Substance Use + Mental Health: Your Guide to Addressing Co-occurring Disorders
It’s hard enough if your child is struggling with substance use, but what if they’re also struggling with mental health, like depression or anxiety, at the same time?
3. Finally and perhaps most importantly, ask about their family program.Addiction is a family disease and treatment centers need to do more to treat the entire family unit through this process. For too long treatment programs have been neglecting the family and allowing children to be dropped off at their door. The family — parents, sibling and other significant household members such as step-parents — need help learning how to trust again, build healthy relationships with their child or sibling and learn how to function as a family with a child in recovery.
Ask what their family program looks like. For some residential programs, they will offer family education weekends or programs. This is important, but not enough. The family should be involved throughout the entire process of treatment, meaning regular phone calls (sometimes daily), therapy sessions (either in person or via phone or Skype) and support and coaching from the facility. Additionally, the treatment center should make referrals to the family for any needs they may have in terms of therapy, psychiatry or community support services. If the family already see professionals, the treatment center should work in collaboration with them.
The good news for families is that there are amazing, ethical treatment centers across the country that offer high-quality, comprehensive services and hold themselves to the highest of standards. However, with the landscape as it is, parents and families need to be armed with the facts, learn what steps they can take to navigate this process and make sure that their child is finding the best help available to meet their needs.
Addiction is treatable and recovery is possible so the most important part is finding the best place for your child for them to start their journey of healing.
Zach Snitzer is the Director of Business Development at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center. His time as a resident in South Florida’s abundant recovery community opened Zach’s eyes to exciting and innovative drug and alcohol treatment philosophies that he knew weren’t readily available in Maryland. Due to his own personal journey of recovery, Zach has a passion for helping others.