Watching someone you love suffer from a chemical dependency can be heartbreaking. Sadly, they’re just one of 25 million Americans who are struggling with a similar condition.
It’s hard to know what to do if you’re affected by this. There are actions you can take to help, but you shouldn’t blame yourself if any treatment is unsuccessful.
Being supportive is key to their recovery though. Here’s where you can take them while they’re battling their chemical dependency.
Depending on the nature of the dependency, outpatient treatment might be suitable for your loved one.
This means that they get to stay at home rather than joining a ‘residential’ inpatient program.
The problem with outpatient services is that it’s much harder to monitor behavior. Relapses are more common. In at least one study of addiction, inpatient methods have proven to be far more successful.
Inpatient methods keep patients in one location so that they can be treated for their addiction.
This restricts their access and ability to get the alcohol or drugs which they’ve been addicted to.
Abstinence can help, and the inpatient treatment programs are designed to manage withdrawal symptoms to make the experience less unpleasant.
They will also use a combination of therapies to try to tackle the root causes which have led to the pattern of substance abuse. This can be a drawn-out process, and full recovery is not quick.
Patients are often still following some kind of program even after being released from inpatient services.
What if They Refuse Treatment for a Chemical Dependency?
It’s not uncommon for addicts to refuse treatment.
Chemical dependency means just that. They’re dependent on the substance, and can’t see an easy way to stop – if they even want to stop at this point.
You need to stop any actions you are taking which are emotionally or financially supporting their habit. This may mean cutting them off, which is being cruel to be kind. It isn’t an easy thing to do.
Unless your loved one seeks treatment, with or without your help, there is not a huge amount you can do if they cannot break the habit. But there are some places you can turn to, and push them towards, to help them do that.
Where Can I Turn for Help?
There are a large number of organizations dedicated to helping people recover from drug and alcohol dependencies.
Generally, non-addicts are welcome to contact these organizations for advice, or to use their websites as resources to learn more. You may also wish to encourage your loved one to attend sessions with these groups. But it is ultimately up to them to seek this help.
We also have a library of recovery resources which we hope you and your loved one with a chemical dependency will find helpful.
The road to recovery is difficult and full of pitfalls. Many addicts relapse before they fully come back to us. But with your help, they can make it through this dark period of their lives. We wish you, and them, the very best.