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Frequently Asked Questions
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I Want to Help My Loved One in Rehab
The rehab and addiction treatment processes can be hard for the individual as well as for his or her family. There are a number of concerns families have about a loved one in rehab – whether it’s finances, childcare, or staying in contact with a loved one throughout rehab. Nonetheless, for an individual to achieve recovery and for a family to start rebuilding, there are definite steps you can take to help your loved one during rehab.
Initially, one of the best things you can do to support your loved one in rehab is to educate yourself about addiction. Family and friends often feel angry, hurt, and betrayed while a loved one deals with a Substance Use Disorder (SUD). However, to repair relationships, it’s important to avoid the “blame game” and instead try to understand the nature of the disease. Do not take a loved one’s addiction personally – it was not done to hurt you.
Dependencies like Opioid addiction and alcoholism change the way the brain works, triggering cravings over which a person has no control. You can support a loved one by acknowledging their struggle and why it requires medical attention (sometimes extended or extensive care), as well as being there for them, despite the potential for rough times or relapse.
You can also support a loved one by taking care of yourself. If you exhaust yourself with worry, stress, and fear, you won’t be able to give an adequate amount of attention to any aspect of your life. First and foremost, make sure you’re getting enough to eat and sleep. If you’re dealing with some confusion and mixed emotions, counseling might also be beneficial. Support groups like Al-Anon give families a place to meet, share, and cope with the problems caused by addiction. Remember, addiction is a family disease and family members will need to seek recovery in their own way too.
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How Do I Keep My Loved One Safe During Rehab?
It can be difficult to let go of a child or spouse as they enter rehab. Some wrestle with feelings of a loss of control, fear for their loved one in rehab, and worry for themselves. Still, it’s important to realize the necessity and value of rehab to your loved one. For those concerned with keeping their loved ones safe while they are away from home in rehab, start by researching the treatment center extensively beforehand. Visit their site, read reviews, contact the facility, and contact medical treatment providers for essential information.
Once your loved one is in rehab, remember that they are safe and in the care of trained medical professionals. Early in the treatment process, contact with the outside world is limited so that patients can focus on healing. During rehab, many programs will host a family day, where you can visit your loved one and learn about recovery therapy. Family day is a great way for you to see your loved one’s recovery in-process and understand ways you can help them after the program ends.
How Can I Help a Loved One Pay for Rehab?
When it’s time to decide how to pay for rehab, you can help a loved one by doing your research. For those without insurance or the underinsured, a wide range of government programs are available across the US to cover the cost of rehab, including Medicaid and Medicare. Because the cost of addiction is so high, many states have prioritized addiction treatment and made it more accessible to residents. States like California and Florida are home to many public and privately-funded rehab centers, giving patients a variety of options when finding treatment.
Also, remember to contact your insurance for information about network options. After the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, substance abuse treatment must be covered by commercial and government health insurers. Depending on your type of insurance and coverage network, your loved one may be able to participate in programs close-to-home (i.e. a residential outpatient rehab program) or travel out-of-state (i.e. inpatient rehabs away from hometown triggers). Group insurance or insurance obtained through an employer may also offer additional substance abuse treatment coverage – data shows that rehab can better rehabilitate employees and reduce lost productivity at work.
Once you know your budget, you can begin contacting treatment centers to see what forms of payment they accept. Many public rehab centers offer income-adjusted treatment services, or payment on a sliding scale. Payment plans also allow families to repay even small amounts on a monthly basis.
How Do I Help My Loved One Cover Their Responsibilities While They’re in Rehab?
For some, simultaneously caring for a child, spouse, or pet while undergoing detox is not possible. If possible, reach out to other family members or friends for short “sitting” stints – if they’re willing to help. The goal is to cover responsibilities so that your loved one in rehab and their family can heal. Therefore, situations which could add stress to you or your loved one’s life aren’t worth it. Fortunately, some nonprofit organizations provide or subsidize services like family housing or childcare for those in rehab. If you’re looking for a rehab that allows your child to stay, contact a dedicated treatment provider.
If your loved one is taking an extended absence from work, the company will likely need to be notified. For whatever reason, some may want to conceal attending rehab from their employer (though some companies offer programs to help pay for rehab). Depending on the company and length of employment, certain protections exist that prevent people from being fired for going to rehab. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is available to qualifying employees and provides them with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually for medical reasons (including the care of immediate family members). The Americans with Disabilities Act also protects individuals from losing their jobs when they get treatment; however, the law does not apply to those actively using substances.
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Getting Help for a Loved One
It is entirely normal to experience a roller coaster of emotions while a loved one suffers from addiction. However, there are resources available and means by which you can help. If you’re ready to discuss treatment options and available centers, talk to a treatment provider now.
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