If there’s anything worse than having a drug addiction, it’s being the sober one watching a loved one struggle with addiction. Help is readily available—San Diego detox centers alone have nearly 50 listings in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s online treatment locator—but even if your loved one is willing to get treatment, one or both of you may be uneasy about what will happen during detox, what it will cost and whether permanent sobriety will “take.”
You can be most effective as part of your loved one’s support network if you:
1. Make sure you’re not unintentionally discouraging them from seeking help.
The best drug rehab in San Diego won’t help someone who won’t go near it. And if you’ve been filling the role of “enabler”—covering for your loved one when they’re sick with hangovers, cleaning up their messes, paying for damage they’ve done—you’re removing some major incentives to seek rehab. Don’t nag—that may just lead your family member to push you away and retreat further into chemical comforts—but do let them personally face the consequences of their actions, and do be clear and firm about what you won’t tolerate and what you’ll do if boundaries are overstepped.
When your loved one does mention considering professional help, never respond with, “But what will people think if they find out?” And never, ever suggest they try to detox at home: no matter how well-informed and careful you are, lack of quick access to professional care can be fatal.
2. Know the facts about detox.
The most important things to know are:
- Reputable detox centers will not restrain clients by force (except to prevent injury), keep them in barren quarters or insist they “hit bottom” before admitting them. Nor will most centers subject clients to dangerous “rapid drug detox” procedures that involve general anesthesia and heavy doses of “cleansing” medications. Facilities and medical credentials involved in detox treatment—even detox in San Diego amid southern California’s “antiestablishment” reputation—differ little from those provided by any other inpatient medical center.
- Detox centers don’t necessarily treat drugs with drugs, either. While medication-assisted treatment is frequently necessary to ease withdrawal from alcohol or benzodiazepines, policies on opiates vary since many heroin treatment drugs can create new addictions of their own. If you have strong feelings either way, verify a center’s policies in advance.
- Most health insurance plans cover treatment for addiction Check your policy to see exactly what the insurance will pay for and which detox rehab centers are in your network.
- Detox can involve inpatient stays of up to three months. Hearing this for the first time can be a shock: even if you and your loved one have never considered controversial forms of rapid drug detox, you may have expected “rapid” release after physical symptoms abate. True detox involves more than getting rid of physical cravings, though. It includes long-term counseling to ensure maximum motivation for staying sober. And though three months may seem like a long time, an extended stay in the typical San Diego detox center, with outside facilities and great weather, is no hardship.
- Even after detox is officially complete, an addiction disorder can easily come back. Just as with those in remission from cancer, people who have been treated for addiction need to take special health precautions and check in regularly with support networks. (One good thing about needing drug rehab in San Diego, or any other major metropolitan area, is that support groups and follow-up care are usually within reasonable commute.)
3. Help your loved one choose the best treatment center, and accompany them on a personal visit before the final decision is made.
If your family is opting for the intervention route, you may even have researched, visited, and chosen a treatment center on your own. In any case, no amount of online research can fully take the place of getting a feel for the grounds in person. (For convenience’s sake, it’s a good idea to focus on places reasonably close to home: a San Diego detox center for a San Diego resident.) And an objective second opinion can reduce the risk of someone’s choosing the wrong center out of desperation, or rejecting the right one out of nervousness.
Do verify that the center has a good reputation, is involved in the larger community and provides comfortable facilities with health guidelines and emergency plans in place.
4. Realize that you, too, are in this for the long haul.
Too many people push family members into detox with the attitude “Just get yourself fixed so the rest of us can get on with normal life”—which rarely does long-term sobriety much good, because it means the newly detoxed person will return to the same stresses, expectations and provocations that “drove him to drink” in the first place.
If someone in your family has an addiction, the whole family has problems—and not just problems directly attributable to drunken behavior or money wasted on drugs. Like it or not, you probably had a role in triggering the addiction, and you probably will have to change some well-ingrained habits. Everyone in the household should become active in therapy and support groups, preferably as a unit including the person recovering from addiction. Act in love and don’t grumble about inconvenience. The more of your unhealthy behavioral habits are replaced with healthy ones, the healthier—and happier—the whole family will be.
If you or a loved one need drug detox in San Diego or elsewhere in southern California, Inland is in a convenient location and offers excellent detox treatment. Call us at 888-739-8296 for more information.