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How to Cope with a Loved One in Rehab
When someone you love and care about enters a rehab for substance abuse – whether it is alcohol or drugs – it can trigger some pretty intense emotions. You may worry about their safety. We have all seen those scary depictions of facilities where someone is held against their will, strapped to a chair or table, and force-fed drugs to keep them under control. It is important to remember that those are mostly fictional tales of a bygone era. Today, rehab centers are in the business to help their patients. Like any business, if they develop a “bad reputation,” they suffer and eventually go out of business. The bottom line is your loved one is in the hands of people who want to help others and who care about making a difference.
Rehab programs are voluntary – your loved one entered into the facility of their own free will, which is a huge and difficult step in the right direction. They chose to get better and take steps to create a healthier life for themselves. How can you help them?
Trust in the Process
Remember the person who chose to enter into the process of rehabilitation was the person you are concerned about. Maybe you didn’t even know there was an addiction problem. Maybe you are worried how it will look to your friends, colleagues, or family. Whatever your concerns, if you want to help your loved one you will need to focus on them and the process.
The staff that are going to help the individual through the treatment are professionals. They have received specialized training and education, and they care. The best way to help is to listen to them and follow their suggestions.
Under the care of the professionally trained care providers, patients receive individual counseling, group exercises, balanced diet, and medical care. Within this warmly held environment, your loved one identifies their substance abuse issues, what triggers using, and how to cope with those triggers.
Respect Their Privacy
At the beginning of treatment, patients are typically required to limit their contact with the outside world. Distractions take away from their main focus – making choices that help them stay clean. This is often a difficult stage for those who care about the person. Not knowing how they are doing can be frustrating and sometimes painful. The addict needs you to be strong so they can be strong.
Supporting Your Loved Ones
Family involvement in the rehabilitation process is an important step in the process for both the patient and the rehab team. Research indicates that when family members engage in the process in a positive way it reduces the chances of relapse significantly.
Typically, family members are invited to attend workshops to learn about their loved one’s addiction, ask questions, and share experiences and feelings related to the family member undergoing rehabilitation.
When those who love and care about the patient in rehabilitation choose to get involved with the recovery, it not only helps the person in recovery it assists the professional staff in understanding family dynamics. Learning how to cope with a loved one in rehab will include having healthy boundaries and taking guidance from the treatment team.
But remember your involvement is not a time for you to seek therapy; it is for your loved one and their recovery. However, you may want to seek help for yourself, which will benefit your loved one. It is not unusual for the family of an addict to struggle with intense emotions surrounding past experiences and interactions while they were using.
One of the most important aspects of making healthy choices is taking responsibility for those choices. You can make a difference in your own life and theirs by modeling positive behaviors.
The Treatment Specialist is Here to Help
To learn more about Family Support and How to Cope with a Loved One in Rehab, visit our Family Support section or call to connect with a treatment center to learn about the available options for you and your loved one. Call 866-644-7911.