Don’t Give Up: How to Keep Hope Alive for the Addict in Your Life!

Published on October 1, 2019

Hope is a virtue the addict in your life needs the most!

Treatment centers for a person with substance use disorder in need, receive a plethora of phone calls in the evening and weekends, high percentage of them have been in recovery or a treatment center prior and for whatever reason relapsed. An example: The alcoholic had previously “failed” at three treatment programs in the last five years, but it was clear from the staff and family members description that neither facility was suitable for the alcoholic’s complex needs. After three “failures,” the family had given up hope. That is why the patient’s therapist didn’t give up hope, but referred them to us! The alcoholic had come to their therapy appointment and sought assistance. That one step toward health was enough to give the therapist hope. If your loved one has “failed” at treatment in the past, here are a few ways to help maintain hope for the future, especially if your loved one is still actively seeking assistance. Keep hope alive, do your own due diligence! One treatment plan does not fit all, go over the options with all parties involved, try to see them succeed in a treatment center by creating a database of sorts knowing them the best! Will they stay, do the work? We can’t be sure but our treatment center has so many ways to customize the program so they can do the work that makes it work for them with hope! 

Do your homework on the treatment center you choose:  It has been said that families do less research on the addiction treatment center they’re sending their loved one to than they do purchase a new car. That may be because families don’t know what questions to ask of a treatment center. Not all treatment centers are the same. Look for a treatment center that uses evidence- and abstinence-based programs that are of significant duration. Quality care is compassionate, evidence-based and of significant duration with aftercare.

Tough Love isn’t what they need…it’s HOPE! While it is critical that the family have appropriate boundaries with the addict, the best care is always compassionate care. Boot camp-style programs that involve humiliation or the “breaking down” of the addict have not been shown to have long-term positive outcomes. If the addict in your life feels abandoned hope can get lost real quick! Love them with boundaries, and hope can lead to a life of clean and sober living! 

If your loved one is seeing a psychotherapist, get that professional involved in choosing a treatment center: One of the saddest things in some situations a  therapist was told which centers the addict had “failed” out of, they knew immediately why the treatment did not take. One center had a terrible reputation in the therapeutic community and neither was licensed for dual-diagnosis, which is the condition of having a psychological disorder such as anxiety or depression in addition to addiction. Both issues must be treated concurrently if the addict is to be successful. Your loved one’s therapist can be a tremendous resource in helping you find the right placement for your loved one.

Remember that the whole family needs support and treatment: The addict does not exist in isolation. Whether or not the addict gets better, the family needs to look at the dynamics that created fertile grounds for addiction to develop and learn how to set strong, healthy boundaries with the addict and each other. The addict may or may not recover, but the family still needs help becoming healthy.

Take care of the children: Many addicts have children, who are often the first casualties of addiction. Especially if someone in the family is capable of taking the children, get the children out of the addict’s care. Put them in therapy, parenting classes and help them get the support they need to grow up as best they can without the insanity that addiction causes in homes. Do not put the addict’s desire to see his/her children above the children’s welfare. Take care of the children first. Addiction treatment works, but you have to do the work of finding the highest quality care you can that appropriately meets the addict’s specific needs. Get professionals involved in the process of choosing a treatment program and first and foremost, take care of yourself and any children in the family.

Remind the addict in your life of who they were before addiction and families who they still are inside, what they can be again…even better:

Hope’s a great virtue but only if one sees a glimmer of it! Addiction brings the best of people ie in our photo British Actor & Comedian Russell Brand! Whatever leads someone to addiction, at the height of full-blown addiction hope seems further and further away with each day! They’re why a treatment program’s vital as they sink deeper into the abyss of their pain and shame of being an addict hope isn’t even a possibility to them at that juncture! 

Hope, Love, and Respect can make the difference if an addict in your life will see the hope at the end of the tunnel! Lead them to water, get them the help, but in conjunction with the structured program give them that hope that forgiveness within the family and friends circle and within them as they can forgive themselves will keep that virtue hope in their hearts and minds to want to be a success story!