Addiction is a disease that affects millions of Americans. Addicts often turn to their family and friends for support in times of need. However, things that you assume are helpful might be enabling their substance use. If you’re concerned that you are hindering a loved one’s recovery, here are some common signs of enabling.
Not Holding Them Accountable
Accountability is a critical part of the recovery process. If your loved one struggles with addiction, it can be counterproductive for you to cover for them when their drug use affects other people. This includes lying to other family members and close friends, claiming that problematic behavior isn’t as bad as it seems, or blaming external circumstances. Addiction recovery is a long, winding road, and you should acknowledge that this process can be difficult. However, holding your loved one accountable for the consequences of their actions is the key to a healthy relationship.
Providing Financial Backing
Because it can be tough for addicts to maintain a job or cover the costs of their addiction, you may be tempted to offer your loved one financial support. This can include loaning them money, letting them stay at your house for extended periods, and even paying for their addictive substance or outlet. Though it is understandable that you don’t want to see them struggle, this is often counterproductive and can become an expensive habit. There’s nothing wrong with providing some form of monetary support, but you should establish and stick to boundaries for helping them out financially.
Treatment programs, therapy, and support groups are all productive options for addressing addiction. If an addict’s family discourages or stigmatizes treatment, they may be less likely to seek help. Even if you think that you can help them with their addiction, it’s always a good idea to work with licensed professionals and programs with a track record of working with addicts. When friends and family members enable a loved one’s addiction, they’re usually just trying to help. Unfortunately, this is not a substitute for treatment. At Recovery Place, you and your loved one will find a comfortable environment where they can work toward addiction recovery and a more fulfilling life. We offer a range of treatment services, including online options, to assist with the recovery process. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact us today.
It’s not uncommon for people to delay their decision to seek rehabilitation services, even if their drug or alcohol abuse is severe, due to fear and uncertainty about what to expect. Every program has its advantages and disadvantages, but it’s often difficult to determine whether inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation is the better option for treatment.
When Is Treatment Needed?
Every situation is unique, and no one has the same needs. If substance abuse strains an individual’s daily life, relationships, and causes someone’s health to suffer, it may be time to consider reaching out for help. If previous attempts to curb substance use without the support of health professionals haven’t been successful, turning to a rehab program can offer a heightened level of care and effectiveness.
What’s the Difference Between Inpatient Residential and Outpatient Treatment?
The main difference between inpatient residential and outpatient treatment programs is the environment in which recovery and care takes place. Residential programs often include a more structured schedule and a medically monitored detox plan. Daily activities may include group support and individual counseling in a residential setting. During a stay at an inpatient residential facility, an individual can expect round-the-clock care support, as well as a deep sense of community.
While it may be comforting to know that the distractions of daily life may not be as much of a concern in an inpatient program, outpatient treatment can offer the freedom to attend treatment and sleep in your own bed while keeping your day-to-day responsibilities. Counseling sessions may be offered on a more flexible schedule, allowing patients to continue to work and stay involved in their usual routine with less of a disruption. However, it’s important to note that inpatient programs offer the benefit of limiting access to substance abuse-related behavior.
Choosing the Best-Suited Program for Recovery
Taking the next step toward recovery is a huge decision, and it’s okay to ask for help. Consulting a family member, your family physician, or a counselor about the appropriate substance abuse treatment program for unique situations can make the decision easier. Facilities often offer both types of programs and can provide details about the admissions process to accommodate specific needs.
Detoxing isn’t the same for everyone—you or your loved one don’t have to figure everything out alone. Recovery Place offers inpatient and outpatient program options for those suffering from substance abuse. Our professional guidance, comfortable facilities, and tailored treatment plans are available to anyone looking to start their treatment journey. We’ve helped Savannah, GA residents since 1984, and we accept most private insurance. Schedule a tour to learn more or contact us today to discuss our programs.
Due to social distancing, there are some changes to recovery support meetings in the Low Country. Please click on the links below for more information:
Savannah AA Meetings. Some are suspended and there are virutal meetings. Please go to https://savannahaa.com/covid-19-coronavirus/ for an updated schedule.
Greater Savannah NA Meetings. Please go to https://gsana.grscna.com/?current-meeting-list=1 for a schedule and call the helplines for more meeting information.
Al-Anon Family Groups. Please go to https://al-anon.org/ for a schedule and call for more meeting information. If you are interested in an oline meeting, please go to https://al-anon.org/al-anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
Eating Disroders Anonymous. Please go to http://eatingdisordersanonymous.org/meetings/ for a schedule and meeting information. If you are interested in an oline meeting, please go to http://eatingdisordersanonymous.org/online-meetings/ or http://eatingdisordersanonymous.org/phone-zoom-meetings/ for more information.
Gamblers Anonymous. Please go to http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/location/state/table/VA?distance%5Bpostal_code%5D=31405&distance%5Bsearch_distance%5D=250&distance%5Bsearch_units%5D=mile to locate a meeting near you or to talk with someone.
Across the United States, social distancing and shelter-in-place are new ways of life for most of us. How our lives have changed in a few short months was unimaginable when we rang in the new year of 2020. As the nation continues to use social distancing as a preventative measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many people in early and long-term sobriety are wondering how to stay engaged and involved in their own recovery process.
For so many people and families who have been impacted by addiction, they know the importance of staying active in their recovery community. But how to do this when in-person meetings may be canceled and uncertainty is taxing our physical, emotional, and spiritual health?
Here are some tips to address your physical, emotional, and spiritual health while staying engaged in your recovery.
- Find meetings online: Look for virtual meetings since many in-person meetings are canceled.
- Website: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
- AA online virtual meetings via chat room: https://aachats.org (note, these are not monitored by AA and you need to sign up with an email to participate)
- NA virtual and phone meetings: https://www.na.org/?ID=virtual_meetings
- Find phone meetings:
- Alanon Meetings https://al-anon.org/al0anon-meetings/electronic-meetings/
- AA phone meetings via teleconference: http://aaphonemeetings.org
- NA phone meetings: https://www.na.org/meetingsearch/ (search by area code)
- Create Chat Rooms: Start your own chat group! If you are a sponsor or have a sponsor, create a chat group to be able to stay connected, see faces and know you are not alone. Include individuals who are new to recovery and may not have developed a strong sober support network.
- Get Active: It’s a well-known fact that nature, sunshine, and getting outside increases brain chemistry, helps settle your nervous system, and makes you feel happy. So practice safe precautions and stay 6 feet away from others but go outside. Spring is here. Take your dog for a walk. Enjoy the sunshine. Listen to the birds. You can also increase your dopamine levels by exercising. Try free online videos to watch and workout. If you like to work out with others, then Skype/Facetime with your friends.
- Try New Things: Be mindful of being bored. Plan your day so you don’t fall back in old patterns of isolating or doing nothing. Watch online concerts or a Broadway play. Take a virtual tour of a museum. Read a book. Try a new recipe.
- Watch your diet: Try to eat from all the basic food groups. Watch your binging on junk food. Drink plenty of water. Be mindful of your caffeine intake.
- Sponsorship and the fellowship: Everyone needs to feel connected. We know recovery is strengthened by human connection and support. Have a list of 1-5 people to reach out to daily. Call and ask someone else how they are doing. If you are feeling alone or isolated, reach out. Sometimes just having someone to listen to your thoughts and emotions is enough to change an old pattern into a new one.
- Therapy: Many therapists and outpatient programs are creating ways to set up phone and video sessions. Talk to your therapist or call a program and ask if they can set up a session.
- Be creative: Pick a project you want to try. Some people are working in the yard or tackling projects that have been on that “honey do” list for a long time. Others are painting, drawing, writing, or crocheting.
- Watch things that are funny! When you laugh, you release chemicals in your brain that make you feel better.
While this is a time that each one of us is facing uncertainty, remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
If someone you know is struggling, please call us at 912-355-1440. Together, we will get through this. We will thrive and not just survive.
Whether it’s a spouse, sibling, friend, or another loved one, supporting someone who’s trying to overcome substance abuse and addiction is often a complex and difficult task. Seeking professional guidance is a great first step, but there are additional ways to help and show encouragement. Here are a few tips for offering caring, compassionate support to a loved one struggling with addiction.
Remember That Addiction Is a Disease, Not a Choice
It’s a common mistake to think that those battling addiction can simply choose to alter or control their substance abuse habits. However, the truth is that addiction is a compulsive disease that affects the brain, not a lifestyle choice or moral failure. As with any other medical problem, supporting a loved one with an addiction will involve seeking professional treatment services and relinquishing any sense of direct control over the situation.
Put a Stop to Codependency
Ironically, family members and close friends of a person with addiction sometimes end up unintentionally enabling or fostering the substance abuse in an effort to show extra love and support. This is known as codependency, and it can be both difficult to recognize and damaging to the addicted person’s long-term recovery prospects. Professional guidance for the family members of an addicted loved one can help minimize codependency-induced patterns, and it can offer everyone positive, effective strategies for showing support.
Anticipate and Accept the Reality of Relapse
Instead of worrying that a loved one receiving treatment will eventually relapse, remember that relapsing is often an uncomfortable but unavoidable part of the recovery process. Instead of treating a relapse as a failure or a reason to give up hope, take it as a sign that it may be time to return to the doctor and develop a new treatment strategy. A relapse is a stressful event, but approaching it pragmatically and optimistically can help the struggling person continue to work toward treatment goals.
If substance abuse and addiction are negatively impacting someone you love, seeking professional guidance is a critical decision that can help combat the disease. Founded in 1984, Recovery Place has helped more than 20,000 people in the Savannah area through therapy, medical attention, and other support services. To schedule a tour to learn more about our services, contact us online or call (912) 355-1440 today.