When those we love abuse alcohol or drugs, their behaviors inevitably affect the family dynamic in a negative, often devastating way. Addiction is usually referred to as a “family disease” because every family member is affected in some way by their addicted loved one’s behaviors. Even more significant, but often less apparent, is the family’s reinforcement of the very actions they are trying to help their loved one extinguish.
Chaos, alienation, denial, confusion and desperation typically exist in families when the disease of addiction is misunderstood or untreated. These feelings can be considered as symptoms of the family’s “disease” and can lead to enabling an addict, thereby perpetuating the cycle of addiction.
Addiction Help for Families
The hard truth is that a family’s behavior has just as much of an impact on an addict as the addict’s behavior has on the family. This is not typically how the family feels though. The family often feels powerless over their loved one’s behavior when in reality they can be the largest catalyst for change. This idea is usually foreign to families because it is masked by the manipulation, denial, and rationalization of an active addict and codependent loved one.
For this reason, we use an approach for addiction help that integrates family members into the individual’s treatment:
This is done during the pre-admission process by working with families to motivate a person into treatment initially.
This is done during treatment by making regular contact and bringing the families to the program for education and therapeutic breakthroughs with the client.
This is done during aftercare planning by setting the family up with appropriate supports, addiction help, and resources that will continue the recovery journey.
Our Family program is simple and effective. Whether it is someone’s first time in treatment or their 100th, we approach the family with the same philosophy: understanding and connection. Understanding allows people to empathize in a way that can begin the foundation of healthy expectations and boundaries. Connection can move the family out of the vicious cycle of blame, co-dependence, and anger into a relationship that is supportive of recovery. Our Family Program does this by integrating the family into the individual’s treatment.
- Family sessions with the client’s individual counselor
- Regularly scheduled family support groups
- Regular updates and inclusive treatment planning with the entire team.
- Family attended process groups
- Focused Family Programming that educates and processes the following;
- Myths and Understanding Addiction
- Codependence and Enabling
- Effective Communication, Boundaries and Limits
- Self Care, Support and Next Steps
- Shared Concerns
- Aftercare supports and resources.