Addiction can find its way into our lives from the most unsuspecting ways. Parents who are addicted often pass their substance dependencies down to their children. Familial stress can make us more vulnerable to substance abuse. Job stress, marital stress, financial stress, among a plethora of other sources can all make us susceptible to addiction. Having at least one person who cares about your health and recovery can make all the difference when it comes to addiction recovery. At AToN, our detox and addiction treatment program in San Diego, we focus a lot on how family, friends, and loved ones can be a critical part of the healing and recovery process.
Starting the Conversation on Addiction
Treating addiction always starts by admitting a problem. Often times, it takes a loved one to help someone understand just how deeply a substance has infiltrated their lives. The best thing you can do for a loved one is to simply acknowledge their addiction and to discourage their substance use. The simple and proven way to have this conversation is through an intervention. Television may have painted interventions as a large, formal event, with an unsuspecting person walking into a room of concerned family members waiting for them. In practice, this can be an ineffective or intimidating attempt to help someone. Many people can feel defensive, embarrassed, or confrontational when facing a group of family members asking them to admit a serious problem like an addiction. Unfortunately, popular media has painted this as the go-to method for families to address a problem.
An effective intervention can be as simple as a conversation between two friends, between siblings, a mother to her child. It can also be a call to a professional. Our San Diego detox program often receives calls from family members concerned about a loved one, and how to best approach the discussion. We always recommend having a professional on-site because interventions can be tricky, emotional situations. Even loved ones can react negatively to your attempts at support because social stigmas still paint addiction very negatively. A professional at interventions can better determine what approach would work best with specific individuals to prompt meaningful conversation driven by a goal of recovery, rather than emotional upheaval.
Supporting a Loved One in Rehab
Once the process of recovery begins, there’s a number of ways to support a loved one. Sometimes cards, visits or phone calls from friends and family can give a meaningful boost to a patient’s motivation. Practicing healthy behaviors like cooking, exercising, and meditation can be a great way to help someone in recovery incorporate these skills into their own daily lives.
Most importantly, for families with high-stress levels, or seemingly incompatible relationships, family and relationship therapy can help between differing communication styles. Often times, what can seem to be a disagreement or hostility can be as simple as a miscommunication.
If you feel that someone you know is suffering with a substance addiction or dependency, we recommend you speak to one of our licensed experts immediately to work out a plan for recovery. Our experts can help a loved one and the care they need. Call us directly at (619) 639-7325.