How To Support Your Loved One In Addiction Treatment

 In Intervention, Intervention Tips

Knowing how to approach a loved one who needs addiction treatment is important.

How the family behaves can have a definite impact on the outcome.

Therefore, understanding how to support a family member once they agree to go to rehab is essential to the recovery process.

Making it Through an Intervention Successfully

A successful intervention is one that ends in your loved one entering addiction treatment. That sounds simple, but there are some things that are necessary for that to work:

  • The addict must understand the way their addiction is impacting the people they care about.
  • Be prepared to stop helping the addict when they refuse help.
  • Most successful interventions are held in a neutral environment and led by a licensed interventionist. Professional help is a key component to success.
  • Treatment should be lined up and ready to take the addict as soon as they say yes to treatment. Avoid giving them time to change their mind.
  • Those who attend the intervention need to know how to react in a healthy way. Avoid becoming aggressive or trying to communicate with negative emotions.
  • Have a plan in place for both their acceptance and their denial and stick to this plan no matter what.
  • Approach the addict with love and remind them of how much they mean to everyone.

Remember, there will always be some people who simply aren’t ready to enter addiction treatment.

Ulimately, a successful intervention can be a healing experience for everyone involved regardless of the outcome.


What Can You Do to Prepare Your Loved One for Treatment?

It can be hard to know how to support your loved one in a healthy way after they say yes to treatment.

Operating in crisis mode can become a normal way of life.

It’s hard to know how to react when things start to get better.

Still, you must create a healthy support system for your loved one once they are ready to come home.

Every member of the family needs to seek their own support groups or therapy.

This can help to establish healthy coping skills that will prepare them to handle their own experiences.

Be kind to yourself and muster up the strength to get through the days ahead.

It’s essential that the family work with the treatment professionals and be made aware of the aftercare plan.

Many things need to be worked out before your loved one leaves treatment.

This includes where they will go once they’re released, and what types of programs they’ll continue to attend.

Making the proper plans based on what is decided and getting it down in writing if helpful.

You may feel that a sober living home is your loved one’s best option.

If you truly believe it’s the best decision for your loved one, you’re probably right.

A sober living facility can help your loved one reacclimate to the outside world.

The most important thing is to make sure that everyone is emotionally and spiritually ready for the transition.


What Happens if They Beg to Leave Early

Your loved one at some point will probably ask to leave treatment early.

You might find them on the other end of the phone pleading with you to come and get them.

Most people do this because the early stages of drug rehab are uncomfortable.

Just remember, they need to complete the program.

It’s not going to be an easy situation a lot of the time, but it’s necessary.

If they don’t, they won’t have the chance to learn to live drug and alcohol-free.

It’s no secret that being sober after a long time is scary.

Many addicts will have a lapse of fortitude when they’ll doubt that the rehab facility can help.

Or, they’ll believe that they’re “cured” when they’re actually far from it.

When this happens, stepping back and giving them time and space is usually the best idea.

Be kind, loving, but firm.

Tell your loved one that you want them to push through and learn how to cope with life drug-free.

Learning how to deal with intense emotions can be difficult.

Addiction treatment is usually tailored to fit their specific needs.

Mental health professionals have spent decades coming up with the best treatments.

Trust the process and take a step back.

Things will work out the way they are supposed to.

Consider sending them care packages and essentials that let them know you care without infringing on their treatment.

Keep in mind that rehab is usually a cash-free environment, so cards or credit at the facility is best.


Embracing Self-Care While Your Loved One is Away

When your loved one enters into drug rehab, they aren’t the only one going through major changes.

Similarly, you will be dealing with changes right along with them.

Learning how to practice self-care and getting used to living life without the stress of addiction will take time.

Begin drawing clear boundaries and making it known what you will and will not accept from now on.

This can also mean taking a firm and assertive stance where the addict is concerned.

You can let them know you love them, but you won’t accept anymore manipulation.

You don’t have to accept any more hurtful circumstances.

Protecting yourself is actually a positive thing for them.

They learn to be their own people and to develop confidence in their own choices. You need to take care of you before you can take care of anyone else.

If you’re struggling with the idea of an intervention, it’s important that you contact a professional.

There’s help out there, and you and your loved one deserve it.

With the proper planning and personal growth, your entire family can start to recover in a way that’s positive and empowering.


[1] Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4126. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2004.

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