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The Climb

Four Ways You Can Support Your Loved One in Treatment

Sep 1, 2017 9:24:00 AM / by Ascension Recovery Services

In my experience as a clinical manager at an inpatient drug and alcohol center, I have seen a lot of hardships that families face while their loved one is in treatment. Whether this is their first time in treatment or one of multiple inpatient stays, there are numerous efforts a family member can make to greatly support a loved one’s recovery.

You might think, “I’m not the addict, why should I do anything at all?” If you’re reading this, then you care enough to be informed on how to be appropriately involved and supportive. Here are several best practice efforts you can make to contribute toward your loved one’s treatment:

1. EDUCATE YOURSELF WITH SUGGEST READING MATERIAL FOR YOUR LOVED ONE'S TREATMENT CENTER 

The most successful families I have had the privilege to watch grow and thrive from this experience are the ones who dedicate themselves to literature, work to be open-minded, and learn the difference between being supportive and being enabling. 

2. IMMERSE YOURSELF TO BETTER UNDERSTAND YOUR LOVED ONE'S ADDICTION BY ATTENDING NAR ANON OR AL ANON MEETINGS

Find a NAR ANON OR AL ANON MEETING BY YOU. 

These meetings are designed to help people like you learn how to live with addiction in the family and how best to help your loved one. There will likely be meetings where you don’t relate to the others attending or the discussions being had. Stick with it until you find at least one meeting where you do relate and learn something.

When you go to these meetings, identify yourself as someone who is there to listen. Then, do exactly that: listen. By attending these meetings, you will gain the understanding of what your loved one will go through during their treatment, and you will learn how you can support your loved one by caring with concern.

3. TAKE BOUNDARY SETTING SERIOUSLY 

While your loved one is in treatment you should participate in as much family counseling as the treatment center offers. By the end of their treatment, you can expect to have very clear boundaries established by which every family member should abide.

Taking the time to thoroughly evaluate your relationship and working with professionals to develop a game plan will result in the regaining of trust with your loved one. Be aware, they will return as a different person than what you’ve grown accustomed to, but you will grow and develop together to have a stronger relationship built on honesty and integrity.

4. COMPLETE THE TREATMENT REGIMEN 

Full completion of an intended treatment program is very important. A common trait of addiction is manipulation and there are many common excuses used to leave treatment early.  Here is a list of what you may hear from your loved one when they try to leave treatment:

“I’m not like these people”
“The food is horrible, like prison food”
“I can do this now, I just needed a few days away”
“Someone tried to sell me drugs here, come get me”


When confronted with these types of requests, keep in mind that supporting a completed treatment program is essential and remind your loved one that you are committed to celebrating completion of the stay.

Above all, be strong. Be strong for your loved one when they can’t be strong for themselves. Their life depends on it. Stick to your boundaries, be open-minded, and act out of care and concern. 
 
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Topics: supporting loved one

Ascension Recovery Services

Written by Ascension Recovery Services

Ascension Recovery Services is a team of experts and specialists with years of experience working to support individuals struggling with addiction and their families.