Common fears of families while admitting their loved one in an addiction treatment program

In our experience at Hope Trust, we come across some common concerns family members express while admitting a loved one to the alcohol and drug treatment facility:

 1. Will rehab work?

Families ask about the recovery rate and try and see how beneficial, if at all, the treatment is. We are honest while responding. Statistically, the alcoholic or addict has about 45% chance of achieving long-term sobriety on first admission. This is more or less a global figure. Addiction is highly relapse-prone. But what are the options? Addiction is also a life-threatening problem and families have to take the chance. Moreover, without treatment, the addict has a 0% chance. So they are actually raising the chances from 0 to 45.

 2. Will he hold resentments for admitting him?

He will be angry initially and this is because he is in denial. He probably feels he is not an addict and that he does not need treatment. Or that he can control his addictive behaviour and does not need help. Or he is drinking/ drugging due to some external causes, so the problem lies somewhere else, not with him. At Hope Trust, there are specific protocols designed to break denial, with the help of family members via interventions. Once the addict accepts the enormity and gravity of his problem and recognizes the need for help, his anger is likely to turn to gratitude. In any case, recovery means a shift from negative to positive thinking.

 3. Is treatment too expensive?

The cost of continuing addiction is much higher. Not just the money spent on alcohol and drugs, but the associated lifestyle, medical costs and cost of lost opportunities are bound to mount. And the emotional cost to the family is huge. Recovery from addiction may cost, but it’s more than worth it!

 4. What will people say?

The family often believes that society does not know about their loved one’s addiction. The fact may be that almost everyone around them is aware about the addictive behaviour in the family but are not speaking about it in front of the family members in order to avoid embarrassing them (since they are trying to pretend that all is well!). In any case, what’s more important - other people or our loved one?

 5. Can we manage without him?

The family gets so used to living in chaos that when the addict is in rehab, they actually experience ‘withdrawal’. After some time, they realize that they can probably manage the family and business better than the alcoholic and that life is much better without the constant stress of living with an addict! The time without the addict can be utilized in focusing on issues which took a back seat and many a times the spouse gets empowered by managing the business.