Drug and Alcohol - Dual Diagnosis - Relationships in Recovery

How Do I Get a Homeless Friend or Loved One Into Treatment?

Addiction is tough for families – especially if their loved one is homeless. Here’s how to convince a homeless loved one to seek drug rehab.

How Do I Get a Homeless Friend or Loved One into Treatment?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

June 14, 2022

The Edge Treatment Center

Witnessing someone you love or care about struggle with substance abuse can be one of the most challenging things to understand, especially when they don't want help. Alcohol and drug addiction affect the person struggling with the addiction and those who care about the addicted person.

Learning the best way to help someone you love or care about who is addicted to drugs or alcohol is the most beneficial long-term decision both for them and for you. 

Homelessness, Addiction, and Mental Health

According to The National Coalition for the Homeless:

38% of the homeless population has an addiction to alcohol

26% are addicted to other substances

In most cases, drug or alcohol addiction is a cause of homelessness. This is because the substances may be used as a coping mechanism for the hard conditions of being homeless, such as isolation, the struggle to find food and shelter, untreated sickness, and lack of connection with loved ones. 

Homelessness, addiction, and mental health all go hand-in-hand. Mental health conditions are thought of as another cause of homelessness, which can then lead to drug and alcohol addiction. Struggling with mental health along with being homeless makes the situation a lot more difficult to navigate for the individual.

This is why the decision is often made to self-medicate, a temporary fix that causes significant long-term harm.  

Some mental health disorders people who are homeless battle include: 

  • Bipolar disorder 

  • Schizophrenia 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

  • Depression 

  • Severe anxiety  

Different Types of Treatment to Consider 

There are many different forms of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Some of them include the following: 

  1. Detoxification: Detoxification is the step that allows the body to rid the toxins from the substances while also providing supervision to ease the withdrawal symptoms. During this step, the client can also be prescribed certain medications to help with the symptoms, which is why detox is also known as "medically managed withdrawal."

  2. Residential programs: These programs, the next phase of treatment, include an environment in which the client is closely monitored, allowing for recuperation from detox, learning methods to further manage cravings, and stabilizing any prescribed medications. This phase provides for continuing recovery free from distractions, triggers, and harmful social influences.

  3. Outpatient programs: These programs – including intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) – are more feasible for clients with jobs or other responsibilities, including family and other time-sensitive commitments. These treatment programs are usually less expensive than residential programs and consist of more group therapy in daytime treatment-center settings. 

How to Get a Homeless Loved One Into Drug Rehab

One of the first steps is to understand the signs and symptoms that someone has a substance use disorder (SUD). This will help determine the type of help the person requires. 

Some signs of SUD include: 

  • Avoiding important responsibilities 

  • Being secretive 

  • Constantly borrowing money 

  • Poor hygiene 

  • Mood changes 

Once you decide whether or not your loved one is struggling with SUD, you can then talk with this person and figure out if they want to go to drug and alcohol addiction rehab. If they express that they have no interest in going to treatment, then the services of an interventionist may be necessary. 

Once the individual has decided to go to treatment, you can then discuss the best treatment options. This is a very crucial step because choosing the proper form of treatment will ensure their recovery success. Lastly, providing love and support is one of the best things you can do for the person you care about. 

Next Steps for Family and Friends

Helping a family member or friend through this process can be extremely difficult and can cause a lot of strain on the people who witness the effects of SUD. There are resources available to help make this process less traumatic. One of the most common and effective ways to cope is to join support groups for families and friends of loved ones who have SUD. 

One other way to heal is to go to family therapy sessions. These services are specifically designed to give everyone a chance to feel heard, especially during tough situations such as a loved one struggling with SUD. It is also very important to educate yourself on addiction so that you have access to important information and always stay up to date on how to help your loved one. 

Advocating for others struggling with SUD can also be very therapeutic for you because of the fact that not many people understand the complicated truth about addiction and SUD. By advocating for others, you would be standing up for everyone who struggles with SUD and educating people about the important issues related to addiction, as well as the resources, coping strategies, and communities available to offer to support and guidance. 

The Edge Treatment Center Works with Families Affected by Addiction

Whether you are a friend or a family member, witnessing someone you care about battling substance use disorder can be extremely difficult. This is especially true if your friend or loved one is homeless.

The Edge Treatment Center has staff available to help direct your family on the different forms of treatment and which would be the best fit. We are a family-owned treatment center and have first-hand experience with the effects of addiction and families.

Contact the Edge Treatment Center today to learn more.

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