When a young person enters drug and alcohol treatment most parents have (what seem to be) thousands of questions.
- What about school?
- How long will this take?
- What about vacation?
- Do I have to stop drinking?
- Is it my fault?
- What if he/she relapses?
- What will happen after treatment?
This list is by no means exhaustive but it provides some examples of what people want to know. The first piece of advice for anyone is…….breathe. Once the problem is uncovered most loved ones want immediate resolution. Unfortunately this is an issue that has been a long time in the making and the recovery process isn’t quick.
Commit to the Solution
Drug and alcohol treatment usually requires a serious financial and time commitment. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind to not take temporary for permanent. It won’t always be like this. The longer an individual stays sober, the more capable he or she becomes of taking on more responsibilities. In early recovery it is vital that sobriety be the top priority. This means before school, work, and Sunday family dinner. It’s not that these parts of life aren’t important, it’s that none of them will matter if an addict doesn’t stay sober. The objective of treatment is to help an individual navigate life without the use of drugs and alcohol. At a program like Insight that means abstinence. Throughout the course of treatment the newly sober person gains coping tools that will be used in aftercare. Taking the time to to internalize these tools as much as possible is vital.
The Big Picture
One of the primary goals of treatment for a young addict or alcoholic is family recovery. Once a young person is sober he or she is better prepared to participate in the family. It is extremely difficult to overcome the guilt and shame created by an addict’s lifestyle. Eventually the recovering addict wants to repair damaged relationships. It is a challenge for loved ones to wait for this transformation to take place. However, those who are able to maintain patience are usually rewarded.