Can My Family Help Me with Detox?

If you are looking into detox, it is pretty likely that you have accepted that your drug use is a problem and you are ready to take charge and begin the difficult process of drug and alcohol treatment. Congratulations! That is a big step and it is one that will improve every area of your life, from your job to your family. Here are some ways you can let your family help with the detox process.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) makes clear detox is not the same as drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment. Instead, detox is what is called palliative care: treatment that reduces the strength of a disorder. Detox does a great job of managing acute intoxication and withdrawal, but it is meant to function as a first step in the treatment process and not as a substitute for rehab.

You might be able to imagine the role a family member can play in rehab (family therapy, family visits, etc.), but what will they do during detox? How can they help you with this process? There are actually a number of roles that family members can fill during detox and their support will help you maintain your resolve and assist you in making it through detox and into rehabilitation treatment.

If you and your family are ready to take on detox, can be a big help. We provide resources, answer questions, and connect you with great detox treatment.


Family Help

Having family by your side during detox can help ease your mind and motivate you to stay sober.

The first thing to understand is what we mean by family. SAMHSA rightly points out that there is no definition of family that can apply to all people and all situations. Beliefs and cultures change over time and these changes alter what family means to people. There are, nonetheless, a few basic categories that can be used to break down the idea of family.

Traditional Families

This usually involves your immediate family: parents—step, foster, adoptive, single, partnered, and grandparents assuming a parental role—children and partner.

Extended Families

These are the people outside your immediate family who are connected by blood, marriage, or law: uncles, cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc.

Elected or Intentional Families

These are families that are self-identified and connected purposefully: peers, friends, exes, godparents, etc.

For many addicts, intentional family is more important than biological family. Often poor family relationships contribute to addiction or addiction causes so much stress on blood bonds that they break.

All family essentially shares a never-ending emotional involvement. No matter the distance between them, family will always remain emotionally connected and members will continue to add to the functioning of the family.


Family can play a number of roles for people seeking treatment via outpatient therapy.

If you need a living space free from drugs and alcohol during your outpatient treatment, you may need to look to your family. If you already live with family, they will need to make lifestyle adjustments while you undergo treatment. They should be able to refrain from using drugs or alcohol the entire time you reside with them. If this is not possible, inpatient detox is likely the better solution.

Being close to you will allow family members to help you through withdrawal in a very hands-on way. They can distract you from the discomfort of withdrawal by playing games, watching movies or TV, and reading aloud. Just having someone to share that difficult time with you may be the support you need to maintain your motivation.

They can keep conversation light and steer you away from emotionally damaging conversations about old wounds. They can also remain awake with you when you suffer from insomnia. This can keep you from resorting to getting high or drinking, but it also simply keeps you company and keeps your spirits up.


Family can also provide help to patients seeking inpatient detox.

As with outpatient help, remaining constantly supportive will allow your family to provide you with a boost of motivation.

Your family can also remain active in your detox by doing some simple things. They can visit when and if it is allowed. They can remain supportive by avoiding arguments and blaming you for your addiction. They can write letters. They can make it a point to go to all of the counselling sessions they are invited to.

If you are ready to get started on your detox, Call 800-996-6135(Who Answers?) to speak with someone today.

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