Ways Families Can Be Proactive in Supporting Addiction Treatment

Posted on August 9, 2017

Ways Families Can Be Proactive in Supporting Addiction TreatmentWatching a loved one struggle with addiction can unleash many feelings such as sadness, frustration, fear, anger, concern, and confusion. You can see the impact it is having on their life and the lives of those around them, but they may not be able to see this as clearly. Some people are in denial that they have a substance use problem, or try to downplay the severity. Having support from family and friends is a key component in long-term recovery and often in getting individuals into treatment in the first place.

Recognizing warning signs of addiction is the first step toward getting a loved one the help they need. Common signs include:

  • Changes in mood and behavior.
  • Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, insomnia, tremors, anxiety, etc.
  • Becoming more secretive, isolated, or anxious.
  • Increased irritability or agitation.
  • Poor performance at work; missing work, meetings, or deadlines.
  • Financial problems.
  • Multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors.
  • Trouble controlling frequency or amount of drinking.

Encouraging Addiction Treatment

Once families realize that there is a problem with drugs or alcohol, they can take steps towards getting their loved one into treatment. Remember that they may not be receptive to the offer for help at first – especially if they do not see their substance use as problematic – but do not give up. Remain supportive and encouraging of them to get help.

  • Show your support. Talk to your loved one when they are sober and express your concerns. Let them know that you want what is best for them and will stand beside them during their recovery.
  • Hold an intervention. If you are unsure how to approach the subject of addiction treatment, or your loved one is in denial, holding an intervention can be beneficial. It allows you to work with an intervention specialist to create a structured meeting to share your concerns and offer treatment options.
  • Stop enabling. This can be very difficult. You don’t want to see your loved one struggle, but you also don’t want to continue supporting their drug or alcohol use. Stopping enabling behaviors may mean no longer giving them money, not helping with rent, not lending them your car, or refusing to make excuses for their behavior or whereabouts. It means allowing them to experience natural consequences, which can be a wake-up call.
  • Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about addiction, treatment, and recovery. Attend support groups or programs for family members, or seek counseling. This can help you to feel more prepared when bringing up the topic of addiction treatment and also provide you with valuable support you need for recovery.

Ascension Treatment Centers provides comprehensive treatment for addiction from detox to residential and outpatient treatment to placement in a sober living home. Clients are equipped with the strategies they need to work through challenging situations, manage their well-being, create healthier relationships, and build a thriving life in recovery. But before they can get the help they need, someone must recognize that there is a problem and encourage treatment.