When it comes to addiction, it truly is a family disease. No matter what the addiction is, how bad it is, or what it is to, addiction affects everyone involved – children, parents, friends, spouses, and siblings – everyone. For this reason, we believe that family recovery is an essential part of addiction treatment. It allows family members to gain clarity on their loved one’s addiction and to help them through their recovery. It also gives family members much needed support and insight so that they can take care of themselves throughout the entire process. Having a loved one in addiction can take a tremendous toll, so it is important that everyone is as strong as possible.
What to Expect from Family Recovery in Addiction Treatment
Addicts often feel isolated and alone. They do certainly have a lot they are dealing with by themselves, but their family members are deeply affected also. As one addict’s wife says, “My entire life was focused on my husband’s addiction. I was consumed with worry that he would relapse or overdose. I stopped doing things I loved, isolated myself from my friends and family, and solely focused on caring about him. I thought that was what I should do, but in family recovery I learned that it is also important to take care of myself.”
Like this woman, many family members let their whole lives be consumed by caring for and worrying about the addict. In family recovery, they will learn how important it is to practice self care and allow time for themselves so that they still have parts of life they enjoy. It is important also for these family members to get counselling of their own. Family recovery will provide some counselling, and will also recommend other therapists and groups for added support. Addiction affects a lot of people, and finding out you are not alone can be enormously helpful in and of itself.
In family recovery, family members will also be kept up to date on their loved one’s progress or setbacks, as well as their course of treatment. This way, the family feels like they are part of the process and aware of what is going on. Therapists will also guide family members in how to help their loved one through their recovery and how to become a strong support system. It is much easier for an addict to stay sober when they have a strong network of sober support behind them.
Sometimes, families and loved ones enable addicts without even knowing it. Enabling behaviors can include providing the addict with money, food, a home, or covering up their behavior. Family recovery can help identify any negative patterns or relationship and change things for the better so that the addict has a much better chance at recovery. Also, family members can learn about the signs of relapse so that they can help prevent one from happening in the future.
It is always recommended that families take an active role in their loved one’s recovery for a number of reasons. It will help them come to terms with the situation and give ways that they can find peace and continue to enjoy their lives. For the addict, they will feel supported and like they can be open about their addiction with the people closest to them.
Family recovery is a process, and it is important to take things step by step and always approach situations with a rational mind. Through this program, doctors and therapists will keep family members informed on the addict’s progress, as well as give them tips on how to best approach the situation. It makes things better for everyone involved!