Dealing with a loved one who is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction can be emotional, frustrating and painful at times. Much of the time you desperately want to get them the help they need, but they may be resistant and adamant that they do not need, or want help. When they finally accept that they have a substance abuse addiction and get help, what happens next? It is important to know that it is okay for you to set boundaries for a loved one after detox.
The Purpose of Boundaries
Boundaries are often times necessary when dealing with a loved one with an addiction and setting boundaries after detox is considered a preventative measure to decrease the chances of their returning to substance abuse.
Using tough love by showing how offended you are by their actions, expressing your hurt and concern over their alcohol and drug abuse and asserting that you are not willing to go any further are reasonable; but if you are not willing to follow through, then your words will hold a lot of meaning. Setting boundaries with a loved one, along with conveying expectations and consequences, are important, but for the boundaries to be effective, there has to be follow through.
4 Points to Setting Boundaries
• The first point is to extend emotional support, but do not enable them. For example, let your loved one know that you are there for them and that you will help them, but don’t give them money to buy alcohol and drugs. If they need to go some place, take them and if they need something from the store, buy it for them but do not make it easy for them to fund their addiction.
• The second point is to communicate clearly your expectations to your loved one. Rather than blame them for everything or resulting in threats or yelling; try to communicate without losing control of your emotions.
• The third point is to go to therapy with them. Offering support to them in therapy is not only an encouragement to them, but you may find that you benefit from it as well.
• The fourth point is that you set boundaries for yourself. If your loved one returns from detox and they return to alcohol and drug abuse behavior, know how far you are willing to go if you have to remove your loved one from your home or life. In cases where alcohol and drug abuse resort to aggressive or violent behavior, you have to make certain that the health and well being of yourself and other family members is secure.
If your loved one causes the economic stability of the family, such as stealing money from your bank account, stealing items to sell for drugs, or creates the risk of liability to others; you may have to remove the loved one from your home and cut ties with them.
Lara Schuster writes for Gallus Medical Detox Centers. Gallus Detox provides safe drug and alcohol detox with customized IV therapy to comfortably alleviate withdrawal symptoms and patients are monitored 24/7 by ICU level nurses. This proven detox method was developed by Dr. Patrick Gallus after 15-plus years as an emergency room physician caring for alcohol and drug addicted patients. Gallus Medical Detox Centers features upscale private rooms, gourmet meals, Wi-Fi and HDTV. Patient confidentiality is always protected.