Getting a family member into rehab

The decision to send a family member or loved one to rehab for drug or alcohol addiction is never an easy one. The family may have many fears and concerns about rehab itself, about the process of finding a rehab and about getting the person into treatment. Both TAP and TARP have trained professionals in substance abuse assessment and referral who can assist by providing information about the types of substance abuse treatment available, the cost of treatment, and about insurance benefits and coverage. Both TAP and TARP have an extensive provider network of state-certified drug and alcohol rehab programs.

TAP and TARP counselors can help break the process down into manageable steps to get the treatment started as quickly as possible. TAP and TARP are the gatekeepers for most union health insurance plans and one call can start the process going in the right direction.

Recognize the signs of addiction

Admitting you have a problem is one of the first steps to recovery, but there is actually a step before that. Noticing the signs of addiction will ultimately be how to help a loved one with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. There are many warning signs, from noticing a change in behavior, to seeing your loved one act in a dangerous and reckless way. The signs of addiction can be hiding in plain sight.

Drug and alcohol addiction can lead to problems at home, relationship disruption, problems at work, deteriorating progress at school. It can be challenging for families to recognize these symptoms or even admit that they add up to a substance abuse problem.

Educate yourself about addiction

It is important to educate yourself about the disease of addiction. A good place to start would be to attend a TARP Family Alumni Support Group, TAP After Care Group, or an Al-Anon/NarAnon group designed for family members and loved ones of the addicted person. These groups can help you see that your family’s situation is one that is felt by many others. These groups can also help you to recognize family members’ enabling behaviors, while encouraging them to take care of their own frustrations, emotions, and challenges as they try to help their loved one get into the recovery process.

Don’t blame yourself

Before you even attempt to help your loved one get into rehab, it is important for you to understand that you are not to blame for this addiction, regardless of pointed fingers. Without this mentality, the ritual of excuses, denial, and blame will circumvent your good intentions. By acknowledging that you are not to blame, you may reduce any irritation or resentment that you may be holding on to.

Support your loved one’s treatment, recovery process

A good way to support your loved one during their treatment and recovery process is by attending family support groups offered by the treatment facility as well as family counseling.

Family dynamics are often complicated, and the relationships that an individual has with the family as a whole are often intertwined with addiction behaviors.

One purpose of family counseling is to draw on the strengths of the family to help a person develop tools and a support system that helps them to manage cravings and maintain long term recovery.

Another purpose of family counseling is to adjust family relationships in a way that is supportive to all family members throughout the recovery process. Sometimes, family member’s behaviors can have the unintended result of enabling the person’s addiction.

Family members must know that addiction is a chronic illness that must be continually managed even after a loved one has completed rehab. Continued support from family is vital – not just before and during rehab, but after treatment is completed. Rehab is not a cure; it is the first step in a process that will continue for months and years to come. 

So, whether you are wondering how to get someone into rehab, or how to help a loved one with an addiction, you can feel hopeful that there are options and you are doing the right thing. Getting help for a loved one can be a life saving event.

Making sure that you are prepared can make the difficult journey to recovery a little easier. Start by contacting the counselors at TARP at 800-522-8277 or TAP at 800-253-8326.