For ordinary people, being empathetic towards the struggles and feelings of an addict can be challenging. People going to a detox center are at a rock bottom level that is hard to relate to. What about when the addict going to a treatment facility is one of your family members? There are steps you can take while supporting a loved one in the detox process.
Often, families are exposed to lies, stealing, humiliation, worry, and other consequences when one of their family members is an addict. These constraints put extraordinary amounts of stress on relationships and the family dynamic overall.
Addicts often feel humiliated or embarrassed to admit they need help. Still, getting a loved one to admit they have a substance use disorder problem is the most essential –and often the most challenging– part of recovery journey. When your loved one is willing to accept help and enroll in an addiction treatment program, it may feel like you see the light at the end of the tunnel, but this does come with a new set of obstacles to overcome.
Depending on what drugs your loved one is addicted to and how long they have been using them, a detox under medical supervision may be the next challenging step to take.
Being informed on what to expect is the best way to prepare to show support for a loved one in detox. Here are six tips to help with long-term success!
Educate Yourself on Detox, Withdrawal, Rehabilitation, and Relapse Prevention
Addiction is a very complex disease, but education is key to understanding what your loved one is experiencing. For a long time, there has been a negative stigma when it comes to rehabilitation centers. People don’t want rehab facilities in their neighborhood, and they sometimes even look down on people who go to rehab. This doesn’t make any sense though, people who are going to rehab are taking steps to improve themselves.
By taking the time to learn about alcohol and drug addiction, the withdrawal process, detox, rehabilitation, and its effects on the mind and body, you can begin to empathize and be strategic in your approach to the obstacles you face. Avoid using your knowledge as a weapon against your loved one; instead, use it as a tool to facilitate and further improve your understanding.
Some drugs, like alcohol, create a physical dependence after long-term abuse. If an alcoholic were to suddenly stop drinking, they would experience alcohol withdrawal and a handful of potentially life-threatening symptoms. Many drugs require detox to be conducted at a treatment center offering medical assistance for safety. If a person needs medical detoxification and is ready to accept help, it’s important to act fast! Doing a Google search of “Detox facility near me” should pull up a list of treatment centers that offer detox treatment options.
Try to get to know about the drug and alcohol addiction and symptoms of withdrawal. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) offers an online resource that provides credible information on addiction, treatment, and family support.
Practice Patience and Try to be Understanding
Managing realistic expectations of your loved one’s recovery process and being supportive and compassionate takes effort, But putting forth the effort can make a world of difference. There may be times when the person in treatment may act irrationally. Try to be patient and understanding in these difficult situations.
As your loved ones go through their treatment program, they may start to feel embarrassed about their behavior. Try not to let them dwell on the past and be consistently reminded of their failures. Accept their apology and focus on the future! Saying words of encouragement and displaying how much you appreciate their efforts to get help will help restore their self-esteem and remind them that they’re not in this alone.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Remember that the detox process alone is not a treatment for addiction to drugs. After detox, it is expected that they will partake in treatment programs with different levels of care, starting with an inpatient treatment program. Eventually, your loved one will return home; you may have to make some environmental changes to encourage growth on the road to recovery.
Here are a few ways to change your living habits to facilitate a loved one’s transition back home after detox:
- Remove or hide any substances with potential for abuse.
- Abstain from buying and consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Encourage a healthy diet and positive role models for acquaintances.
- Keep a good report with the person and what’s going on in their life.
- Have follow-up discussions on the progress they’re making and efforts to continue.
Talk to Your Loved One’s Medical Supervisor
During detox, a medical supervisor can help you with a comprehensive strategy to cope with the individual’s changing situation. It’s difficult to anticipate how much help your loved one will require during this period because each individual’s needs are different. In any case, the treatment provider may be able to provide helpful recommendations for you and other members of your family.
If your loved one is an adult, they would need to give the drug and alcohol rehab providers written permission to discuss their situation with you or anybody else. Additionally, an addiction counselor may suggest almost no contact with your loved one during treatment, depending upon the circumstance.
Take Advantage of Visiting Hours
It may seem insignificant, but a simple act of showing up during visiting hours can make a big difference. Visiting demonstrates your love and commitment but also fosters a sense of confidence in a solid act of supporting a loved one in detox.
Show interest in listening to them and talk about their progress. These visitations must remain positive and constructive; it’s not a time to argue or express disappointment. Treatment is always voluntary, and most of the time, a person in treatment will be in a delicate state. If your visitation becomes a negative experience, it could cause the person to decide to check themselves out of treatment and use drugs again.
Reduce Any Family Friction and Provide Social Support
Conflict in close-knit family relationships can be disturbing for everyone. Toxic relationships or environments can contribute to a relapse. Many people who complete detox and inpatient treatments consider themselves to be “in recovery” for life. They are always at risk of relapse to their old habits, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle and positive interactions is important.
You can reduce tension in the household and try to be supportive by:
- Using encouraging and positive language.
- Being flexible with your time and available as a resource to talk or listen.
- Participating in quality time and activities that don’t involve addictive substances
- Helping out with tasks and research when needed.
If the process seems overwhelming and you have questions about treatment for addiction, you can contact Pacific Sands Recovery and have a care coordinator guide you through the process. We are a team of professional treatment providers here to help you with substance abuse treatment at every stage in the process of recovery.
Your loved ones can have their lives back, and you can help!