The importance of family involvement cannot be overlooked in your recovery process as it is a key component for you to be able to heal. The effects of addiction and the early recovery process can take an enormous toll not only on the person who is getting help, but it affects the family and loved ones as well. The healing process can be physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting for everyone involved. The work you will do during your recovery journey requires you to explore your addiction’s roots and you may find yourself in a vulnerable position and possibly discussing past traumas and negative experiences. Similarly, the effects your addiction has had on your family and loved ones are important to also address in order for you and the family system to heal. Often, families have torn apart because of the consequences of addiction. Negative behaviors you may have engaged in like lying, erratic behavior, legal trouble, and financial struggles can negatively impact your family. That is why during the recovery process, it is vital to have your family involved in your treatment and healing journey. In fact, studies show that family involvement in addiction recovery gives you a better chance of maintaining long-term sobriety.
Benefits of Family Involvement
Lower Risk of Relapse
Those individuals with family support and involvement throughout their recovery may be at a lower risk of relapsing after treatment. This is because the family is often educated about addiction, its causes, triggers, and other important factors that can help to navigate the recovery process. When involved, your family can be a reliable resource to support you as you begin your recovery journey. Those without this support typically have a higher risk of relapsing after treatment because they don’t have the extra source of accountability that the family can provide. Therefore, they may be more likely to fall back into old behaviors and habits which can then possibly lead them to relapse.
Many treatment centers, such as Choice House, offer addiction psychoeducation to family members close to the recovering addict. This is because addiction is often misunderstood, and people often hold inaccurate beliefs about the disease. The instruction can take place in the form of workshops, individual and group therapy, and sessions with some of the staff at the treatment center. The family will learn about the causes of addiction, triggers, and the various roles family members may take on in the family system. More importantly, they’ll learn the best ways to heal themselves and support their loved one in recovery. This type of education is a resource that can help reduce the risk of relapse after treatment.
The Gift of Hope
When your family is taking an active role in your recovery, it shows you that they are supportive and loving which can provide you with the courage and strength to continue the recovery process even when it can feel uncomfortable and challenging. This type of encouragement can give you the hope that healing is possible and that your family is a part of your support network. As your family learns more about how they can help and support you, the hope of recovery can feel more tangible.
Mending the Hurt
Family involvement in your recovery process cannot be overlooked. Its positive effect on mending the ties within your family that may have been broken during your addiction can be the key to your long-term recovery. The impact of negative behaviors and their consequences that may have occurred during active addiction can easily tear families apart. Behaviors like acting out, lying, stealing, and other negative behaviors may have caused your family to feel a wide range of emotions such as anger, grief, depression, loss, rage, guilt, and more. Through family counseling and your family’s involvement in your recovery, the wounds that your addiction caused can slowly begin to heal.
How Your Family Can Help
Your family can do several things to take an active role in your recovery to help you heal. Finding resources to help educate your family on addiction and mental health issues will be the first place to start. Having either a therapist or counselor teach them about the causes of addiction, how it progresses, why it is considered a chronic disease, what is involved in the recovery process, and how to help post-treatment, will be extremely beneficial in the early stages of recovery.
Secondly, having a therapist teach your family about holding you accountable, and establishing boundaries will also help you to be successful in your recovery. You can ask them to accompany you to 12-step meetings and aftercare appointments or even ask them to drug test you on a weekly basis in order for you to have an extra layer of accountability. If you find yourself in a challenging situation that may be triggering, let your family know so that they can help you implement the coping strategies you learned to avoid relapse.
Finally, it is important that your family engage in therapy which is often recommended post-treatment. Following through with the recommended treatment plan for the family healing process will allow your family to continue learning the necessary tools and coping strategies for the new family dynamic and how to manage challenges that may come up along the way. They can expand upon the basic tools they may have learned while you were in treatment and can also help to sort out any negative emotions that are still lingering and caused by your active addiction. With the support and guidance of a therapist, they will learn how to care for themselves and therefore be able to be strong for supporting your recovery.
At Choice House, we strongly believe in family involvement during recovery. We hold intensive family programs to teach family members about addiction and recovery to be better equipped to support their loved one in treatment. Through the role of family involvement, many recovering addicts are often more supported and excited to go through recovery and maintain a sober life. Our hope is to mend the family unit and create a support system that a recovering addict can depend upon. This way, once the person leaves treatment, we can be sure that they are going home to a family that is educated on addiction and will hold them accountable in recovery. This can help sustain long-term sobriety and prevent relapse from occurring. This is because the family can help support their family member’s sobriety. For more information regarding the role of family involvement in addiction recovery, call Choice House at (720) 577-4422.