“Rimrock is a service to our community!”

Beth K.

The Family Guide to Addiction

When your loved one is suffering from an addiction it can be very difficult to cope with. You may find yourself wanting to help your loved one, but may not know where to start. At Rimrock, we know the important part families play in helping their loved one achieve recovery, which is why we encourage families to be involved and supportive of their loved one before and during treatment.

The first thing that families need to understand about addiction is that it is not a choice, but instead it is a medical condition like diabetes or cancer. Those suffering from addiction did not decide to be an addict and it is not something that they can just stop without help. It is not a matter of willpower.  Understanding this aspect of the addictive process, will help family members to understand that treatment is critical in order for your loved one to achieve recovery. This also helps families understand and support their loved one as they begin this journey.

Identifying an addiction can be difficult for both the individual suffering from the addiction and their family. Someone suffering from alcoholism can hide the illness from others and even themselves, often for a long time. Problem drinking may begin without a conscious plan and the alcoholic may not have a real awareness of how much they are consuming. If they are aware of the extent of their drinking, they may even deny it, often forcefully. Some common elements that may signify a person is suffering from addiction include:

  • Craving – A strong need or compulsion to use.
  • Loss of Control – The frequent inability to stop using once an episode has begun.
  • Physical Dependence – The occurrence of withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, shakiness, and anxiety.
  • Tolerance – The need for increasing amounts of alcohol or drugs in order to get “high.”

Additional aspects of an addiction include, an addict’s compulsion to consume drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences in their life, and planning their life around the opportunity to use. You may not even realize any of this is happening because the addict will keep the symptoms hidden or deny they even exist.

You may wonder how to go about helping your loved one decide that treatment is their best option. Rimrock is available to assist you. Our Admission’s Department has Licensed Addiction Counselors available to help. Counselors can answer questions about the treatment process or address concerns you may have about your loved one. We can help you to identify a plan to work with your loved one and support them during this time. Rimrock has the only Nationally Certified Intervention Professional in the state.  Having a Nationally Certified Intervention Professional ensures that best practices are used and ethical rules are followed.  Our interventionist has worked in the addiction field for over 10 years and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Montana, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and is certified by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Professionals as a Masters Level Addiction Counselor and as a Substance Abuse Professional.

Once your loved one has decided that treatment is the right path for them, you can help them by supporting their decision and assist them in the planning and packing process. Rimrock’s guide to preparing for treatment is a great place to start.

Rimrock believes in whole person care and follows a 12 Step Recovery Program. You can learn more about our view of addiction here. Our treatment program is designed to teach your loved one vital new information and coping skills so they can begin living a sober lifestyle.

Rimrock believes that family involvement is a critical piece of treatment.  For this reason, we developed our Family Week Program. During family week, family members are able to discover how addiction has affected the family unit as a whole and each member of the family individually. This is a powerful tool that helps us provide the most effective treatment possible. You can learn more about family week and what it entails here.

If someone you care about is returning from treatment, you may feel confused or unsure about what you can do to support them in their recovery. Sobriety is a lifelong journey and it is made much easier with the support of friends and family members. You can start by offering acceptance and understanding about their needs in early recovery. Your family member will be facing many challenges as they navigate recovery, so avoiding any harsh criticism or negativity is important. You can learn all about how to support your loved one in recovery here.

Rimrock believes that family members play an important part in both treatment and recovery. For more information visit our family and friends page. Our Admissions Department can be reached at 406-248-3175 or 800-227-3953. Our normal admission hours are between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Mountain Time, Monday through Friday. We do have staff available, however, anytime day or night to take your call.

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