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What strategies would help my loved one stop?

What strategies would help my loved one stop?

When it comes to substance use, there is no ‘one size fits all’ option to stop. When...

When it comes to substance use, there is no ‘one size fits all’ option to stop. When researching strategies that would help your loved one, consider their wants, needs, and personality.

Learning What Works Best for Them

Many strategies help people stop using, but what works will vary from person to person. It's important to consider what they think will help. For instance, perhaps they are looking for someone to talk to and believe that meeting with a therapist would be beneficial.

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Learning How to Intervene

Depending on the severity of your loved one’s substance use, moderate interventions with a health professional can be more helpful than you or another family member stepping in.

  • Brief Intervention: Lasting anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, a brief intervention occurs in a primary physician’s office where a professional alerts your loved one to the dangers they may face should they not stop.
  • Motivational Interviewing:  Also a brief consultation between your loved one and a professional, motivational interviewing identifies and helps eliminate the roadblocks that are preventing your loved one from stopping. 

Learning Strategies with Industry Research 

Research has suggested that traditional confrontational interventions, which place blame solely on the substance user, do not encourage them to stop. In contrast, more modern methods of intervention that include family involvement in therapy have a better track record. 

For instance, in a clinical trial, the Community Reinforcement Approach to Family Training (CRAFT) treatment method had a 74% success rate in engaging resistant loved ones into treatment. To better understand strategies that would help your loved one stop, it’s helpful for you and other family members to learn more about the basis of their addiction together. 

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Learning When to Step Back

When alternative strategies are unsuccessful at helping your loved one stop, consider allowing natural consequences to occur. This means stepping back and allowing your loved one to experience the ramifications their substance use would have caused should no one have interfered, such as losing their job. This strategy is a learning experience that can encourage your loved one to stop.

Just as different people have different reasons to use substances, they will each have their reasons to stop. 

This article has been medically reviewed by
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Nurse Practitioner

Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women's health. She has spent the past 5 years specializing in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders.

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