Making the Tough Choice to Persist with Tough Love
A patient’s family or friends sometimes have to show tough love so that the truth of substance abuse comes out. It is a way to show you love someone enough to stop supporting their destructive habits and start supporting their health. Many addicts don’t immediately see the benefits of this change, but with compassion and love you can show them that you are interested in rescuing them from drugs or alcohol.
Friends and family members who previously cleaned up addiction’s mess should stop. Enabling the habit does not enable the person. This may include withdrawing financial help, bailing them out from jail, and even cutting off contact- but only if they continue their substance abuse. Explain to the addict that these efforts are not out of hate or indifference, but out of love. You have given up on caring about drugs or alcohol, but not them. Their alcohol or drug use has caused pain and suffering to you, and you refuse to keep fueling it. Instead, put your efforts towards getting him or her help. Tough love shows that no matter how down or destructive a person is, you believe they are worth saving.
Being persistent with tough love is, well, tough. But in the end it may be the only way to get your loved on to treatment. Stop enabling substance abuse. With your willful and focused help, your loved one can beat chemical dependency. The first step for them is to realize drugs and/or alcohol are in control. Showing tough love will help them get to this point faster. If you need assistance or support, contact a treatment center that can help you show tough love.