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Posts Tagged ‘Help for a Loved One’

Simple Tips to Help Family Members Cope With Addiction Within the Family

Monday, January 30th, 2017

Tips to Help Family Members Cope With Addiction Within the FamilyMuch research has been done regarding the effects of substance abuse on an addict. When someone is addicted, there is plenty of focus on how to provide treatment and help them stay sober. However, family members often don’t receive the attention and treatment they need. If you are an addict’s family member, you’re probably going through a plethora of confusing emotions and wondering where to turn for help. The Treatment Center is honored to provide the guidance you need.

Educate Yourself

Some drug and alcohol abuse symptoms are common no matter what substance the addict uses. Such symptoms include severe weight loss or gain, bloodshot or glazed eyes, poor performance at work or school, and loss of interest in favorite activities. That said, some symptoms are unique to specific drugs. A heroin addict might have nosebleeds or a sore or peeling nose if the drug is snorted.

The Treatment Center urges family members to educate themselves on the specific drug being abused and its effects. Additionally, family members should educate themselves on recovery. Many people assume once an addict achieves sobriety, the addiction is “over.” Actually, addiction is a lifelong disease. Your loved one may relapse, or need continuous therapy to maintain sobriety. Most addicts battle temptation the rest of their lives, but can overcome it with a strong support system of family and friends.

Treatment, Not Punishment

Addicts’ family members often communicate treatment is punishment, whether they mean to or not. The addict gets the message he or she has done something bad, shamed the family, or deserves to feel miserable. Thus, his or her confidence and self-concept sinks lower, increasing the likelihood of seeking substances for relief. A vicious cycle begins, one that families struggle to escape.

Although you may be angry, sad, or confused, don’t treat your addicted loved one as if he or she is being punished. Do not shut the addict out of your life unless they ‘re a legitimate danger to themselves or others. Don’t shield an addict from negative consequences such as court appearances or jail time, but don’t shame them. Set boundaries, but do not use them to shame the addict, or as a form of discipline.

Provide a Safe, Relaxing Environment

Addicts often struggle to feel safe. Their brains have been so affected; they think they need their substances of choice for basic survival. Addicts may deal with anxiety, depression, nightmares, tremors, and other frightening symptoms, especially during withdrawal. They will be given a safe environment in inpatient treatment; professionals are trained to help them cope. After treatment, though, your addicted loved one needs to feel safe and secure in whatever environment is available.

Your addicted loved one has learned to use drugs and alcohol to relax, or as a reward. Give them healthy alternatives; enjoy a shared hobby together, encourage them to exercise and eat some favorite healthy foods, or encourage them to get adequate sleep and do relaxing activities such as yoga and meditation. Keep the environment as calm as possible; in a relaxing environment, the addict’s brain will gradually calm, as well. It will relearn substances aren’t necessary for survival.

Do Not Enable Your Loved One

Loved ones often enable addicts without realizing what they are doing. Enabling can be anything from giving an addict money to giving them transportation to dealers. Sometimes, offering an addict a place to live is enabling, because the addict assumes they can use drugs in your home. Speak with treatment professionals to determine what constitutes enabling. Learn to say “no” and stick to it. Learn to recognize manipulation, and refuse to be sucked in.

Watch out for statements like,

“If you loved me, you would…” or “You know what will happen to me without this substance.”

Addicts’ families often struggle to set and keep boundaries on their own. They also struggle with getting an addicted loved one to accept treatment. If this is the case, seek outside help from family, friends, clergy, and addiction support groups like Al-Anon. An outside support system will not only keep your loved one on track, but also prevent you from enabling.

Recognize an Addict’s Potential

Engage in behaviors that encourage the addict to change. This is called positive enabling. Positive enabling encompasses offering the addict the opportunity to change through long-term treatment, and letting him or her know you believe change is possible. Let your addicted loved one know you remember who is still there underneath the addiction. Communicate that he or she can be that person again. Emphasize that although you will not contribute to the addiction, your love for the addict has not changed.

Take Care of Yourself

An old proverb says you cannot pour if your own cup is empty. While dealing with addiction, physically, mentally, and spiritually care for yourself. Eat right, and get adequate sleep and exercise. Do activities you enjoy, and don’t be afraid to get away for a break. Do not blame yourself; your loved ones addiction was not your fault. Your addicted loved one needs your strength, but strength can only come from a person who takes care of their own needs.

If Your Loved One Is Suffering From an Addiction, Don’t Hesitate to Contact
The Treatment Center Now.

Inpatient Rehab Services

What Happens At The Marchman Act Hearing?

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Joe Considine, Esq.

Joe Considine, Esq. continues to explain the Marchman Act process by describing what takes place during the hearing.

If the loved one is a minor, he or she will have the representation of a court appointed attorney.

Testimony is given to the Judge at the hearing for involuntary assessment. You will bring to the hearing those several friends and family members who have firsthand knowledge of the loved one’s condition. The Judge or Magistrate will want to know all that your witnesses have personally observed about the loved one which will lead the Judge to the conclusion that he or she needs to be assessed and then later needs treatment.

If the loved one meets the criteria for a Marchman Act assessment, the Judge signs an order granting the petition and setting the appointment for assessment. Many times the Judge or Magistrate orders the assessment to take place at the time of the hearing. The assessment can take up to an hour and is done by an addiction professional, many times a psychologist contracted with by the courts.

If the loved one was served but is not at the hearing or does not show up for the court ordered assessment appointment, the Judge or Magistrate will have the sheriff pick up the loved one and transported to the assessment location.

If the assessment indicates that treatment is needed, either at the same assessment hearing or a subsequent hearing for treatment, the Judge or Magistrate may order a minimum of 60 days treatment that the loved one must complete. The treatment facility can later ask the Court for more time than 60 days.

Treatment facilities are not locked down, hence, there is no way to prevent the loved one from leaving. If your loved one decides to leave the facility, the Court will be made aware and a status conference hearing may be set. If the loved one fails to appear at this hearing, a show cause hearing may be set. If the loved one does not appear for the show cause hearing, the court may find the loved one in contempt of court and ordered to treatment again or otherwise sanctioned.

Are there any assurances that a Marchman Act proceeding will get my loved one the help he or she needs? No, there are no assurances. That is the nature of the disease of addiction. But it will surely make him or her realize that the people who love him are serious about getting help. Usually, filing the petition is one of the steps the family needs to take to set boundaries with the loved one as well such as no more financial or other support if the loved one decides not to get help. Moreover, it will give the loved one a chance at recovery. The experience of various addiction and treatment professionals with whom I have consulted is that many times filing the petition for involuntary assessment is the first step which ultimately leads (albeit down a bumpy and scary road) to recovery.

Thank you Joe. 

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