support a loved one in detox

How to Support a Loved One In Detox

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

Deciding to go into detox and treatment for a drug or alcohol use disorder is a profound, life-changing decision. This is the point where someone suffering with addiction to drugs or alcohol can finally take stock and begin to turn their life around.

Friends and family often want to support their loved one in this early stage of their journey but aren’t sure how. There are numerous things loved ones can do to support someone entering residential detox, both during their treatment and after they have taken the next step. Here are a few of them.

Be Emotionally Supportive

Before a person enters detox and addiction treatment, their loved ones have had to carefully straddle difficult line between being supportive and unintentionally enabling addictive behavior. The non-enabling love might have included cutting off financial support, not providing the loved one with a car or a place to stay while drunk or high, or not bailing the loved one out if they got into trouble with the law. (Here are more ways to make sure you are not enabling an addict.)

But once a loved one is in detox, their support can look a bit more traditional.

Detox and residential treatment can be lonely, overwhelming, and challenging. Often visits during detox are not advised. There is too much going on and the physical aspects take nearly all the resident’s attention. However, visiting a loved one in residential treatment can help them feel less alone. During visits, loved ones can play board games or just sit and talk with the recovering addict. Don’t try to force your loved one into heavy conversations about their thoughts and feelings, but let them know you are always available to talk when they need to.

Having a strong social support system is critical in recovery, and often just knowing you are around makes a world of difference.

Be Informed

Learning about how substance use disorder forms, its classification as a mental illness, as well as how it is treated can help family members and friends support a recovering addict. This understanding helps battle common stereotypes and stigma as well as offer insight on the activity that can help and what can hinder a recovering addict.

It is also good to know what happens in detox treatment, which can be different for drugs or alcohol. As well as what is going to happen after detox and what your friend of family member will experience in residential treatment and the other aftercare options. All of this information will provide the basis to help keep the recovering addict accountable once they are out of treatment, as well as give you the tools and understanding to help your loved one build a new life of sobriety.

Get Involved

There’s no better way to show one’s support to a recovering addict than a willingness to be part of the recovery process. Many drug and alcohol treatment facilities offer ways in which family members can get involved. Attending family therapy sessions, family educational programs, or 12-step meetings, are all great ways for family members to get involved with their loved one’s treatment.

Take Care of Yourself

It’s important for loved ones to take care of themselves while they support a recovering addict. Attending support groups such as Al-Anon, Co-Anon, Nar-Anon, or Families Anonymous is a good way for family members and friends to get the care and community they need.

After Detox and Residential Treatment

People recovering from a substance use disorder need a lot of support when they return home. Loved ones can help by reinforcing the importance of sticking with the program—attending 12-step meetings regularly, continuing with outpatient therapy, and connecting with their sober community.

As well, family and friends can take the extra step by creating and providing social opportunities that don’t involve alcohol or drugs. For instance, family members and friends can invite their loved one over for dinner, to go see a movie, go for a hike or bike ride, or grab a coffee, so they don’t have to deal with temptation or cravings. As well this kind of substance-free fun is a new skill for a person coming out of rehab needs to cultivate.

Support for a Future

Entering detox is an amazing first step for those suffering with a drug or alcohol use disorder to get the help they need. It can be terrifying and overwhelming, but once they have made the important movement toward recovery, your loved one will benefit from your care and support.

If you or your loved one is considering getting treatment, please call us today. We are available to go over all your options and the best way to find the right individualized treatment for your loved one. Call us today for more information, 888-590-0777.

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