March 19, 2018
If someone in your family is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, the holidays are the best time to handle the problem. Though your first inclination may be to postpone the discussion in order to avoid ruining the holiday, it is actually the most opportune moment there is to take action. Family is gathered, everyone is feeling emotionally generous due to the holiday, and your loved one in crisis may be more open to the idea of change with the new year pending.
If you are considering giving your loved one the gift of rehab this holiday season, here are the steps that will help you make it happen:
- Consider what type of drug addiction treatment services will be most effective. Does your loved one struggle with mental health issues? Are they diagnosed? Do you believe they are facing post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or another specific mental health problem? Is chronic pain an issue? Do they have a high-dose addiction? Have they attempted rehab on multiple occasions or is this their first time? The answers to these questions and more can help you to identify the best possible type of drug rehab for your loved one, whether it is an inpatient treatment program, a program designed specifically for first responders, or outpatient treatment.
- Contact your insurance company. Depending on what your insurance company covers, you may be able to get all or most of the cost of treatment taken care of in advance. It is important to take the time to determine what is covered by your insurance provider and what, if any, medical “proof” is required to secure coverage for treatment.
- Determine the out-of-pocket cost. If there is any amount left over after insurance has paid to assist, add that to the cost of transportation and any items that your loved one may need in treatment. For family budgeting purposes, consider how household finances will be impacted with the loss of your loved one’s income, care of dependents at home, etc.
- Determine what “holes” will need to be filled if your loved one goes to treatment. Does your loved one usually take care of the dog while you are at work? Do they go grocery shopping? Do they manage any aspect of the household that you will now need to cover in their absence? None of these are obstacles to your loved one getting treatment; they will not be able to continue managing these responsibilities for long if addiction continues untreated, but these issues can be identified and addressed in advance.
- Meet with concerned family members to work out details. When you know the out-of-pocket costs and what will need to be covered or dealt with in your loved one’s absence, meet with family members to pool your funds, ideas, and efforts to make it happen.
- Secure a spot for your loved one. Once you have determined the set of treatment services or type of program that will be most effective, find the best drug addiction treatment center for your needs. Enroll your loved one in advance and make sure there is a spot available for them to start as soon as possible.
- Handle the details. Once you have your family gathered and your loved one enrolled in treatment, it is time to attend to the details. For example, you may need to purchase plane tickets for your loved one and a companion to get to the treatment program, pack a bag with all the items they will need while in treatment, or make other changes that will facilitate a smooth transition into drug rehab.
- Stage an intervention. When you have everything in order, and your family is organized and ready to move forward, it is time to stage an intervention. Give everyone a chance to consider what they will say in advance (e.g., identifying the changes that have occurred since addiction took hold, supporting the move to treatment, and stating how they will no longer support the person’s life in addiction if applicable).
Is this the year you give your loved one and your entire family the gift of recovery through comprehensive addiction treatment?