Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic
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Lessons Learned & Shared Advice


When someone is in treatment . . .

  • Be there. Give him/her all the love and support you can, while being careful to draw the line at being an enabler. Keep in contact and visit often. 

  • Stay firm. He/She needs you to be consistent and strong in your approach.

  • Listen to the experts. Let the treatment specialists do their job, and stay in close contact with them. Listen to complaints of the person under treatment, and pass those complaints along to the treatment facility, but don't promise to resolve them. 

  • Stay strong. Your loved one will tell you he/she is ready to leave when he/she isn't even close to being ready to leave. Don't waver.

  • Keep your mind open. Learn as much as you can about the true nature of the disease and the psychology of the addicted person. Attend educational sessions when you can.

  • Find a support group. You will learn a great deal from others who are, or have been, in your situation.

  • Stay true. You are doing your best for your loved one.

  • Know your options. Exhaustively research treatment, treatment facilities, and especially transition support, before transition occurs.

  • Be their advocate. Make sure your loved one knows you do not see this as a moral failing or stigma in any way...It is a disease like any other, and you are going to stick it out with them.

  • Be prepared. Learn what Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is and why it is important.  Know that MAT is not just medication that reduces cravings for the drug.  It is also counseling and preparation for re-entering society.  Think of it as having diabetes, in which a physician will prescribe insulin, but will also try to get you to change your diet.

  • Remember YOU matter too. There’s a strong focus on your loved one’s recovery now. Remember to make time for your healing as well.

  • Practice self-care. Self-care may be a new concept for you.  But you have to be physically and emotionally strong for yourself while your loved one finds his or her way to sobriety. It’s like the flight attendants tell you before takeoff: always put your own mask on first before helping others. By the time you've helped everyone else, you may not know how to help yourself.