There is often a great deal of focus put on the person in recovery and ensuring that they have a strong support system and resources in place. This is important to help reduce risk of relapse. But it is important not to overlook the need for support for families as well. They too are going through a difficult time and may have trouble coping with the changes occurring.
Addiction has a widespread impact. It changes the life of the person misusing drugs or alcohol, but also the lives of those around them. Family members are put in stressful and challenging situations. They have had to deal with the effects of addiction every day, even though they are sober. It is imperative that they have support during addiction recovery as well.
It is not uncommon for family members to blame themselves. They believe that if they had just done more, paid more attention, spent less time at work, stopped arguing – the list goes on – that things would have turned out differently. But this isn’t the case. There are many factors, including genetics and environment, which contribute to addiction risk. Each person is in control of their own actions and decisions.
In addition, substance misuse changes the dynamics of a family. Spouses may try to cover up or make excuses for the person misusing drugs or alcohol. Oftentimes there is a breakdown not only in communication, but in trust. Children may be confused, scared, or embarrassed about what is occurring. Family programs, support groups, or therapy can help everyone to better cope and adjust with the changes and issues that stem from addiction and recovery.
Finding support can benefit families in numerous ways:
- Change can be stressful and counseling can help families work through these difficulties. They can establish healthier ways of coping, communicating, and reducing stress.
- Counseling can improve problem solving abilities. Families can learn more effective ways of dealing with challenging situations, sharing their thoughts and feelings, and overcoming obstacles. These may have been issues that previously hindered their ability to change and move forward.
- Education and communication can aid in preventing substance use among children and other family members and also reduce risk of relapse for those in recovery.
Avenues for Support
There are many ways in which families can receive assistance and support during addiction recovery. Taking advantage of these resources can help them to feel more in control, confident, and positive about their own life. It can also reaffirm that change is possible.
Family Programs: Many rehab centers in California offer family programs as part of their services. They can vary between facilities, but they are geared toward supporting family members and guiding recovery. Addiction puts a strain on relationships and being open and honest about feelings and problems is important. Working closely with counselors and therapists, family programs enhance communication and aid in the healing process for everyone. When looking into various rehab programs, it can be beneficial to ensure that some type of family program or family therapy is included.
Support Groups: Just as those in recovery have support groups, there are also groups specifically for family members and children. Here, they can connect with others going through similar experiences. They can share their own struggles and successes, listen to others’ stories, seek advice, and know that they have somewhere to turn. Everyone is at different stages in their journey, so whereas some people are just getting started and unsure what to expect, others are more seasoned and can offer reassurance.
Helplines: For those who are not sure where to turn, need immediate help, or are concerned about opening up in public, there are helplines they can call. Someone is available 24 hours a day to talk and offer assistance. Different organizations may offer different types of services.
Therapy: Clients attend many different therapy sessions in rehab. There is nothing wrong with family members reaching out and attending therapy as a well. A therapist can help them work through personal challenges and feelings regarding addiction and the impact it has had on their life. They can also talk about other matters of concern. Individual or group therapy can be beneficial for people of all ages.
It takes time to adjust to new routines and changes following addiction. Everyone needs time to adapt and make sense of things. There are sure to be some rough patches, but having people to turn to and resources at your disposal can help ease transitions. Support for family is essential as addiction impacts everyone. Chapters Capistrano recognizes this and offers a family program as part of their rehab services. Family members are an integral part of the recovery process. To learn more about Chapters Capistrano and its customized approach to treatment, contact us online or by calling 949-371-4198. It’s not too late to start a new chapter.