Family Education on Drug Addiction at Wellness Retreat
Knowledge is power, and for a family that has a loved-one in active addiction, understanding how they can help or hurt the situation can be both empowering and liberating. The more a family learns about alcohol or drug addiction, the more they can help the family member struggling with addiction, as well as themselves. Some families may have experience dealing with alcoholism or drug addiction, but for most families, this is their first time coping with addiction and seeking professional treatment. At Wellness Retreat we offer family education and educational resources on drug addiction, to help fill in the blanks and give you an understanding of the recovery process.
Wellness Retreat offers families of clients the following educational resources on alcohol and drug addiction:
- Educational materials and literature available upon request
- Online resources on signs and types of drug addictions
- Access to Wellness Retreat Recovery’s therapists and other addiction professionals
- Information about outside groups that provide support
Family involvement in a family member’s recovery from alcohol or drug addiction is essential to improving the odds of long-term success. While your family member is attending residential inpatient treatment at Wellness Retreat, he or she will be going through intensive therapy and education on their condition. When they return, there may be a period of adjustment to align new, recovery-related priorities. As a family member, your objective is to set healthy boundaries and use effective communication skills, without attempting to micro-manage that person’s aftercare recovery plan. You will learn these skills as part of Wellness Retreat’s Family Recovery Program or and at the community-based family support groups we will recommend you attend.
Misconceptions corrected by Family Education on Drug Addiction:
Our program of family education on drug addiction and our family therapy and resources are here to correct any underlying misconceptions families may have about mental health and substance use disorders. In many cases, misinformed individuals or families struggling with addiction may unintentionally exacerbate problems because they do not have the right information available to them. Some of the common mistaken beliefs we try to address through family education are:
“This is just a phase”
Especially for families previously unfamiliar with addiction and addiction treatment, there is oftentimes the belief that their loved one is simply going through a rough period, characterized by a temporary overindulgence in alcohol or drugs that is short-term, and soon they will return to their normal selves. Tragic and traumatic events, the types of things that may cause a non-addict to consume more drugs and alcohol than usual for a finite period of time, are the same types of events that can push an emerging addict into a prolonged bender; this makes it hard for those not attuned to the signs and symptoms of addiction to differentiate one from the other. In the cases of young people with substance abuse problems, the initiating event could be going away to college, a time in life synonymous with heavy drinking and drug experimentation. Regardless of mitigating factors and anecdotal evidence, if you are a parent or close family member to someone struggling, you know so intuitively. It is in the best interest of everyone in the family that you take proactive steps and have that family member professionally assessed by an addictions specialist.
Support vs. Enabling
“Enabling” is a term commonly used in psychotherapy and mental health, and refers to dysfunctional behaviors in a relationship (like a family unit) that are meant to resolve problems, but in fact perpetuate or even worsen the problem. Enabling can be a major factor in the addiction of a family member. An example of enabling: you consistently rescue a loved one from situations that are a result of their drinking and using. Many families are at least somewhat aware of the concept of enabling but have difficulty distinguishing enabling from actual support. At Wellness Retreat, part of our Family Recovery service is family education on drug addiction, including how to separate recovery support from enabling. Clients and their family members benefit from our weekly family therapy sessions, which teaches how to be supportive without enabling, and also our weekend family educational groups.
Addiction can affect anyone:
Substance abuse is not limited to any particular age group, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. People from all different walks of life can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, regardless of whether they are young or old, male or female, affluent or not. Many prestigious medical bodies, including the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), categorize addiction as a Brain Disorder; this means that it is a standalone illness, that is not necessarily connected to a dysfunctional childhood or a particular traumatic life event. While people with addiction in their immediate family are statistically more susceptible to becoming addicted themselves, many people without any genetic predisposition still go on to develop a substance use disorder. This does not make them bad people, or mean that they lack willpower – it means that they a suffering from a medically recognized disorder, and that they need professional assistance as any other sick person would.
Arm yourself with the proper facts about substance abuse through Wellness Retreat’s resources for family education on drug addiction and alcoholism, and improve your loved one’s successful recovery outcome. If you or a family member is struggling with addiction and needs help, please contact us today a 1-855-SOBER-WR