Why the Push?

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It’s often said that someone who abuses alcohol and/or drugs needs to “want to get help” for any type of treatment to work. We also hear that, unless the person decides to admit themselves, treatment is a waste of time and resources.

No and no. Were these concepts true, far fewer people would be in treatment centers today and even fewer would be sober.

These archaic ideologies miss some key details. Most people who are active in a substance use disorder don’t want to seek treatment. Deep levels of shame, hopelessness and fear exist within the brains and souls of all users — feelings that limit their ability to ask for help or make positive changes on their own.

As if those inner hurdles aren’t enough, society demands that those with a substance use disorder “bottom out” and suffer ongoing pain until they’re 100 percent committed to their recovery. Trouble is, active users lack perspective, aren’t rational and don’t always understand the process required to gain admittance into a treatment center. Sadly, getting into treatment really does require many difficult steps. That’s why so many alcoholics and drug addicts end up in hospitals, jails and institutions.

It’s also why I conduct nearly 100 interventions each year, providing a necessary push that allows people to seek treatment instead of disappearing deeper into their addictions.

So, why the push? Why not let them continue to struggle until they’re “ready” or “want” to recover?

First off, “the push” saved my life. Had it not been for my family and friends nudging me toward treatment, I likely would’ve never sought it independently; my brain was too oversaturated with substances. That, combined with a lack of sleep, high anxiety and poor diet, limited my ability to see my situation for what it was: unmanageable and unsustainable. I needed others to see it for me, and thank God they did.

People contemplate change in their lives on a regular basis. Start a diet. Begin a workout regime. Find a new job. Leave an abusive relationship. The person moving toward change often needs a push from a loved one, doctor or friend.

There’s no difference when it comes to addiction. The push allows the alcoholic or drug addict to cross over into a new way of living, which, deep down, they want; they just don’t know how to attain.

If you know someone who’s abusing drugs and alcohol, step in, give them a nudge, tell them they’re worthy of change. Allowing addiction to run its course costs hundreds of lives every year — lives that maybe could’ve been saved……………. by the push.

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