Showing Your SupportWhen a friend or family member is seeking addiction treatment, there are a number of ways you can show your support. The team at Waypoint Recovery Center‘s South Carolina drug and alcohol addiction treatment center has created this list of tips to help you better understand what your loved one is going through and how you can help them build the foundation for a lasting recovery.
1. Remember That Addiction Is a Chronic IllnessAddiction is a chronic illness with complex biological and environmental triggers. It’s not a character flaw. Blaming or shaming your loved one for their substance abuse is unproductive. Even if they don’t visibly show it, people with substance use disorders already feel guilty about their actions and the harm they’ve caused to the people they love. They simply feel powerless to change their behavior.When speaking to someone with an addiction, think about what you’d say to a loved one who had cancer, heart disease, or another serious health problem. Instead of implying they’ve done something wrong, you’d offer words of encouragement such as:
- I’m proud of you for getting the treatment you need to be healthy.
- I love you, and I’ll be here to help you with every step of this journey.
- I know this is hard, but I believe in you.
- You are not alone. We’ll get through this together
2. Take Care of the Little DetailsThere are lots of smaller tasks associated with the decision to seek residential treatment. If your friend or family member doesn’t have a strong support system, the planning process can feel overwhelming.Some ways you might be able to make things easier for your loved one include:
- Attending preliminary appointments or facility tours to take notes or provide moral support
- Providing child care or locating suitable providers
- Caring for pets while they are away
- Watering plants, picking up packages, and handling general house-sitting tasks
- Role-playing so they feel more prepared to ask their boss for time off work
- Helping to research their insurance coverage and payment options
- Making any necessary travel arrangements on their behalf
- Letting others know about the policies for calls, letters, or in-person visits and encouraging them to keep in touch