“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
~ J. K. Rowling
Sometimes, a person has to hit the bottom in their drug addiction before they can get help. Recovery is rarely a thought for them when they are intoxicated.
So, when they do hit rock bottom, like Rowling did, their loved ones need to be there to help them get treatment and help them, if possible, every step of the way to recovery.
As www.drugs.ie states:
“It is well known that a parent with a drug or alcohol problem can have a negative effect on their family members. You could say that the person with the problem is like someone stuck in a bog. The other family members, in their efforts to help, often get pulled down into the bog too. The first step in putting things right is when the others start to get their own feet on solid ground. Only after they have done this will they be able to help tackle the addiction problem.”
Yet, even though they have hit bottom, the challenges of getting them to recovery and supporting them throughout are huge and daunting. How can I get them to get treatment? Will they stay in treatment? Will they reject me and others who are trying to help them? Can I endure the stress of making sure they make it to their treatment appointments?
Those are all legitimate concerns. A substance abuser can’t be trusted, no matter how much we love them, to do it by themselves. They will certainly fail. A team of counselors, physicians, family and friends must be there to assure that each step is taken and that the goal of drug abuse recovery is achieved.
So, here are a number of proactive, positive steps you can make as you help them get treatment and recover from drug addiction:
- Avoid name-calling and judgemental attitudes: Being angry and calling them names may only exacerbate the situation. They know they are under control of the drug now. They are, in fact, helpless. So, treat them with dignity and call them only by their real name.
- Make your home a sober location for them: Get rid of any alcohol or legal drugs that you use. Place them in a locked closet or area where they cannot be seen or consumed. There cannot be any temptations for them while they are in your home.
- Learn about their addiction(s): Educate yourself on their addiction(s). Read about it. Speak with someone who has recovered from the addiction. Interview drug addiction counselors and their family members if you can. It will be priceless information that will help you understand the disease.
- Don’t be an enabler: Friends and family of people in recovery can be overly sympathetic, meaning, they allow them to get away with an occasional drink or other addictive behavior. This is not only counter-productive but it may send them back into addiction and derail their entire recovery. Avoid all appearance of enabling them to cheat the recovery process.
- Don’t protect them from the consequences of their addiction: Sugar coating the pain of drug addiction is inherently dishonest. The drug addicted individual needs to feel the pain of their addiction. They need to lose their job, relationship, personal property and, most importantly, their reputation. Feeling and seeing the consequences of their choices is part of the healing process.
- Do fun activities removed from recovery and the addiction topic: It is important to remove them and yourself from the trauma and stress of the recovery process. So, during recovery, take them to a recreational location away from it all. A park, a library, a ball game, a worship service or anything that may take their mind and yours off of it is beneficial.
- Don’t give them money: Buy only things they need and don’t loan them money which they can use to purchase drugs or alcohol.
- Encourage them to use their inner potential to succeed: Whether this is their first time at recovery or one of several, let them know that you realize and see the potential of them succeeding and becoming sober. They need to know that you believe in them.
Many recovering drug addicted individuals credit their family and friends for getting them through the ordeal. They stood by them, believed in them and even suffered with them as they became sober and got their life in order. It’s crucial that family and friends understand their role and help make it a positive, life-changing experience.
The Concerted Care Group utilizes the “Whole Person, Whole Life” philosophy of substance abuse treatment. It integrates medical, psychological, vocational, economic, and social expertise to literally “wrap around” the patient and the patient’s lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you have an opioid addiction, heroin addiction, prescription drug addiction, methadone addiction, painkiller addiction or some other substance abuse addiction. We treat them all and do it under one roof.
Contact our outpatient clinic in Baltimore, Maryland at (410) 617-0142 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept patients that same day, too.