How to Support Someone in Drug Rehab

how-to-support-someone-in drug-rehabA lot of times getting your loved one to treatment is only half of the battle. Typically there are a lot of questions that one might face once they get to this place: Is treatment going to work? How can I support them best? What should I say when I write them? What do I do with my time now? What should I do if they want to leave?

This article is designed to help you understand how to support someone in drug rehab.

Is Treatment Going to Work?

Treatment is not a guarantee. It all depends on the individual and how hard they are working. It has been proven that if an individual has a recovery plan that has a strong continuum of care i.e. treatment, sober living, aftercare, therapy, etc. that their chances of long-term recovery are greater. Treatment offers an addict tools on how to maintain sobriety and face life on life’s terms. It offers your loved one a safe place to begin the work that can help recreate their life. Treatment is only the beginning of the process.

How Can I Support Them Best?

A great way to support them is to begin your own program of recovery. It enables you to understand the steps that your loved one is going through and helps you detach from the disease as well. You can also continue to let your loved one know that you support their efforts to get well, and that you are proud of them for taking that step. Also, if the treatment center offers a family program, attend it. Family programs offer you an opportunity to get education about the disease and how you can begin to rebuild the relationship.

What Should We Talk About in Letters and When They Call?

I get questions about this all the time. It is so easy to get caught up in talking about things you might do when they get out, or talking about things that happened in the past. This can be dangerous. Your loved one needs to stay focused on treatment. If they start to focus on things that will happen when they leave they aren’t able to be truly present in the work they need to do. They can begin to become anxious about the future and begin to worry. It’s good to just keep conversations light, to encourage them. If they start complaining about something that is happening there, encourage them to talk with their therapist about it. Asking questions about how their treatment is going and about work that they are doing is great. It is always good to show how interested you are, and how supportive of their recovery you are.

What Do I Do With My Time Now?

Going to your own 12 step meetings is greatly encouraged. Also, this is a time where you don’t have to be worried about your loved one. They are in good hands. You might’ve been consumed with attempting to manage your loved one’s life before, but that enmeshed you with their illness. You have to begin to live your life again. Go hang out with friends, have fun. This is a chance for you to get your life back. You shouldn’t feel guilty for doing this, the less you focus on your loved one’s illness the better. Focusing on the problem keeps the problem alive.

What Do I Do If They Want To Leave?

The questions isn’t if they will want to leave, it is when? Treatment is hard, your loved one will be asked to take a hard look at their selves and inevitably this will be difficult for them. They will bump up against things within their selves which will challenge them. They might pull out the stops saying things about how horrible the staff is treating them, or maybe how the food sucks. It can be anywhere in between, but the important thing to recognize is that the disease is trying to manipulate you. Holding your ground and letting them know that you won’t come get them is the best thing to do in such situations. Holding strong boundaries is important. The treatment team is experts in handling these types of situations. And allowing the addict to see that you have been serious about these boundaries shows them that you will not enable the disease anymore, and can help break through the delusion that they are having in that moment.

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