Drug addiction affects more than just the people abusing alcohol or other drugs. Family members, loved ones and even acquaintances are all negatively impacted by an addiction. Sometimes people believe that finding an appropriate treatment facility and getting the addict into rehab is where their involvement or responsibility ends regarding recovery. However, experts explain that families and loved ones play a very vital role in the treatment of someone with a substance use disorder and need to maintain their involvement.
After getting over the initial shock of discovering that a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, many people are unsure about what to do regarding the problem. Oftentimes they fall into a trap of believing the addict when they say that they are trying to get clean or can sober up on their own. This is normal and eventually it becomes clear that the loved one is continuing to struggle with their addiction and only making excuses to avoid having to face the problem. In many cases, an intervention is appropriate in order to help the person realize that treatment is necessary.
Intervention is a tool that allows family members to communicate to an addict in a forum that is guided by a professional. Approaching the addict in this way helps to ensure that the feelings and concerns and fears are expressed in a way that can be heard and accepted, without getting caught up in their attempts to deflect or run from the problem. Experts agree that interventions should often be conducted by a trained professional, however they are turning into a more popular and utilized tool to get people into treatment.
Once an loved one is in treatment they are inevitably going to struggle and some even threaten to leave. This is where family members and loved ones can continue to be influential. When someone is struggling during treatment it is often because they are facing problems or feelings that they normally would have covered up with drugs. These uncomfortable feelings can be expressed by wanting to leave or run away. Experts explain that the best way to handle this is by getting a counselor involved and insisting that the loved one complete the recommended treatment.
After completion of a rehabilitation program, the work still continues both on the part of the former addict as well as family and friends. Support is vital to recovery, as well as elimination of any enabling behaviors from others. Being more aware of what those behaviors are and how to help avoid relapse is often crucial for family members to understand. They can help their loved ones be accountable in their quest for a long-term, successful recovery from substance abuse.