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My Loved One Wants Help

Home Help & Advice I'm Seeking Help for a Loved One My Loved One Wants Help

Ready for Help

When our loved ones are ready to get help, we have identified some steps that may be helpful: gathering information, creating a plan, bringing the family together, and support.  

My Loved One Wants Help
My Loved One Wants Help

Gathering Information

At The Bridge to Recovery, we often hear folks say: 

“I didn’t know there was a program out there like yours!”

Programs come in all shapes and sizes, if you will.  There are tens of thousands of programs in the US alone, and most of them are unique offering help for certain issues. Additionally, each of them have unique reputations and ethical standards.  Learning about what resources are available is crucial in the preparation process.

Here are some tips for searching for quality resources:

  • We caution anyone not to begin their search by jumping online and finding a “rehab search” engine.  Many rehab search engines sell their leads (which is what you become when you reach out to them) to the highest bidder – not the best quality program or best fit for your loved one.  
  • Make sure if you are using online searches that you visit the webpage for the program you are searching.  It is easy to find yourself caught in a rehab search engine, as they will often pay the most for clicks, putting them at the top of the search results.  
    For example: If you are trying to visit our program and google, “The Bridge to Recovery which is located at www.thebridgetorecovery.com, double check the address bar to ensure that it that homepage, and not a rehab search engine page which can provide misleading information, such as www.averagejoerehab.com/thebridgetorecovery
  • Reach out to Therapists in your local area and ask them what programs they recommend for your loved one’s situation.  Reach out to those that they provide you and ask questions.  Be sure to research their webpages as well.
My Loved One Wants Help

Making a Plan

When your loved one is ready for help, having a plan is key to being ready.  Granted, there are many different options for “help,” such as:

  • Inpatient Residential Programs
  • Intensive Outpatient Programs
  • Workshops & Intensives 
  • One-on-One Therapy

Part of determining which type of program or service is best for your family is certainly part of the gathering information stage, but also part of the making a plan stage.

Assessing Your Family Situation

Communication is key! Sitting down as a family and evaluating your situation, and particularly prior to discussing with your loved one in need, will be beneficial.  Below are some things to address in your discussion:

  • Identify the Issues Your Family is Struggling With

Notice here we said identify the issues your family is struggling with, not the issues just your loved one is struggling with.  Addiction and mental health does not just affect one person, but instead affects a whole family.  Issues can include:

  • Substance Abuse
  • Chronic Relapse
  • Sex Issues & Addiction
  • Eating Disordered Behavior
  • Codependency 
  • Family Enmeshment
  • Trauma
  • Determine Each Family Member’s Responsibilities
My Loved One Wants Help

When a loved one goes away for care, it can put a lot of pressure on the family.  Additionally, this can often leave the loved one feeling like they are a burden to the family, and may not want to go through with, or complete their care. Some things to consider are:

  • If there are children involved, who will help care for them?
  • Who will help manage finances, such as paying bills, checking the mail, etc.?
  • Who will be the communicator, such as with the care program, with jobs, with other family, etc.?
  • Who will help with household duties?
  • If there are pets involved, who will care for them?
  • Determine Timing & Cost

Time and finances can become a huge barrier and frustration to families trying to get their loved one care, so it is important to discuss it ahead of time.  Consider and discuss the following:

  • How much out-of-pocket funds can the family support?
  • Is there insurance available to use, and if so, what is the coverage, deductible, and out-of-pocket costs? (You may need to contact the insurance carrier.)
  • How much time can your loved one realistically be away from home (if that is the best option)? Considering time off from work, childcare, etc. 
  • Identify Programs/Options

Once you have discussed the above factors, it is time to make a list of appropriate programs that may be a good fit.  It is important that your loved one have a say in their care, so you do not want to make a decision at this point, but instead create options.  Think about the following when making your list:

Type of Program

Determining which type of program is best can be tricky to navigate, and we recommend having a mental health professional evaluate your family’s situation to make a recommendation.  However, here are some things to consider:

  • Severity of Your Loved One’s Issues
  • Time Commitments/Availability
  • Consequences That Have Occurred
  • Types of Primary Issues Present

Location of Program

For some, getting far away from home is helpful in their recovery process.  For others, that may not be possible due to constraints such as family, job, and/or legal.  Discuss with each other what location options would be best for your loved one and for the family, creating options.

Cost of Program

Programs differ in their financial requirements.  After evaluating your family’s financial situation, as identified above, determine the programs/services cost, and if that is feasible for your family.  Evaluate a programs financial requirements, such as:

  • Do they accept insurance?
  • Are they private pay?
  • Do they offer financial aid?
  • Do they offer full scholarships?
  • Are they free, or government funded?
My Loved One Wants Help
My Loved One Wants Help

The Family Meeting

Once you and your family has done an in-depth evaluation of the family’s situation, it is time to bring in your loved one to discuss what you have found.  Bringing them in at this point is helpful because:

  • Getting help can be scary, so having supportive family members around then can help with those feelings.
  • They may feel like a burden to the family, so being prepared with information and solutions can help eliminate that.
  • It can be difficult to navigate a lot of information, ideas, and planning if your loved one is in any type of acute state. 
  • Your loved one is likely struggling with feelings of low self-esteem, not feeling worthy, self-loathing, guilt, and SHAME.  Having your support and gathered information helps to avoid those emotions becoming a barrier to care.

Here are some tips to the family meeting:

  • Let them know you love them and are gathering in support of them wanting to get help.
  • Don’t place blame on them for needing help.
  • Let them be a part of the ultimate decision of where they get care, by presenting them with the options you have found that may be a good fit.
  • Don’t treat them as if they are incapable of making a decision.
  • Use words and language founded in love, nurturing, and support.
  • Do not use shame-based language.
  • Let them know that the family came together to support them by gathering information, preparing a plan, and gathering support for their decision because you understand how scary and overwhelming it can feel.
  • Don’t treat them as though they were excluded from the family.
  • If they begin to feel overwhelmed and pulling back on their decision to get help, take a break, acknowledge their fear and other present emotions, and continue to reiterate that you are there to love, support, and help them navigate through this process.
  • Don’t get angry at them and mismanage your own emotions.

If the meeting begins to turn tumultuous, or if you find yourself unable to navigate the meeting because of your own struggles with emotions, it may be best to bring in a professional to help guide your family through the process.  It is a difficult time, and there is no shame in needing help.

My Loved One Wants Help

Ongoing Support

Your loved one agreed to an appropriate care option for them, and your family is now underway on your recovery journey (again, notice we said your family’s recovery journey, and not just your loved one’s recovery journey).

Your loved one’s success will depend on the willingness of the family to also address their own needs, issues, trauma, emotions, and behavior.

There are supportive programs out there that assist the family in this process.  We recommend Structured Family Recovery (lovefirst.net), a program that meets with the family virtually throughout the process, helping the whole family experience recovery and wellness.

There are many types of ongoing support, such as:

  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • 12 Step Affiliations like ACOA (Adult Child of Alcoholics) and Al-Anon
  • Case Management Services
  • Family Programs (such as the free services offered through the Hazeleden/Betty Ford Foundation for families)
  • Programs such as ours at The Bridge to Recovery who support families struggling with trauma.
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About The Bridge To Recovery
The Bridge to Recovery is a transformational residential program located 45 minutes north of Nashville, Tennessee in beautiful rural Kentucky.  We provide hope, healing, and happiness to those suffering.
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