How to Support a Loved One Going Through Detox
You have been waiting for a long time for your loved one to be ready to fight the addiction that was negatively impacting their life. Now the time is here and they are ready to enter a detox program. While this is a momentous decision, it doesn’t mark the end of your involvement with your loved one. There are many ways you can be supportive of your loved one while they are going through detox and immediately after.
- Be understanding
The person in detox is facing changes on every front and that can be stressful for any of us. Your loved one is confronting physical changes as they pass through psychological changes as they fight to overcome what their mind tells them they must have and emotional changes as they deal with the fear of a life without drugs/alcohol and wrestles with whether or not they can really finish what they starts in terms of recovery. Your understanding attitude at this time can make a huge difference. Refuse to take personally any upsetting comments or attitudes you receive during detox.
- Be involved
Many detox facilities offer programs for the family. Take advantage of them whenever possible. These could include family therapy or even multi-family sessions, but your willingness to participate in the change process will speak volumes about your commitment to supporting your loved one during recovery. Ask your loved one if they want you to visit them and then abide by their wishes. Don’t push, instead, let them direct your level of involvement. The same would hold true when it comes to their willingness to share their thoughts and feelings at this point. Make yourself available, but don’t force the issue.
- Use the time for some personal care
You likely have been putting a lot of things on hold while you have been consumed by the pressing needs of your loved one. Use the time while they are in detox to strengthen your own support network connections. Spend time catching up on work that may have fallen behind or even give some time to a favorite hobby. This is a window for you to catch up on some rest and refill your tank before your loved one returns home.
- 12-Step Participation
Once your loved one does return home, be supportive of their attendance at 12-Step program meetings. The programs offer support to family members and you should take advantage of these meetings just as your loved one is. Attending meetings will help you to not feel isolated as you walk the road to recovery with your loved one.The detox program likely offered seminars designed to educate family members about addiction and hopefully you took advantage of them. The 12-Step program for family members will build on that foundation – helping you to understand what your loved one is facing and dealing with that they may or may not be able to put into words for you.
- Hold out Hope
Hope is more powerful than you imagine. There was a time when entering detox seemed like a distant dream. But, it happened – and they made it through. You may need to remind your loved one occasionally of the challenges they have already overcome. Maintain the positive attitude that all things are possible. Your loved one will need your encouragement on the path to recovery. Be vigilant in watching for signs of relapse, but always convey that you believe that sober living is within their grasp and you are ready to stand beside them every step of the way.