Support a Loved One in Getting Treatment

By on August 23, 2019
Treatment

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol is a difficult experience. Family relationships become strained when the person who is struggling exhibits unacceptable behavior.  At the same time, friends and family are an essential source of support for getting someone into treatment.  Support systems also form the cornerstone of a relapse prevention plan.

Researching Treatment Programs

The first step to getting assistance is to research residential treatment programs for substance abuse. Call your doctor and your health insurance company for recommendations.  Contact the centers to find an available bed.  Research the centers to find out if they specialize in possible co-occurring disorders or offer recreational activities that overlap with your loved one’s interests.

It will be easier to convince your loved one to accept treatment if the details are already worked out and you can share some positive attributes of the center you have chosen.

Consulting With Professionals

You may find it helpful to consult with a counselor with experience in addiction treatment to discuss your experience with your family member. Research has shown little evidence that staged confrontations and interventions are effective. However, a professional can help you find ways to communicate sensitively with your family member.  A counselor will also help you take care of yourself during this challenging time. You may also need to learn to stop enabling your loved one’s behavior.

One strategy that may yield results is to ask your loved one to make an appointment with a primary care doctor for a checkup. Mail a letter to the doctor in advance with your concerns. While privacy laws will keep the doctor from discussing information with you, the doctor can stay alert for symptoms and ask questions at the visit.

Support During and After Treatment

Once your loved one has entered one of the residential treatment programs for substance abuse, ask the center how you can provide support. Write letters and attend visitation hours. Let your family know that you are proud of him or her for addressing the problem. Attend any family therapy sessions offered so that you can learn about addiction and ways to support recovery.

Remember that the greatest challenge will be to maintain sobriety after your loved one has left intensive treatment.  Encourage your family member to keep all appointments and to take prescribed medication.  Keep your loved one away from people and situations that initially triggered the addiction.  Help your loved one find new hobbies to occupy their time.  

Your support of your loved one will make a difference during treatment and recovery.

 

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Support a Loved One in Getting Treatment