What You Can Do to Support Someone Going Through Substance Abuse Treatment

Posted on: 20 April 2020

If you have a family member who has been abusing drugs, you might be proud of them for undergoing treatment. You're likely happy they've finally admitted they have a problem and have decided to do something about it. What you need to keep in mind, however, is that the decision to seek treatment is just the beginning. The months and years that follow will still be hard for them. It will be important for you to be there for them. Here are some ways you can support them during and after treatment.

1. Accept invitations to any family therapy sessions.

Often, substance abuse treatment clinics will include family therapy sessions in their treatment protocols. These sessions are really important for a few reasons. They give the substance user a chance to work through any underlying issues with family members in a supportive environment, and they also ensure that family members learn about and better understand what their recovering loved ones are going through. Make sure you attend any sessions that you can while your loved one is in treatment. Attend with an open mind and take in all that the therapists have to offer.

2. Be strong if the patient expects your help as they backslide.

Recovery is not easy, even in a treatment program. There may be times when your loved one wants to come home and give up. They might call you and ask you to pick them up because they feel like they can't stay any longer. They may even insist they are already better and don't need any more therapy. Be strong, and refuse to enable any backsliding. Insist that your loved one remains in treatment until their doctors determine it is safe for them to be released.

3. Give them a place to stay afterward.

Often, it is not a good idea for an addict to live on their own immediately after substance abuse treatment. They should live with a family member who can be there for them while offering emotional support and assistance. Offer to be this person for your loved one. Or, reach out to other responsible family members who may be able to offer this care if you are not able.

Recovery is not easy, and often, it requires input from family members. If you can provide your loved one with assistance as described above, you'll be helping them to succeed. Contact a substance abuse treatment clinic to learn more about how you can help.