If you have an addicted loved one seeking help you may be wondering, how can I support an addict in treatment?
Taking on the role of a caregiver is an incredibly selfless act. As the caregiver of an addict, you want the best for them. Their road to recovery can be challenging to navigate, but if both of you are committed to success sobriety is certainly possible.
Keep reading to find out how you can best support the addict in your life.
As a caregiver it’s important to be knowledgeable about what the addict in your life is going through, and what they can expect from treatment. Understanding that addiction isn’t a choice or the result of laziness, but is a product of chemical changes within the brain, can help you to let go of any anger you may be feeling toward the addict. Learning about treatment can help you to understand the steps that the addict in your life is about to take, and also give you hope that long-term success through treatment will be possible.
Find the Right Treatment Center
The first way you can help support an addict in the recovery process is to help them find the right detox and rehab programs. Depending on their state of mind, you may be more capable of comparing the price points, success rates, and philosophies of various treatment centers in your area, as well as one that your insurance provider will work with. Once you’ve narrowed down the options you can present two to three different centers as choices to the addict, so that they still have the ultimate say in where and how they will receive treatment.
Support an Addict By Facilitating Childcare
For addicts with children, seeking residential treatment can seem impossible. You can help support them by helping to find safe, reliable childcare for while they are away. While you don’t necessarily need to commit to taking their children into your own home, you could offer to babysit occasionally for their temporary caregiver and help out wherever necessary. Reassure the addict that although their absence may be difficult for their children in the short-term, ultimately the decision to go to rehab will improve their family’s lives immensely. Encourage the addict to talk with their children about why they are seeking treatment, and to reassure the children that this is not their fault. The National Association for the Children of Alcoholics gives seven C’s for children to remember:
- I didn’t cause it.
- I can’t cure it.
- I can’t control it.
- I can take better care of myself.
- By communicating my feelings,
- Making healthy choices,
- And celebrating me.
Your loved one may also have a pet that’s like family. In this case you can help them find temporary animal care, and if possible you may be able to bring their pet during visiting hours.
Help Them Keep Their Connections
The prospect of leaving friends and family to seek treatment can be very daunting. Rehab can feel like an isolating experience for some, and can be both mentally and physically exhausting. You can help support your loved one during this time by facilitating visits when appropriate and approved by treatment center staff, or by sending emails, letters, or care packages when a visit is not possible. Remind the addict that they are in your thoughts even when they are not physically present, and that you are excited to enter into a new phase of your relationship once they are in recovery.
If applicable, consider attending family therapy sessions with your loved one while they are in rehab. This will help you to better understand each other, and facilitate a healthier bond moving forward.
Be Supportive Yet Firm
While in detox or recovery your loved one may try to convince you to enable them by bringing them drugs or alcohol, or taking them somewhere so they can obtain it themselves. Although it can be difficult to say no, you must remain firm and communicate to them that you will not support their addiction any longer. Remind them of all the hard work they have put in and sacrifices they have made to get to where they currently are, and ask them if they really want to start over. If you have enabled their addiction in the past, now is the time to set new boundaries and end that part of your relationship once and for all. Inevitably, relapse is likely. If your loved one does end up relapsing while in recovery, remember that addiction is a chronic disease and relapse can be part of the recovery process. Do your best to remain positive, enjoy time with your loved one, and encourage them to begin the recovery process again.
Find Support Groups and Practice Self-Care
Support groups are available for both the addict themselves, but also for the caregivers and family members of addicts. Finding people online or in-person that you can relate to and who are going through similar hardships can help you to feel less alone, and can also give you a place to healthily vent your feelings in a safe, non-judgemental space. Additionally, those in your support group can give you advice, or answer any questions you may have about how to best help your loved one. In finding support for yourself, you can better support the addict in your life.
Even though your loved one’s well being may be your top priority, it’s important to make sure you are caring for yourself as well. Getting enough food, water, sleep, and exercise, in addition to practicing hobbies that give you joy, will ensure that you are physically and mentally well enough to care for the addict in your life.
Contact Ardu Recovery Center
The first step in being able to support an addict in treatment, is to get them in treatment. If you or a loved one need help navigating addiction don’t waste any more time, contact the experts at Ardu Recovery Center today. We offer a wide variety of modern detox and rehab programs in order to set every patient up for success. We serve the scenic Provo, Utah area.