Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It also affects the family of the person who’s struggling.
Individuals suffering from alcohol or substance use disorder have relatives and friends who play both willing and unwilling roles in their lives. Consequently, advanced, compassionate treatment and recovery programs typically include a family component. This element ensures that the person in recovery has the best chances of committing to long-term sobriety and effectively managing life events without reverting to harmful behaviors.
How Addiction Treatment and Family Work Together
When a person enters into any kind of treatment program, whether inpatient or outpatient, the individual’s family members and loved ones may be brought into the experience. For instance, some on-site treatment facilities offer robust family care programs to address all the familial aspects of addiction. These types of programs provide several key advantages to both the person recovering and each member of the family.
Below are just a few of the clinically observed benefits of adding family into the addiction treatment and recovery process. Through their involvement, they can:
- Gain new perspectives on addiction: Even people who have spent years around someone with substance use disorder don’t fully understand the nature and scope of how addiction works. By learning more about the disorder, they can transform how they approach situations related to their loved one’s choices, behaviors and responses.
- Find out how to support without enabling: It is very common for at least one member of a recovering patient’s family to play the role of enabler. Enabling is a coping mechanism that bypasses real-time tensions and problems, but it ends up making sobriety almost impossible for the person trying to recover. Eliminating family member enabling can be an excellent way to hold someone accountable during recovery while maintaining positivity.
- Have the opportunity to stop blaming and shaming themselves: Many family members believe that they are the cause of a relative’s or friend’s struggles with substance use. Being involved in the treatment and recovery journey allows them to see that the process isn’t about pointing fingers or determining fault. It’s about moving forward with knowledge and confidence.
- Discover resources they didn’t know about previously: Treatment programs aimed at bringing families into the recovery process commonly offer avenues to resources such as hotlines.
- Find motivation to recognize and address their own struggles: It’s no secret that issues like drug and alcohol use can run in families. When families immerse themselves in treatment together, they may start to see how everyone’s behaviors and choices contribute to the cycle of addiction. It is possible to stop this cycle for good by acknowledging it and getting treatment.
Families Can Recover From Addiction as a Team
Having a family member dealing with substance use disorder can be devastating, confusing and angering. Nevertheless, with the right approach to family-augmented addiction treatment, everyone involved can have a hand in recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, contact GreeneStone Centre for Recovery for the resources you need. Our holistic treatment approach provides hope and healing to clients and their families.