Many people in active addiction, when wanting to go to a treatment program for the first time, are ready and willing. If someone is unable for whatever reason to walk themselves through the steps to start treatment they will need the teamwork, cooperation, and love of their family, friends and professionals to bring treatment to reality.
Families can help out by doing time consuming research on programs. Talking with addiction counselors, seeking out legal help, filling out medical forms, insurance or financials and setting up evaluation appointments for the individual are all part of the footwork for entering a treatment program. These are a few ways we can contribute to help someone start on the road to recovery. We do this because we love our family member and we have hope for their recovery.
If it is your first time trying to navigate the world of recovery programs it can be foreign and confusing. You are trying to sort through a lot of unfamiliar information, usually on a short time frame and narrow it down to a choice that makes sense. It can be frustrating and overwhelming. I believe asking for help from the professionals is necessary to get a clear picture of what makes a program fit the needs of your addict/alcoholic. What makes up a comprehensive, effective treatment center for your loved one and your family? What is the reality you going to be dealing with? Ask as many questions as you need to. It will guide you in making the decision. True professionals will speak with your family member, inform the family, answer questions and do it with respect.
As a family member, trying to do the best for our addict/alcoholic, we tend to focus on them in our search for treatment. I have learned from the beginning, one component that should not be overlooked is the family part of the program. How is the family involved during treatment? Are we educated in the process of recovery? Do we have family weekends/visits? Are we helped with our own resources? There are many ways to integrate the family during treatment . This disease affects the whole family, we are all part of the recovery process. The goal is for ALL of us to be able to move forward once the formal program is complete.
Friends can be there for your shoulder to lean on. Some may provide real life experience and help during your search for a program. They may know about local support groups , online resources , or counselors you can contact. Others may be able to help with airline and hotel reservations to lighten your load. Someone else can be your confidant and allow you to vent , or let you talk things out. Don’t forget, if they haven’t been where you are, they know someone who has or may be there themselves one day. Lean on them, you will be able to pay it forward later.
Remember, the process of seeking out treatment can be stressful ,emotional and intimidating, but you are no longer alone fighting this disease of addiction. Once you are in the process of seeking treatment, your journey to recovery and hope has begun.