Five Things to Help a Family Member in Recovery

People often enter recovery at the behest of family and rely on them following treatment. The problem is that families may not always know what to do in order to help. However, there are five main areas they can focus on.

Identifying Substance Abuse in a Family Member

One of the hardest parts of helping an individual in their recovery process is simply identifying their substance abuse. Family members may be reticent to point out irregular behavior. This could be for a multitude of reasons. However, some of these may include:

  • Fear of misdiagnosing
  • Previously wrong assumptions
  • Different past behavior (with similar results)
  • Misreading signs

Many of these become an issue due to the fact that family members would rather the person be treated properly and fairly. They may see their thoughts as coming across as accusations rather than caring.

The problem is that if these problems are not identified, pointed out, or questioned, they will continue to get worse. Therefore, there are telltale signs that could mean a loved one is involved in some kind of substance abuse. These may include:

  • Decreased appetite and noticeable weight loss
  • Bloodshot eyes and poor skin tone
  • Tired or run-down appearance
  • Drastic changes to personal relationships
  • Altered or erratic behaviors
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Lack of interest in grooming
  • Defensiveness about personal issues

There are a number of other possible signs that add to this list. It is important to remember that taken separately, these items may mean something other than addiction. However, when people begin showing more than one, it may be time to have a discussion.

Helping a Family Member Understand Why They Should Enter Treatment

Once a loved one’s issues have been identified, it needs to be discussed. This discussion may come in the form of an intervention, or it may be as simple as a conversation between two people. No matter what happens, the end result must be that the individual understands the severity of their situation.

Whether the person becomes angry or combatant, it is important to remind them that intervening is not meant as a punishment. In fact, the entire idea of them entering treatment is based on love. Family members stick up for each other and help each other when they are in a bad spot. Therefore, when the family is ready to have this discussion, it helps to have a treatment facility ready. This is especially true if a person is ready to say yes. That way, there is no time for them to change their mind, and they will be able to go directly to the facility without any wait or hesitation.

As for convincing them to go into treatment? There are various reasons to put in front of them, but some of the main reasons can include the following:

  • Being able to detox in a safe environment
  • Finding support that family may not be able to provide
  • Learning about their condition
  • Meeting, interacting, and healing with others like them

There are numerous positive aspects to entering a treatment program. However, the person must be willing to accept that they need to change. When they are able to reach this realization, their family will be able to rest easier. The fact is that the person will be safe and taken care of, possibly for the first time in a long time.

Supporting a Family Member While They Are in Treatment

When a family member has agreed to enter treatment, they will enter a secure facility where they will be taken care of. During this time, it is important for families to work with the facility and other professionals to understand what the individual is experiencing.

It can also be helpful to begin meeting with medical professionals to get a jump on the post-treatment process. It may benefit family members to enter therapy on their own in order to begin understanding their own thoughts and emotions.

Individuals with substance abuse disorders are not the only ones affected. In fact, families often feel deep emotions about the situation that may be dormant. The goal is to deal with them as soon as possible so that the individual does not bear the brunt of these emotions.

Depending on the individual and the recovery center, contact may be encouraged. This may involve visitation, letters, phone calls, or other communication methods. If these are offered, and the individual will benefit from them, the family should decide how they want to utilize the system.

Recovery centers will have guidelines for communication, but it should be an encouraging back-and-forth. The individual needs to know that there are people out there rooting for them. Family is often the first group asked to step forward to help.

Assisting in Post-treatment and Through Possible Relapse

When a loved one enters the post-rehab recovery phase of their journey, they will need the support of their family and community. A recovery center such as Twilight Recovery will be sure to assist in planning this phase.

The individual may require temporary housing and financial support as well as someone to assist them in attending meetings and doctor appointments. Family members may wish to develop a schedule in order to assist not only the individual but each other as well.

Should a relapse occur, the family should not feel discouraged. In the case of a relapse, recovery centers are happy to bring people back into the fold as needed. At any point in the recovery process, it is important for the family to remember that help is available. Twilight Recovery Center is simply a call away.

With so many people confused about addiction and mental health, it is important to know that there are ways to assist loved ones on their journey.  At Twilight Recovery Center, we are keenly aware of not only our role in the rehab portion of the process but the ways in which a family can get involved.  For people unsure about how to help, we offer a supportive structure of care that allows for families to take part in aspects of the program.  We also provide consultations to determine plans of care for the post-rehab recovery process.  To learn more about our program and how we can help you and your loved one, call us at (888) 414-8183.