5 Ways to Support a Loved One in Alcohol Rehab
If you have a loved one in alcohol rehab, it can be a very trying and difficult time. You will not only feel the strain in your relationship, but you might also be struggling with negative emotions within yourself. You might feel resentful at the strain caused by the alcoholism, or you might feel guilty at the predicament of your loved one. You might even blame yourself and wonder if you caused them to have alcohol use disorder.
While it is natural to feel these emotions, you should realize that self-blame does not help anyone. There are many factors that can contribute to a person becoming addicted to alcohol, and there is no one factor (or person) that can take all the fault. Instead, it will be much more helpful for your loved one if you focus your energies on understanding their situation and finding ways to provide the support they need.
Here are five ways to support a loved one in alcohol rehab:
Educate Yourself on the Nature of Their Addiction
From the moment that your loved one enters alcohol rehab, you should take the chance to learn more about alcohol addiction and the recovery process. Learning about alcoholism will allow you to become a better source for support and encouragement for your loved one.
There are many resources that you can use, from in-house pamphlets at rehab centers, to online sources. There are many government websites that contain information on how to help someone suffering from alcohol use disorder. You can also check out sites such as Alcoholics Anonymous or the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Remove All Possible Triggers at Home
While your loved one is in alcohol rehab, you will have the opportunity to create a safe environment for them when they finish their treatment. Take this time to remove all the possible triggers at home, whether it’s friction between family members or the availability of alcohol.
Removing triggers at home will increase the chances that your loved one will stay sober once they leave the rehab facility. It also decreases the risk of relapse.
Comply with Contact Restrictions
It is possible that there will be times throughout alcohol rehab that you will not be allowed to speak with your loved one. Don’t take it personally; it is a necessary part of the treatment. Remember, they need the time and space to center themselves without any distractions from the outside world. During this period, no calls, letters, or any form of communication will be allowed.
On the flip side, there will be times when contact is not only allowed but encouraged. You should take the opportunity to call, send letters, or even care packages. You can talk with the staff to find out the schedule of the treatment so that you can prepare.
Create a Sober Peer Network of Family and Close Friends
One of the biggest life changes that your loved one will experience is in their network. Often, achieving sobriety means that the patient will need to reduce or even remove all contact with people that trigger their alcoholism.
You can help by getting a head start on creating a sober peer network for your loved one while they are in alcohol rehab. Reach out to family and close friends that you think can help maintain sobriety. However, make sure to take it slow; the patient might not appreciate having too many people know that they are in rehab.
Attend Family Days
Many rehab centers encourage family therapy. There are several reasons why participating in family therapy is beneficial, such as:
- It can encourage patients to finish their therapy knowing that they have the support of their family.
- It allows the rehab center staff to observe family dynamics and better structure the treatment.
- It further educates the family about alcohol addiction and how they can show their support.
Any family issues that have contributed to the patient’s alcoholism can also be discussed or tackled during family therapy. It is helpful to have family members who are open to the idea of discussing any tension or friction so that these issues can be resolved.
Finding Support Groups for You
If you are struggling with providing support for a loved one in alcohol rehab, don’t be afraid to seek help for yourself. There are mutual support groups that you can join where you can discuss your experience and learn more about coping with your situation. Alcoholic Anonymous Family Group is one possible support system that you can tap. Contact Long Island Rehabs for help and information.