.

Here are some other tips:

  • Start your statements with “I feel…” instead of “You…”
  • No accusations, like “You don’t care about your children.”
  • Put your anger aside
  • Be willing to discuss your failures in the relationship

After this conversation, they may be ready to meet with a center representative for addiction treatment in Canada. Or, they could be defensive and uninterested. If that’s the case, let it go for the time being and begin considering an intervention.

In the case of a crisis, there are lots of emergency resources for you and your loved one on Canada’s Substance Abuse web page.

4. Intervention

If your loved one is resistant to getting treatment, or even acknowledging they have a problem, an intervention is the next step.

An intervention is the direct, tough-love approach. For some addicts, they need the confrontation. They need to see how much they’re loved and how much they need this opportunity. The key is to do it in a controlled and safe setting.

Consider hiring a professional interventionist; they will have meetings with the family beforehand, help plan the logistics, guide the intervention and moderate discussion, and recommend centers for addiction treatment in Canada.

The interventionist will be there to lead the discussion and provide an impartial perspective.

The loved ones’ jobs are to say how much they love them, how the addiction has affected them, and state their new boundaries. There may also be consequences if the addict doesn’t choose to get help today.

Intervention Models

A) The Invitational Model– This type of intervention will not be a surprise to the addict. The family, addict, and interventionist plan the session well in advance, and then the addict can choose if they want to show up.

B) Systemic Model– This type of intervention focuses on each person’s role in the addiction. Family members discuss how they’ve contributed to their loved one becoming an addict. There is no ambush, the addict and family explain what everyone can proactively do together to make this treatment possible.

C) Motivational Model– This type of intervention aims to empower the addict to make the right decisions. The interventionist builds trust with the addict by understanding their problem and helping them to move forward.

As you plan the session with the interventionist, discuss which model best suits this situation and provides the best possible outcome. Should your loved one know in advance about the intervention, or will it be a surprise?

If they choose not to get help, then the loved ones need to enforce their consequences.

You can approach the subject another time, but know that you cannot go back to how it was before the intervention.

How to Choose Addiction Treatment in Canada

Canada has lots of different drug rehab centers available. Some offer programs for specific substance addictions, others have ones designed for specific age groups or genders.

Do your research well in advance to decide which facility is most credible, successful, and will suit your loved one’s needs.

Here are some other facility factors to consider:

  • Are loved ones allowed to visit
  • Length of program
  • Housing conditions
  • Cost
  • What happens if your loved one chooses to leave?
  • Accreditation of the center and its staff

You want the best for your loved one. This means finding them the best possible addiction treatment in Canada.

Remember that even if you find the best addiction treatment in Canada, this will still be a challenge for your loved one. It won’t be easy, and they may not be happy there for the time being.

However, the day they can finally say they’re sober, they won’t regret the treatment you helped them choose.

Interested in Learning More About Treatment?

Addictions treatment is imperative to an addict’s recovery.

Choosing to read this article, have the conversation with them, and even have an intervention demonstrates how much you care. You are taking the right steps to help them choose treatment.

To learn more about addiction treatment in Canada, our treatment facility and how we can help your loved one and family, read more on our blog.

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

We offer residential and outpatient rehab treatment programs for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

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