If you love someone who is struggling with a substance use disorder, you already know the ways in which drugs and alcohol can turn a person’s life upside down and make it difficult for them to deal with even the most mundane parts of their day. They are probably underperforming at work or school; they have probably damaged some relationships, including their relationship with you; they could be having serious money problems; they may be neglecting personal hygiene.
Supporting Your Loved One
All told, it may seem like they don’t have a good grasp of even a single aspect of their life.
And yet sometimes we think that if we can just convince our loved one that they need help, the rest will take care of itself. They will find a treatment center, get the help they need, and emerge on the other side sober and ready to resume the responsibilities they have let slide while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
But if the person in question is struggling with literally everything, is it reasonable to assume they can navigate the process of getting help on their own? Probably not. Here, then, is a checklist of things you might be able to do to help.
One: Help Find the Right Treatment Center
Here’s something that is absolutely non-negotiable: any treatment center you consider must be accredited by an organization like the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission’s mission statement gives a good sense of why this is so important:
The mission of The Joint Commission is to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. Its vision is that all people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings.
Simply put, accreditation indicates that the treatment center you are considering has been independently judged to employ evidence based best practices.
While accreditation is essential, there are other factors that you will want to consider as you explore different treatment center options. For example, you’ll want to know if the center in question can treat co-occurring mental health disorders like depression or anxiety; what the center’s overall philosophy of treatment is and where they land on issues like medication-assisted detox or holistic approaches to treatment; and whether or not they offer a continuum of care to provide support for your loved one once they leave residential treatment.
Two: Figure Out the Insurance Situation
Let’s face it: health insurance can be confusing even under the best of circumstances. Your loved one may rely on you to help them figure out what is—and what is not—covered by their insurance plan.
In the event that the plan does not provide for all the aspects of treatment that would benefit your loved one (or in the event they do not have health insurance at all), they may also need your help figuring out how to make detox and recovery affordable. This could involve helping them to determine a payment plan they can commit to and then figuring out how to make that payment plan work—either for the treatment center or for someone (a family member, friend, or perhaps even you) who is willing to loan them money for their treatment.
Three: Find Solutions for Child Care
Obviously, this third topic will not apply to everyone, but if your loved one has children, figuring out child care is a priority. If the person is married, can their spouse take time off to provide full-time childcare for young children? Who can help with after-school care? If the person who needs help is single, are there family members nearby who can help with the kids? What about friends or people from their faith community? Ensuring that kids feel safe and loved while their parent is in treatment is an important part of the overall puzzle.
Four: Help Control the Flow of Information
Your loved one may not be comfortable telling others they are headed into treatment. Or you may notice that rumors are starting to make the rounds. Friends might sincerely want to know how they can help but worry about saying the wrong thing.
You may be able to help in all of these areas, sharing news and needs while also nipping rumors in the bud. Being your loved one’s advocate and connection to others can provide comfort and limit awkwardness when it is time for them to reenter their day-to-day life.
Five: Don’t Forget About Yourself
We have focused on some ways you can help someone else, but it is important to keep in mind that you can’t effectively help anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. Avoid taking on all of the responsibility for your loved one, and don’t give up your whole life to help them. Self-care is not a luxury; it is a necessity for anyone who wants to help others without undermining their own well-being.
We Can Help You Help Your Loved One
Let us help you put a check mark by the first item on this list. Bel Aire Recovery Center is fully accredited, and we have the expertise and compassion necessary to serve your loved one well. We will personalize a treatment plan, address co-occurring mental health disorders, and provide a continuum of care so that your loved one has the support and resources necessary to enter recovery with confidence. If you need help helping someone else, we hope you will give us a call.