The road to recovery from drug addiction is often long and challenging, but it is a journey worth taking. While watching a loved one struggle with a substance abuse problem may be distressing, it is essential to remember that there is reason to hope. The most effective way to support a loved one in their recovery journey is by encouraging them to attend drug rehab.
Drug rehab is a structured program that provides comprehensive treatment for substance abuse and addiction. It typically includes a combination of individual and group therapies, family therapy, and other therapeutic activities designed to help your loved one overcome their addiction and build the skills they need to maintain long-term sobriety.
Here are five ways that drug rehab can help a person struggling with substance use.
Detoxing from Drug Addiction Requires Medical Supervision
One of the most important benefits of drug rehab is the medical supervision provided. In a rehabilitation center, your loved one will have access to medical professionals who can monitor their health and provide any necessary treatment. Many people with addiction also have other physical and mental health issues and may need medical intervention to help them through the detox process.
Stopping an active addiction is challenging. This is true whether the person is abusing alcohol, misusing prescription drugs, or taking street drugs. Drug abuse affects an addicted person physically and mentally.
Prolonged use of a drug often causes a user’s brain and body to adapt to the substance. Your loved one’s drug dependency will cause their body to send increasingly urgent signals that more of the drug is needed. These signals, such as cravings and other physiological and psychological changes, are known as withdrawal symptoms.
Depending upon your loved one’s addiction and the particular substance they abused, withdrawal symptoms will vary. For example, alcohol withdrawal presents different dangers to opioid withdrawal. However, regardless of the substance used, withdrawal symptoms can cause unpleasant and, in some cases, life-threatening health problems.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms can be extremely challenging. Drugs impact a user’s production of critical neurotransmitters. If the substance is withdrawn abruptly and without medical support, your loved one may not produce the chemicals necessary for a healthy state of mind. A condition similar to deep depression can result, as can even more severe mental health effects depending upon the nature of their substance use disorder.
The impact of drug or alcohol withdrawal has caused fatalities when unsupervised by a healthcare professional. However, your loved one can undergo a medically supervised detox in a treatment facility. This allows their body to expel toxins safely and adjust to a life free from substance abuse.
What is more, in a drug rehabilitation center, your loved one’s medically-assisted detox will minimize the impact of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The psychological and physical symptoms of withdrawal can tempt a person to return to substance abuse. Receiving medical support reduces the chances of relapse.
Individual Therapies for Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
Addiction counseling is a form of treatment that aims to help your loved one overcome drug abuse. It addresses the underlying issues contributing to a person’s addiction. These might include trauma, stress, and mental health problems. In drug rehabilitation, individuals can work one-on-one with a therapist to explore underlying issues that may have led to their addiction.
There are different approaches to addiction counseling. However, many centers offer cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). These psychotherapeutic approaches can help your loved one understand the thoughts and behaviors contributing to their addiction.
An essential component of addiction counseling is building a good working relationship between the client and the counselor. Establishing therapeutic rapport involves creating a non-judgmental space where your loved one feels comfortable and safe. In this supportive environment, a person can begin discussing their struggles and identify strategies for positive change.
The counselor may use a combination of psychotherapy techniques to help a person to explore thoughts and feelings. Therapeutic activities such as role-playing, journaling, and music and art therapies can all be highly beneficial.
As the treatment program progresses, your loved one’s counselor will help them develop a support system for post-treatment recovery. This might include connecting your family member with local recovery groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Building bridges with other family members who can provide support during the recovery process is also valuable.
Addiction counseling aims to help someone in overcoming their substance use disorder and enable them to build a healthy, fulfilling, and sober recovery. So, before your loved one completes their treatment program, their counselor will help establish a plan to maintain their recovery. The plan might feature goal setting, healthy habit development, trigger identification, and strategies to cope with cravings.
Group Therapy for Your Family Member’s Recovery
Group therapy is another crucial component of drug rehabilitation. This is because it allows individuals to connect with others who are also in recovery. The group can be a potent tool for your loved one’s healing as they share their experiences and support others in their healing journey. Some of the benefits of these group meetings in rehab include the following.
- Emotional support. Thegroup provides a supportive environment where your family member can talk through their experiences, challenges, and successes with others who are going through similar struggles.
- Connection. Your loved one can form meaningful connections with others in recovery and discover a sense of community.
- Personal growth and recovery support. Sessions will help your family member identify and work through personal issues, develop coping skills, and improve their overall well-being.
- Practical skills and destructive behavior. Meetings can provide education and training on practical skills, such as managing cravings, setting boundaries, and communicating effectively with others.
- Normalization. Time with others can help your loved one feel connected and better understood as they recognize themselves in the struggles and challenges other group members share.
Group therapy is a valuable part of a comprehensive rehabilitation treatment program. It can help your family member feel supported, empowered, and motivated as they work from early recovery toward lasting sobriety.
Boundaries and a Structured Environment
Substance abuse treatment programs provide a structured environment free from any distractions and triggers that could make recovery more complex. If your loved one has struggled to stay sober in the past, this structure can be a critical foundation that helps them with their sobriety.
Establishing healthy boundaries is a vital part of addiction recovery. For example, some treatment facilities set restrictions on telephone use during drug addiction treatment programs. Initially, there may be a blackout period where a loved one won’t be able to call you or any other friends or family members.
The purpose of rules like these in a rehabilitation center is to help your family member concentrate on their recovery. It is in the nature of addiction problems that they cause manipulative behaviors. As the early stage of recovery can be challenging, a new arrival at a rehab might be tempted to call home and persuade their family that they need to leave. A blackout prevents this and gives your family member a chance to orient themselves to the rehab facility, adjust to the sudden change, and engage with the treatment it provides.
There are so many new things for a person with addictive behaviors to take on as they begin the recovery process. On day one, people who will become valued friends over time are still strangers, and the surroundings are new. Your loved one may well feel daunted and overwhelmed. The staff at the addiction treatment facility will help them come to terms with these challenges, but a period of non-contact with home can help the process.
In fact, your family member’s behavior towards you may have become unhealthy. Taking the opportunity to set boundaries in conduct and communication will help the healing process begin in your relationship.
And, even if there is a phone blackout, you can still write a letter to your loved one to reassure and encourage them. As the days pass and your family member progresses with their counseling and group sessions, telephone restrictions will be relaxed or lifted.
Family Members and Aftercare
Addiction treatment doesn’t end when an individual leaves the treatment center. Rehab aftercare can be ongoing for your loved one after they complete their rehabilitation program. This aftercare may include individual therapies, group therapies, medication management, and services such as case management, recovery coaching, and peer support. The goal of aftercare is to help your family member maintain the progress they made during rehabilitation and to prevent relapse.
As a supportive family member or friend, you’ll be keen to help your loved one maintain sobriety and avoid relapse when they leave rehab. There are many things you can do to help.
- Be understanding and patient. It can be a challenging and emotional time for the person leaving rehab, as they may face many new challenges and experiences. Show them that you are there for them and recognize what they are going through.
- Encourage them to attend support groups and counseling sessions. Many people find it helpful to participate in support groups and therapies after leaving rehab. Urge your family member to continue participating in these types of programs. They can be very beneficial in helping them maintain their recovery.
- Help them create a sober living environment. If your family member returns to a home where drugs or alcohol were used, removing these substances is vital. This can help reduce the temptation to use and make it easier for them to maintain their recovery.
- Offer practical support. Your family member may need help with many tasks as they transition back to everyday life. You’ll make a valuable contribution to their drug-free future by offering support with grocery shopping or running errands and simply by being there to listen.
- Be a good role model. As a family member, you can positively influence your loved one’s recovery. Set a good example by taking care of yourself and making healthy choices.
Drug rehab can be a vital and life-changing resource for a family member struggling with drug addiction. If your loved one is trying to escape from a life blighted and limited by substance misuse, encourage them to seek treatment in a rehab program. They can overcome their addiction and build a fulfilling, sober future with the proper support and treatment.
Feinberg: Your Guide on the Road to Wellness
At Feinberg, we are passionate about helping people as they seek recovery and rehabilitation from addiction and dependency. We can assist you in your search for a rehab facility to heal your friend or family member’s addiction.
Figuring out how to help a loved one can be overwhelming. We have personal experience with the anguish that drug problems can cause families. We want to spare you from the stress and anxiety of trying to find the right treatment options on your own.
Our multidisciplinary team of licensed professionals is equipped to help your loved one onto a path of lifelong recovery.
Please explore Feinberg’s website to find out more about the many services we can provide to help your loved one through the treatment process. We can help in a lot of ways, including but not limited to:
- Helping you to organize an intervention
- Developing care plans and connecting clients to treatment resources
- Offering sober companion support to clients
- Arranging sober transportation to and from treatment facilities
- Providing coaching support to help a person with recovery and achieving life goals
- Giving support to families through coaching
Staying sober is a lifelong process, and it’s never too late to get professional help, so get in touch with us today, and we can begin your loved one’s journey back to wellness.