The Importance of Family During Detox

in Addiction
Morgan Metzger
Published May 3, 2021
importance of family

When an individual reaches the point when they are ready to seek help for a substance use problem, they will likely be instructed by their physician to undergo a medical detox. During this process, the body will be cleansed of the substance the individual is dependent upon. Due to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, detox is often one of the most challenging times in a person’s life. Thus, the importance of family, especially the support of immediate family, is very important during this time to help ensure that the individual has a successful and lifelong recovery.

Informing Immediate Family of a Substance Use Problem

If an individual has decided to seek help through a detox program, they will want their family to be aware that they are preparing to go through this process. If the individual has not yet opened up to their loved ones about their substance use problem, it’s essential to do so as soon as possible to have their support throughout the detox and recovery process. It is crucial to ensure that their loved ones understand why detox is necessary and why it is so important that they offer up a strong support system during this time. While it may be difficult, it is important that those close to the patient are non-judgmental regarding their substance use problem. Critical communication can lead to the patient feeling less confident going into the detox process or deciding not to go at all.

Communication During Detox

The importance of family and communication with immediate family members during detox can be very encouraging to a patient, whether through phone calls or, in some situations, brief visits. It is best to speak with the detox facility about their visitation policy, especially during COVID-19. Speaking with those they care about most can help remind the patient what they are fighting for. While they may be going through a challenging time as they fight withdrawal symptoms, they are doing so to be the best version possible for their family and have a chance at repairing any trust that may have been broken.

At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we provide a Next Step Aftercare Process. Our clinical directors ensure the family is contacted and involved with the recovery process while their loved one is in our care. This service and support to family members is what makes Gallus different from other detox facilities.

Importance of Family & Support After Detox

Just as immediate family support is essential during the detox process, it is still just as important after. Recovery is not something that happens at one particular point but rather something that the individual must work hard to obtain every day for the rest of their lives. Many studies have shown that those with a strong support system during recovery are far more likely to avoid relapse and enjoy a lifelong recovery. There are many different ways a family member can support their loved one during this process. They can do this by holding them accountable and ensuring that they are attending AA meetings or any recommended counseling. They can also help the individual avoid triggers or temptations to relapse by being diligent at keeping alcohol or other substances away from them at all times and not using them in front of them.

Family Therapy

Even when an individual has entered into the recovery process, they may still need to work on repairing bonds with their family members. These bonds may have been broken or damaged due to a loss of trust or hurtful words or actions on behalf of the individual when they were under the influence. In turn, family members may feel a sense of isolation if they don’t have anyone to talk to about their loved one’s recovery journey. Family therapy can be a great tool to help start the healing process.

Family therapy sessions are a great way to talk through any issues that are causing friction between an individual’s relationship with their family member. Licensed therapists can help offer advice on how to take the necessary steps towards healing.

Support Groups

Some families may find strength in hearing about the strength of others who have been in the same situation before. There are many support groups available where they can receive encouragement and advice without judgment. Some of the support groups are even virtual, such as Al-Anon Family Groups. In this group, family members share their experiences of having a loved one with a substance use problem.

Resources Available

There are a wide variety of resources available for families who want to help ensure that their loved one has a successful recovery. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, offers guides, instructional videos, and even a 24/7 hotline for those that want to educate themselves regarding how to support their recovering loved one.

While detoxing is a very difficult process, it is the first step towards a successful recovery. Throughout this process, a patient needs as much support as they can get from their loved ones. It is crucial that immediate family members are non-judgmental and not critical of the patient for seeking help. Communication during detox, whether through phone calls or brief visits, can help encourage the patient to remain strong even as they deal with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Immediate family support is necessary not only during detox but during the lifelong recovery process. Those with this support are going to be less likely to relapse. At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we offer a wide variety of resources for families looking to support their loved ones during this time. We provide the compassionate, dignified care that your family member deserves. If you have questions about our services or the resources we provide, call (866) 296-5242 today, and our staff will be happy to assist you.