Guidance to help you care for a loved one who has an alcohol or drug addiction.
Patience and acceptance.
Be patience and learn to accept the person as they are.
This may be very unsettling; often family and friends are in denial just as the addict is.
Active listening is vital, without it you will go nowhere.
Your loved one needs to know that you are listening and trying to understand.
Listen, keep eye contact, ask non-judgmental questions, and don’t interrupt with comments or opinions.
They need to feel like they are the most important person to you at that moment;
and need validation, whether good or bad, in order to establish and maintain rapport.
Learn about addiction.
The more you understand what the person is going through, the better off you’ll be. Here are some links to get you started:
Don’t be an enabler.
Your heart drives you to be a protector.
You don’t want them to suffer, to break-up the family, to be arrested, homeless or to lose their job. You would do anything to help them.
But don’t make it easy for your loved one to continue their addiction, particularly when it affects others in the household.
Don’t make excuses - an addict will make up their own excuses.
Set rules and expectations.
If they break the rules, they need to deal with the consequences.
Don’t shield them, they need to experience the impact their addiction is making.
It will help them get to a place where they feel their addiction is worse than the consequence.
Failed relationships, getting fired, homelessness, jail, are all costs that have convinced others that it’s time to get change.
Although the tipping point is different for everyone, they need to feel the pain in order to commit to change.
Tough, unconditional love.
Your loved one needs to know you will be there for them and understand they have to do their part - or you can no longer be a part of the situation.
Take care of yourself.
A relationship with someone with an addiction is exhausting.
You need the time to recover physically, mentally and spiritually.
Take time to exercise, eat healthy, meditate, and establish your own support system.
Build your own support network.
Having people you can turn to for support will help you and your loved one work through this time.
Consider attending Al-Anon for family and friends:
Al-Anon Wisconsin: http://www.area61afg.org/
Family therapy is available because
addiction affects not only the addicted person,
but everyone around them.
Our family therapy program, called "Family Matters", is offered to provide an opportunity for the client and their family members
to learn more about addiction and to begin the process of family healing. There are two parts to the Family Matters program:
The education section provides basic information about addiction, the impact of addiction on individual family members, and recovery for the family.
Anyone important in the client’s life may attend this portion of the program held on Sundays from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at North Bay Lodge.
Family therapy is done with the client and their selected family members.
We encourage the client to invite the people who they will be living with or relying upon to support their long-term recovery, to participate in this part of the program.
"The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others." - Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st. Edition, Into Action, pg. 82
Criteria for Admittance
Hope Haven works with adults, including 18 year old students in high school or working toward a GED.
Clients are required to stay at Hope Haven's North Bay Lodge 24-hours a day for the term of their primary treatment, they may not attend school.
At intake, clients must be sober - meaning having already completed detox or not be in active withdrawal at intake and free of mood altering substances.
They cannot be on prescription narcotics including benzodiazepines. Suboxone is permitted if the client is on a stable dose.
An assessment is usually performed within 24 hours, Monday - Friday (we do not do assessments on the weekends).
Once a client has passed their assessment, they are approved by our Director and an intake meeting is scheduled, usually within 24 hours.
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