Addiction started early for Sam Stoots, an Oklahoma native from Tulsa. He started using drugs and alcohol at the age of 13 and spent several years in and out of treatment centers, struggling with addiction and searching for lasting sobriety.
In 2013, he checked into Rob’s Ranch, an Oklahoma-based addiction treatment center, where he completed the 90-day program. For Stoots, this was a turning point in his recovery.
“I found God’s grace at Rob’s Ranch, and I am blessed to be able to see others find that same grace,” Stoots said.
Today, he works as the admissions coordinator at Rob’s Ranch, where he helps men struggling with addiction start their journey to recovery. He shared some insights on how vital family support can be for those struggling with addiction, answering common questions about enabling behaviors, interventions and rehab.
Even with the best of intentions, family members of people battling addiction might find that their efforts to help their loved ones are actually making the situation worse. What are the most common enabling behaviors and how are those harmful? What are your best strategies to stop enabling a loved one with an addiction?
Common enabling behaviors are continuing to support your family member or friend with shelter, money, food, etc. This enables them to continue in their addiction because they know they have a safe place or more money coming. Enabling can also look like participating in justification, lying, excuses, etc.
A great start to stop enabling is learning to say no to the one still suffering. If they are not interested in getting help or changing, then we have to stop the enabling.
Are interventions beneficial? Why or why not? How can you let a loved one know you are concerned without adding to their guilt or their substance misuse?
Interventions can be successful. If the family is willing to cut off the support as well, this really shows the family member that the family is done, unless they are willing to get help. A great way to let the struggling person know you are concerned is by telling them in a calm and loving way.
What strategies do you recommend when confronting addiction? Are those different when dealing with different relationships or ages? What are the best ways to support a loved one suffering from the disease of addiction?
Every situation is different due to the relationship, age, drug of choice, etc. Coming from a place of love and kindness but being firm and strong in that moment is key. It is a tough conversation to have, but you have to take that step of faith and hope the individual is ready.
What are the best ways to support a loved one in rehab? How can supportive family members better understand addiction and the challenges of recovery?
Being there to listen and encourage is something that can really help their loved one while they are in treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous is a great resource for families where they can learn more about addiction, healing and boundaries.
What does a typical day at a treatment center look like for addiction recovery?
Here at Rob’s Ranch clients participate daily in chapel services, educational lectures on the disease of addiction, group therapy, individual counseling, spiritually based classes and Bible studies, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. There is also free time throughout the day for clients to work out, play basketball or volleyball, read and participate in other activities to learn how to enjoy their time clean and sober.
Addiction impacts the whole family, not just the person with the disease of addiction. Please share about the family counseling program at Rob’s Ranch and how similar programs impact recovery.
We do family counseling here at Rob’s Ranch and it can really help the family get everything out in the open, while being guided through these tough conversations by a professional clinician. Having a solid aftercare plan is huge for the clients as they are getting out of treatment, and the family must be on the same page in order to support their loved one.
Steps to supporting your loved one through recovery:
- The right approach involves being positive, non-critical, non-judgmental and 100% supportive.
- Establish trust. Never criticize the person or threaten them with any consequences.
- Respect their privacy and be honest with them.
- You should not expect any changes to occur overnight, and challenges will be part of this recovery.
- Manage your stress levels so that you can help them better
- Be open with them and discuss various treatment options.
Rob’s Ranch is a post-acute treatment center that focuses on the time-tested, proven model of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. With over 80 years of combined counseling experience, the curriculum at Rob’s Ranch offers a full spectrum of addiction recovery services.