There’s not much you can do to prepare yourself for the fear, anger and pain that accompanies learning your child has a drug or alcohol addiction. Substance abuse affects the whole family, and the best way to help your child get the help needed to recover is to thoroughly educate yourself.
The more you know about addiction, the better you can help your child come to terms with their addiction, find helpful resources, choose the right treatment program and become involved in your child’s treatment and aftercare in the most effective ways possible.
This 14-part series is designed to help provide you with the information you need to face this struggle and help your child and your family find the path to recovery.
Best-Practices Treatment Approaches
A high-quality program will include various supports for family members and will encourage participation in family therapy. It will take a holistic approach to treatment, addressing issues of body, mind and spirit through various traditional and alternative therapies.
The program will tailor your child’s treatment plan to his specific needs, and it will adapt the treatment program as those needs change. Therapists and counselors will have appropriate degrees and licenses, and the duration of the treatment program will be sufficient to give your child a strong foundation for a life of sobriety.
Any high-quality treatment center will adhere to the Principles of Effective Treatment as set forth by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These include the acknowledgement that:
- No single treatment is effective for every individual.
- Treatment must address the multiple, complex needs of the patient, not just the drug abuse.
- Behavioral therapies, including individual, family and group therapy, are the most commonly used therapies in treatment.
- If a mental illness is present along with an addiction, dual diagnosis treatment should be integrated so that the mental illness is treated in the context of the addiction, and vice versa.
Upon the successful completion of treatment, a quality program will develop an aftercare plan that’s individualized for your child based on his needs. Aftercare typically includes ongoing therapy and participation in a peer support group. A case manager will be assigned to check in with your child periodically to assess for changing and emerging needs and will adjust the aftercare plan as necessary.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse points out that one of the biggest challenges in treatment is keeping patients in the program long enough to achieve their treatment goals. That’s why finding a program that fits in with or complements your child’s world view and fundamental beliefs is essential. For example, if your child is a vegetarian or has food allergies, you’ll want to be sure the treatment center can accommodate her dietary needs.
If she loves nature, look for a treatment program that uses nature therapeutically. The bottom line is to find a treatment center where your child will feel comfortable and find some enjoyment in life, since she’ll ideally remain there for 90 days or longer.
Treatment centers that offer alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture and meditation as well as workout facilities and planned activities can keep your child more engaged in treatment, and a selection of alternative therapies can go a long way toward helping him make healthy lifestyle changes that will serve him well once treatment is complete.
A residential treatment center should feel comfortable and homey rather than institutional, so don’t be afraid to ask about things like the decor and the overall culture or vibe of the center. Gracious Care Recovery Solutions is proud of our comfortable, home-like facilities.
A Professional Can Help
If you’re having trouble locating a treatment center that meets your child’s needs, or if you’d like help deciding what type of treatment would best serve her, consider contacting Gracious Care for more information about what we can offer your child.
“When Your Child Has an Addiction” Continues
In the next entry in this series, learn about how to determine if an intervention is necessary and why professional help in holding an intervention is essential. Continued in “When Your Child Has an Addiction, Part 10: Holding an Intervention”.