Families of Addicts: Why Treatment is Necessary When You Love an Addict
It is hard when loved ones succumbs to an addiction, but it is important to make sure that they get treatment. It’s hard to know what to say or how to bring up the topic with a loved one, but once the treatment is over, he or she will be able to become sober and have the tools he or she needs in order to maintain their newly clean lives.
Family members have a few things that they can do to help the process along.
Before the Treatment
Convincing a loved one to seek treatment is not always easy and sometimes they will be stubborn and believe that they do not have an addiction, especially if they believe in the stereotypes of an addict. It is important for loved ones to talk to the addict calmly and express how the addiction is affecting them.
It may also become important to stake an intervention, either by surprising the addict with a family meeting or hiring a professional interventionist who will know the right approaches for the situation.
During the Treatment
If the addict agrees to go for treatment, it is very important that the family members be involved for the process if possible. According to SAMHSA, family members are the foundation of their loved one’s recovery process by providing essential support.
Loved ones help them though the most difficult parts of the recovery process with their support and can reap the rewards of the achievements by their sides.
Even if the process is inpatient and the addict cannot visit their family, they are encouraged to visit and aid in the recovery of their loved one by offering their support. It is also advantageous for the family to be involved in the loved ones progress.
Through family counseling sessions, the family can open their communication and with the help of a counselor in a safe, peaceful place, relationships can be healed and restored.
After the Treatment
During this time, it is important that those closest to the addict not condemn or criticize their loved one, as this can discourage the addict from continuing with their coping practices. Let go of their past wrongs, focus on their strength, and triumph in becoming sober.
If the family is not supportive, it is far more likely that the individual will face a relapse because it will bring back the negative emotions that most likely drove them to use in the first place, such as guilt, depression, shame, etc.
It is very hard to watch a loved one go through an addiction, but it can be comforting to know that there are things the loved ones can do to help. By pushing for treatment, offering support during and after treatment, and being involved during the process, loved ones can help to bring the addict back to the person they really want to be.