Drug Treatment Care: Making it Count
Helena began her drug treatment care at 18 years old. She opened herself to drug treatment with the staff’s teamwork and her willingness. When her first family session was scheduled, she asked to talk with me. Helena shared her fears about returning home after drug treatment care to live with her parents. She said her family did a lot of entertaining that often included drinking and sometimes even drug use. There was a fair amount of alcohol and marijuana kept in the house. Helena felt her family would be unwilling to change their lifestyle to support her recovery. She did not feel it would not be a stable environment to maintain her sobriety. It is likely she was right.
Drug Treatment in a Veil of Denial
During the first family session, her mother said Helena had the addiction problem and that it was not her responsibility to change her lifestyle. Helena’s father said he was ashamed because all of his friend’s children were attending ivy league colleges and his daughter was in rehab.
Asking For Help
Helena and I had agreed that the best support her parents could provide for her continued drug treatment care was to financially help her get into sober living. Her parents were wealthy, however, they said they could not afford sober living. Helena, her parents and I had multiple family sessions to attempt to educate her parents about her need to live in a sober environment. By the end of each session, Helena would dissolve into tears feeling hopeless and unsupported by the only people she thought she could count on. She said she was afraid her parents would not agree to continued drug treatment care and pay for sober living. It was impressive to see that at such a young age she understood that returning home was not a good choice, that it would not be safe for her. And it was great to see that she did not simply give up in light of the initial resistance with her parents.
Protecting Your Recovery
During her third family session, something shifted. Helena’s father heard her. He heard her request for help. He said he needed to be supportive of her request for help. Helena did continue her drug treatment care and go to sober living. Many other challenges have come over time and she pushed through. Now she has been sober three years, has a full-time job with benefits and she and a roommate are sharing their own apartment. While she has no interest in changing her parents, Helena limits her exposure to her parent’s lifestyle to support her own recovery. Now, she runs community support groups, has a strong recovery support network, works with her sponsor and sponsors others. It has been a pleasure watching her grow in her recovery.