Family is important. Especially for the person who is recovering from substance addiction.
For the family of a loved one who is struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction, understanding addiction as a disease and how it affects the addict and the people closest to them can be a formidable challenge.
Family members do not always know how to communicate how addiction has affected them, and they try to ignore the problem for fear of confrontation. In some ways, the family may be enabling their loved one to continue their abuse of drugs and alcohol. Any person in the family can take the first steps to get into recovery.
Family Involvement Is Essential for Recovery
Because of these challenges, addiction recovery experts encourage families to participate in the treatment and recovery process. Family recovery is an essential piece of effective drug treatment, and the staff at Serenity strives to provide the client and the family members of the client with the tools they need to support and empower one another during and after the treatment process.
Addiction is often considered a family disease. While in treatment for addiction, the primary focus is on the person battling addiction. But the person’s behavior is a symptom of deeper issues, which, in many cases, begin in the family. There could be a history of trauma or a history of substance abuse in the family. Moreover, many family members struggle with enabling and codependency issues, which can impair the recovery process. Therefore, it is crucial that those underlying issues, albeit in the family, are addressed.
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Ways Family Can Be Involved in the Recovery Process
The family unit can serve a pivotal role in the recovery process. For example, family members can be a sounding board for the addicted individual. Additionally, the family can choose to plan and execute an intervention with help from professionals, who specialize in interventions. The family can play several roles in the recovery process. They may gather information, plan and execute the intervention, and assist in selecting a treatment center.
Most treatment facilities offer a comprehensive family program in which family members can participate in the recovery process. Residential centers have regular visitation times, which allows families to be with their loved ones. Also, family programs are typically created with the vision of engaging family members in educational programs, which supports a safe and supportive environment after their loved one returns from treatment.
Family and friends of clients are highly encouraged to attend Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, or Nar-Anon meetings. These 12-step programs hold meetings throughout the world, which are dedicated to providing support to family and friends of addicted individuals. These programs are essential, as they support friends and family who are coping with and trying to overcome addiction.
The Family Program at Serenity at Summit
Serenity provides support through a family program that has been specifically designed by the facility’s staff. Through this three-day program, families will:
- (1) Gain a better understanding of addiction and how it affects family and personal relationships.
- (2) Learn new healthy and effective ways of coping with addiction.
- (3) Learn how 12-step programs, such as Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Narcotics Anonymous, can be good resources.
Activities included in this family program include:
- Role-playing and group discussion
- Informative lectures that focus on the addiction cycle
- Understanding how family dynamics play an important role in the addiction process
- Methods of effective communication and boundary setting
Recovery from addiction may be difficult for everyone. Our response to addiction may be shaped by our temperament, personality, culture, and family of origin (the family we grew up in). The stages of recovery for the family may often mirror the stages of recovery for the person who is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.
The family may experience denial, attempt to control their loved one’s behavior and use, and end up distancing themselves from the person or projecting blame, among other negative effects.
Eventually, the family learns these strategies don’t work and begins with identifying addiction as the primary problem, seeking out those professionals and programs who can offer good advice and guidance. Let us help you with this process.