Aftercare Programs To Help Your Loved Ones: A Parent’s Guide

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Alcoholism and drug addiction doesn’t just impact the sufferer; it affects the whole family. Whether your child, spouse, or employee is suffering with alcohol and drug addiction, chances are you’ve suffered right along with them, feeling powerless over providing a real course of action to help those you care about. Everyone suffering from substance abuse usually will require some type of addiction treatment to stop the deadly and torturous cycle of failing mental health, destroyed family relationships, and countless trips to treatment centers and other behavioral health institutions.

The good news is once your loved one goes through an alcohol and drug treatment center, they gain traction in living one day at a time without engaging in their compulsive behavior to use drugs and alcohol. 12 Step Recovery and 12 Step Programs are widely encouraged as they help the recovering alcohol and drug addict to regain their mental health without the use of an intervention program. Scientific studies detail brain research that show brain chemistry begins to normalize, once the sufferer stops drinking and taking drugs. A thirty day inpatient treatment program, for instance, provides physiological healing to those afflicted and then the essential ingredient of long-lasting recovery is fostered–that ingredient is hope. It seems nearly impossible to get off of addictive substances all alone, and that’s why you have a part to play in helping your loved one achieve meaningful recovery.

Addiction Recovery: The Transition From Treatment To Aftercare

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Before your loved one leaves a rehab program or treatment center, he or she will sit down with our compassionate staff to develop a detailed after care plan. Some of our clients have what’s called a dual diagnosis–this means along with being afflicted with substance abuse disorder,

another mental health disorder is assigned. Before anyone is discharged from Amethyst Recovery Center, our master-level clinicians and counselors will go over a comprehensive after care plan to ensure relapse prevention. Learning coping strategies, personal triggers, and building a support group are all essential components for positive behavioral health. The time for healing starts with admission of powerlessness over drugs and alcohol. Our individual after care programs help aid in the continuum of care.

This is an exciting time for both of you because it sets up the family unit for success. With an individualized after care treatment plan, you’ll know the ways you can support your loved one and they’ll know what they need to do for their own recovery. Our staff of highly trained counselors, therapists, master-level clinicians, and first-hand alumni are all there working alongside of your family to provide the best possible relapse prevention plan. It’s important to do everything possible to encourage optimal mental health before leaving any alcohol and drug treatment center.

As you prepare for them to leave treatment, we strongly encourage seeking help from a 12 step program. Become crystal clear on the ways you can help and on the ways you can potentially hurt your loved ones on their journey to fulfilling recovery from drug abuse and alcohol abuse.

Life After Treatment Centers: Tips On Helping Behavioral Health

Things You Can’t Do:

  • Cure the Drug Abuser/ Substance Abuser: There is currently no cure for alcoholism and drug addiction. Thankfully, Amethyst Recovery Center believes and teaches relapse prevention along with coping strategies to specifically treat the alcohol and drug addict’s disease, allowing for physical, mental, and emotional healing .                                                                              
  • Work Their Recovery Program For Them: This is a tempting pitfall parents and spouses make. You want so badly to see your loved one do well and live a pain-free life. You want to end the struggle. But the desire to stay sober for the alcoholic drug abuser must come from within. Encourage them to follow their substance abuse treatment plan and back off emotionally.                  
  • Allowing alcohol and drug addiction to take over your whole life: You can’t be of real service to anyone if you’re not taking care of yourself. It’s common for alcoholics and drug addicts to get frustrated once they’re in the real world again, and maybe start taking advantage of your love and support. It’s important to establish boundaries with them, and continue to be helpful while maintaining your own serenity. This will help improve their individual success rate with addiction treatment.

Things You CAN do:

  • Know About Substance Use Disorder: There are so many wonderful resources available to families and spouses suffering in this shared illness. While they’re still in treatment, we encourage you to participate in our family program and learn about relapse triggers, prevention, and establishing clear boundaries for your loved one                                                                
  • They Recover, You Recover: 12-Step Immersion is highly encouraged and part of our recovery philosophy. Once out of alcohol and drug treatment, attendance at 12-step meetings is part of their foundation, and should be part of yours too. The sister program to Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon, is a highly effective support group that allows you to become happily and usefully whole once again. When you start learning the traits and triggers of the recovering substance abuser, you will be better equipped on how to help them along their journey and contribute to their positive mental and behavioral health
  • Continue To Stay Positive: Watching your loved one go through the progressive stages of alcohol and drug addiction is incredibly painful and scary. Now that they’ve completed treatment, the seeds of hope planted while in treatment are beginning to grow. Talk and share openly about your struggles with people you trust. Build up your own network of people going through similar situations. And remember, as they recover from poor mental and behavioral health, you recover from the insanity of this disease as well. Stay positive, one day at a time.

Know The Difference Between Helping And Enabling The Drug Addict or Alcoholic

The vicious cycle of living with a substance abuser can sometimes warp relationships into codependent nightmares. Even employers learn how to adapt to the failing behavioral health of addicts and alcoholics who show up late for work, intoxicated, or worse-do criminal activity to the business to support their habit. We don’t willingly intend to stunt the growth of our loved ones, but that’s exactly what enabling the suffer does–it robs them off the right to want to help themselves. To find out if you’ve been enabling your loved one take a quiz here.

Ending Your Loved Ones’ Suffering

Helping someone with addiction disease means empowering them to want to help themselves. Providing time, care, sympathy, and tough love are all forms of helping the substance abuser get the addiction treatment they need. Knowing when to use which resource will come naturally to you as you embark on a healthy and healing journey of recovery alongside your loved one.

Working A Treatment Program For Them

Enabling your loved one, on the other hand, is counter-productive, and will keep you bound up in a self-inflicted prison of emotional pain and anxiety. This often is categorized as working their program for them, and concerned spouses and parents will actually try working a 12 Step Recovery Program for the substance abuser, rather than letting them figure it out for themselves. Codependent behavior serves as a psychological ailment that requires its own treatment. Attendance at Al-Anon, Co-Dependents Anonymous, and Alateen are recommended to better help you deal with these powerful emotions and modes of learned behavior. There are many ways to heal and recover from enabling behavior patterns, it’s important to learn what works for you.

The Path To Healing From Substance Abuse Disorder

Ever hear it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters? Truer words were never spoken when it comes to helping your loved one heal and recover from the disease of addiction. All treatment and recovery journeys start with surrender, and you should be proud that your loved one finally decided to get help and start a new way of life. Keeping on the path of positivity through substance abuse education, therapy, lifestyle changes, and perseverance will result in an inner happiness and joy like no other.

There are specific directions and steps you can start doing, right now, to prepare for your loved ones’ return. Growing in understanding will help you become more effective as an integral part of their support system. Participating in our comprehensive after care program will give you the tools and resources you need to embark on a fulfilling and meaningful journey to long-lasting recovery.

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