For those who love someone struggling with addiction, mental health and trauma.
Helping you understand the treatment process when your loved one enters rehabilitation
No matter if it’s the first time or something you are familiar with, it’s never easy for the family when someone you care about is admitted to treatment whether it be for drug addiction, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, trauma or other mental health concerns. You may wonder how to help them and where to go for help yourself. Here you will find information about how to support yourself and your loved one while they are in treatment and throughout the weeks and months that follow.
“Byron Private is a life saving facility. There was nothing in New Zealand that could offer us a therapy program for our daughter. The only option was to put her on a regime of strong drugs while we waited for another episode. There is still work to do but we now have hope of a recovery. She will return to Byron Private to do the workshops from time to time and is starting to see it as a safe place to do the hard work. Byron Private is caring and treats the person not the disease. By treating the person, they reduce the disease. Thank you Byron Private.” Patricia; Family Member
What the family need to know
One of the most challenging aspects of drug addiction, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, mental health and trauma related conditions, is the powerlessness that friends and family members feel as they watch problems unfold and escalate. Every member of the family, and those around the person, is impacted in some way and have often been suffering for a long time. It is not unusual for the individual, the family and those close to the person to feel lost, angry or have a sense of hopelessness regarding the issue.
This is why it is crucial to seek some support as the only person you have the power to change is yourself! We understand that your financial, mental and emotional resources have gone into helping the person you love and in some cases your life has been put on hold. While this is an incredibly scary time, we assure you this can be a catalyst for the change the family so desperately needs. With the right support and resources this can be the platform for a new way of relating with your loved one and an opportunity to address the underlying issues often not being treated.
“It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate to the things that happen to us that cause us to suffer”. - Pema Chodren
How do I get help?
More often than not, an enormous amount of financial, mental and emotional resources have gone into helping the person you love and in some cases it is like life has been put on hold. Often families have a way of relating to the issue such as blaming the other for how they feel or what is being done to them or believe it is something they have done wrong and work tirelessly to make it better, or fix the family member. What is evidenced from extensive studies into family systems and destructive behaviours is that when each party takes full responsibility for their reactions, experiences and needs, true healing and recovery can occur.
So how do we do this? Firstly, and most importantly just being open to a new understanding of the dynamics not serving the relationship can bring new awareness and the issues and entanglements will start to loose their energy and love can start to replace distrust, hurt, and anger.
We strongly recommend you develop your own support network as the more you understand and discover about yourself and healthy relating the more support you can be for your person.
Steps to Help Yourself
Understanding the uselessness of trying to take on and fix a loved ones suffering is a major step from co-dependency to healthy love and care
Should your loved one come to the place of entering residential rehab, a good program will offer some form of Family Therapy. While family therapy can happen outside treatment, it can be more problematic if a person is in active addiction or has little support.
If all members of the family can develop skills to deal with what is going on in the relationships around them, the person struggling will have a much better chance of getting well. Family Therapy is not about blame, it is about taking responsibility for one’s part in the issue.
Read more on Family Therapy here or call some of the support lines below for more information.
Find a counsellor
It is invaluable to have your own person to talk to who is not personally connected to the problem. It is helpful to find a therapist who understands and works with families and addiction. Therapy is one of the most common supports and can be delivered in person, over the phone or online. It can take many different forms such as talking about your problems, changing your thinking patterns, or planning how to manage difficult situations. Counselling can be short term or ongoing.
Peer Support Meetings
Helpful Video Content
There are also some truly inspiring stories and information available via TedX, YouTube and other media platforms. Here are a select few to help you understand yourself and your family member:
Other Online / Phone Support Services
Turning Point - Clinical care and support, 24/7 online counselling. Call 1800 888 236
The Alcohol and Drug Foundation, has wide ranging resources and options
Healthline – Resources of online communities
Family Drug Support (FDS): 1300 368 186 (available 24/7)
Counselling Online (24/7) counsellingonline.org.au
Mensline Australia: 1300 78 99 78 (24hrs)
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 463
Byron Private offers an effective pathway to recovery for those struggling with mental health, addictions, PTSD and eating disorders. If you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out to our clinical team for a confidential discussion on 02 6684 4145 or via our online contact form.