Helping a Loved One Get Help  

helping loved oneRealizing that your loved one needs help for drug or alcohol abuse is downright scary and overwhelming. And you most likely have no idea where to begin. Take heart: There are a lot of resources to help guide you through the process – and we’re one of them.

First, know that there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all addiction treatment, so you’ll need to do your homework. In fact, one of the first steps to helping your loved one is to get educated about addiction and addiction treatment.

By doing so, you’ll come to understand that addiction is a chronic, progressive disease (not a moral failing or lack of willpower) that requires lifelong management. This information will allow you to help guide your loved one with patience and understanding. It will also help you to realize that addiction treatment is not a “cure,” but the first step in helping your loved one learn to manage his or her substance use disorder.

Finding the right treatment for your loved one is a process that requires patience, perseverance and due diligence. While there are plenty of reputable rehabs, there are also unscrupulous businesses that are more interested in financial gain than patient care.

One way to determine whether a rehab is reputable is whether or not they have criteria for admissions and some sort of screening or pre-admission process. In order to provide your loved one with treatment tailored to his or her individual needs, the admissions staff should take into consideration your loved one’s medical history and addiction severity as well as any co-occurring mental illnesses prior to planning his or her course of treatment

Some other considerations when trying to figure out how to get help for your loved one…

Do I need an intervention? Intervention is a professionally coordinated effort to help your loved one better understand the realities of his or her disease and get help immediately. Especially if your loved one is in denial and/or resistant to seeking help, you may consider contacting a reputable addiction treatment facility and asking about their intervention services.

Which type of treatment would fit best? There are different types of treatment depending on the severity of your loved one’s addiction as well as whether or not he or she is struggling with any co-occurring mental health issues. This will also depend on whether your loved one has relapsed in the past. Here are a few treatment options to consider:

  • Outpatient treatment
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Day treatment/partial hospitalization
  • Residential treatment
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Sober living

More Helpful Tips for Helping an Addicted Loved One

Here are few more things to keep in mind when helping your loved one get help for a substance use disorder.

  • Set healthy boundaries and stand by them. Healthy boundaries can prevent manipulation, abuse and codependency. For example, boundaries can establish consequences for a loved one’s substance use (“If you continue to abuse alcohol, you can no longer live here.”). Enabling your loved one by keeping weak boundaries doesn’t do either of you any good.
  • Get help for yourself. Dealing with a loved one with a substance use disorder means dealing with a handful of difficult emotions – from hopelessness to guilt to frustration. Find a therapist or support group that specializes in addiction counseling for loved ones.
  • Set a good example. Stay away from drugs and/or alcohol and practice self-care.
  • Have patience. It may take time, but with the right support a person struggling with a substance use disorder is likely going to get help and have an increased chance of recovery.

Getting Help for Your Loved One

You can take steps to ensure that you are helping (not enabling) your loved one – and there are many resources available to guide you. Start by contacting us today. Our family support services can provide you with the support and coaching needed to help your loved one in early recovery and beyond. Call: 866-905-4550.