Drug addiction is a great and terrible beast. According to experts, as many as 23.5 million Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol. This carries a myriad of negative side effects. Drug abuse wreaks havoc on the body and can lead to unemployment and stress in your relationships. And if someone you love is facing drug addiction, you know these things all too well. We want to help our loved ones as they fight addiction. But that help is not always well received. This can be especially true if you try to talk to them about drug rehabilitation. So how do you help an addict?
We know that rehab can offer valuable support to people fighting addiction, but it’s such a tricky subject that the simple mention of rehab can cause a fight in your relationship. A poorly handled intervention could just make things worse.
If you’re trying to figure out how to help an addict and tell them that they should go to rehab but don’t know how to broach the subject, read on.
Leave Judgment At The Door
Blaming someone for their addiction only makes things worse. It creates shame in that person, which could send them back to their drugs.
Addiction is a complicated disease. In fact, it’s so complicated that many people still debate whether it’s a disease or not. And while individuals choices certainly contribute to their addiction, it’s not as simple as some people like to make it.
Also, individuals might have several reasons why they wouldn’t want to go to rehab. They might worry about losing their job or what they would tell their kids. Enter the conversation without judgment. Let them know that it’s safe to open up.
Ask questions to get them to be honest about how their addiction is affecting them:
- Does using keep you from things you like to do?
- Do you use to escape something?
- Could you go for a week without using?
- Do you think you need help?
- How can I help you?
When you confront your loved one about their addiction, it can be easy to talk about all the reasons you think they need to go to rehab. Instead, try to listen more than you talk.
Telling them that they have a problem can make them defensive and angry. But if you ask gentle questions, they might admit to themselves that they have a problem—and that they need help.
Make Sure They Know You Love Them
Overcommunicate your love for them. Make sure they know that you’re having the conversation because you care about them so much. Maintain a kind tone of voice. Avoid any statements or actions that could make them doubt it.
No one likes being told that they’re wrong. And when you talk to your loved one about rehab, they might feel like you’re angry or ganging up on them. And as you tell them how much you hate what their addiction is doing to them, they might feel like you hate them. Obviously, your concern is coming from a place of love. But that can be difficult to discern from the haze of addiction. Learning how to help an addict can often walks a fine line.
Don’t Make Ultimatums
For starters, ultimatums put conditions on the relationship. If you tell someone that you love them no matter what but then make an ultimatum, that undermines your love for them.
If your relationship has been strained by addiction—and let’s be honest, it probably has been—then it might be tempting to offer an ultimatum. We make them choose between us and the drug. If they really loved us, it should be an easy decision to make, right? It’s not that simple. And often, ultimatums end up damaging the relationship instead of helping it.
As much as it hurts you, remember that their addiction has nothing to do with you. Their drug use is not a rejection of their relationship with you. So forcing them to choose between the two can make them feel hopeless.
Make It Their Decision
In order for drug rehabilitation to work, it has to be their decision. We’ve all seen the scene in sitcoms: you lure your loved one into a car with an invitation to go shopping or go to a restaurant. Instead, you’re checking them into rehab, kicking, and screaming. That isn’t just unrealistic: it’s dangerous too. No one likes being told what to do. Even if we aren’t addicts, we get defiant, defensive, and resentful.
But when it comes to something as important as drug rehabilitation, those feelings of resentment can wreak havoc on the whole process. In fact, research suggests that mandatory rehab might not be effective in the long term.
Importance of Clearing the Drugs from Their System
The mission of detoxification (detox) is to free the body of drugs and alcohol, to cope with withdrawal symptoms, and to identify or treat coexisting medical conditions. There are objections built to help individuals become healthy and sober physically, mentally, and emotionally. Also to educate individuals and to lead a drug-free life and to help build stronger relationships at all levels.
The few ways to attend a detox are at an outpatient treatment center, a residential rehab facility, a hospital, or an emergency room. While the body adjusts to the absence of drugs or alcohol, users will experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings that are uncomfortable and difficult to tolerate.
The best plan to detox is in a medically supervised setting with consulting physicians who can assist with services like IV fluid replacement, pharmaceutical therapy, and nutritional support to help with the comfort of the withdrawal symptoms.
Depending on the substance used and length of addiction, outpatient therapy may be just as effective as inpatient treatment. Social detachment relies on intensive counseling and group therapy to help individuals get through the initial phase of withdrawal. Once the body is free of substances, and the patient is ready to focus on recovery, the next step of rehab goes in motion.
Finding a Supportive Rehab Environment
The environment chosen for drug rehab will play a vital role in the success of recovery. To enroll in rehab at an outpatient center, a residential recovery center, or an inpatient program, the facility chosen should provide a setting that supports sobriety. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism state both outpatient and inpatient treatments offer a supportive environment that will fulfill the patient’s needs.
Outpatient rehab will be for individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Experiencing mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms.
- Feeling strongly motivated to get sober without 24-hour supervision.
- The need to continue with school or a job.
- Having somebody rely on you.
Inpatient rehab will be for individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Experience complications with alcohol or drug withdrawal previously.
- Diagnosed with a severe coexisting medical or psychological disorder.
- At high risk of relapse when exposed to tempting environments.
Drug rehab we most effective when removed from the social distractions, triggers, and temptations that urge to drink or use. Although it’s impossible to avoid high-risk situations forever, rehab will give you The tools needed to respond to triggers positively and reduce the risk of relapse.
Reduce their Exposure to Risk
Clinical studies show that the more extended the stay in a treatment facility, the lower the risk of a relapse will be. Short-term drug rehabilitation programs go on from a few days to two weeks, while more extended drug rehabilitation programs last 90 days or longer. Studies by John Hopkins Medicine found that patients who live in drug rehabilitation housing after a 14-day detox program are ten times more likely to remain clean and sober.
Even patients who didn’t go through detox had higher abstinence rates once residing in a drug-free environment for 90 days. The more extended individuals remain substance-free and practice healthy behaviors, the better prepared they’ll be to readjust to life outside of drug rehabilitation.
Help them Understand Addiction
Individuals with an addiction to drugs or alcohol may feel that the substances are actively causing the disease. Once the body has been detoxed, and the drug rehabilitation process begins, they’ll understand that using drugs and alcohol does not cause addiction; substance abuse is symptomatic of a more significant psychological condition. That’s why psychotherapy is a critical component during a drug rehabilitation program.
Studies from Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, patients who completed an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program were compared with the patients who failed to complete alcohol or drug rehabilitation. The non-completers showed signs of higher rates of borderline personality disorders, depression, and attempted suicide-risk factors which are treated with psychotherapy-than the patients who graduated from drug rehabilitation.
Integrated treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction will assist with the following:
- Identifying, current mental issues that drive the addiction
- Providing specialized treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other co-occurring mental health conditions
- Correcting negative thoughts that trigger the addictive mindset
- Learning to refuse emotional feelings that set off the desire to use drugs or drink
- Strengthening the sense of self-worth and discovering a sense of purpose
- Building more reliable and more authentic relationships with friends, family, and loved ones
- Learning to understand the true nature of addiction and the impact it has on someone’s life
Drug rehab is a challenging exercise in self-exploration. Psychotherapy will allow individuals to discover how and why addiction came about while assisting them and handling situations that keep them trapped in substance abuse.
A licensed addiction counselor, psychiatrist, provide therapy or psychologist, and the sessions take place one on one or in group settings. Once the patient graduates rehab, they’ll have a deeper understanding of themself, their past, and their hopes for the future.
Rebuilding Family after Addiction
Just as common as substance abuse destroys partnerships, relationships, and families, drug rehabilitation does the opposite and allows family members to heal. Comprehensive treatment programs include counseling and preventive education for the whole family, not just the alcoholic or addict.
Before the family counseling session starts, the therapist will assess the family for violence. Safety and protection for all family members is the top priority among drug rehabilitation counselors.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services claims there are several ways drug rehabilitation programs can build more secure and safer family environments which include:
- Assisting children and teens in avoiding the risks of substance abuse
- Addressing domestic issues that are common with substance abuse such as domestic violence, unemployment, criminal activity, or marital conflict
- Analyze the ways substance abuse affects behaviors of moods of residence in the household
- Strengthen the relationships and foster stronger communication
- Assisting the family with identifying their strengths and weaknesses
Sustaining Them in Recovery
Aftercare is a vital component of any drug rehabilitation program. Once detox is completed and the initial phase of drug rehabilitation has started, the recovery process should be followed up with group therapy, outpatient counseling, and medication therapy if needed.
Some rehab treatment facilities will offer outpatient services at the same building where inpatient rehab therapy takes place. Other rehab treatment facilities will refer the patient to providers within the community to continue treatment sessions at clinics closest to the home.
Leaving drug rehabilitation and readjusted into the community takes time. If the patient in the treatment team decides there is more time needed in a secure, drug-free environment, a sober living home may be the additional structure and supervision required. Sober living facilities allow patients to continue the treatment on an outpatient basis, reestablish employment, and grow new social ties within the residence guidelines.
Sober home living facilities will have requirements for residence, which include:
- Remaining drug and alcohol-free and avoiding contact with individuals who use or drink
- Attend 12-step meetings or other group therapy sessions to support sobriety
- Obey to a curfew and sign out when leaving the facility
- Help the residence by doing chores and assisting with household expenses
- Attend house meetings regularly
The drug rehabilitation process of becoming healthy and sober will not happen within days, weeks, or even months. To recover from the causes and effects of addiction is a marathon process that may need to be practiced for a lifetime.
Individuals with a strong support network can receive help through the process, allowing them to look forward to a journey that offers challenges and profound rewards.
Offer Support No Matter What
In a perfect world, once your loved one admits that they have a problem and need help, you would hug and cry, and they would check themselves into rehab like you want them to. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. They might resist an inpatient treatment facility. Helping someone with addiction can be difficult. They may even deny they have a problem altogether.
If this happens, it’s important that you support them anyway. Even if they refuse rehab, they still need help. Offer them support without judgment—even when they mess up.
Looking For Drug Rehabilitation In Florida?
If your loved one does decide to go to drug rehabilitation, give us a call. Our facility here at Coastal Detox offers a comprehensive residential treatment program where they can get sober in safety. Contact us at Coastal Detox today to learn more.