The family is an unwilling participant in the descent into addiction, it only makes sense that they participate on the journey back out.
Family Participation Can Help
Additionally, family programs can help to heal a family harmed by the destruction and heartache of abuse; and bring back a healthier dynamic to the family as a whole.
No abuse happens without affecting the family, and as such families need to participate in the rehab process, as much to heal themselves as to learn how best to help the addict.
When thinking about what type of rehab facility best fits your needs and wants, make sure you consider how much family involvement you expect in the process. Family involvement can be very beneficial, and when working with trained addictions councilors and in group therapy sessions with other families of recovering addicts; families learn what they can do to help, and what they were never responsible for in the first place.
Healing Negative Emotions
Addiction generally brings out the worst in all of us, and the behaviors associated with addiction can be pretty terrible. You'd think that all the rage and anger of a family would be directed back at the creator of this behavior, but often the negative emotions spread through the family, damaging relationships and trust all the way through. A good rehab facility will begin to heal the family of the addict, as it also helps the addict recover from abuse.
Learn How You Can Help After the End of Rehab
Some of the specific programs to look for are family drug education programs, whole family sessions with a therapist or psychologist, and multi family peer group sessions. To really get the most benefit, these programs should be offered over at least a couple of days, and should ideally occur later in the rehab, after the addict has had time to work out some of their issues by themselves.
The period after rehab ends, and when the recovering addict is once again faced with the triggers to abuse and the access to drugs or alcohol, is a very high risk period for abuse; and a loving and supportive family, trained in how best to offer support, can be an outstanding tool for any recovering abuser. Through the education and family programs at a rehab facility, family members learn how to offer love and support without enabling the behaviors that can lead to abuse. Family memebers also learn the limits of their help, and learn that ultimately only the addict can change their behaviors.
Family sessions during rehab help a family to heal the damage too often caused by addiction, and a family therapist, trained in addictions, helps the family to resolve some of the issues created by the abuse, and maybe even some of the family dynamics that could promote further drug or alcohol abuse.
The peer family sessions are always illuminating, and families learn that their suffering is not unique, and the devastation caused by addiction is the rule and not the exception.
This family involvement heals the family, and increases the likelihood of a successful reintegration into society for the recovering addict at the end of rehab; and as such, family involvement should be a factor to consider when selecting a rehab facility.
A rehab facility that is too far away from the home, may limit the extent of family involvement, and as such may not be an appropriate choice.
Addiction affects everyone surrounding it, and since the family is affected by the addiction, it makes sense that the family participate in the road to recovery. A weekend will never erase all of the heartache of addiction, but it can put a family on the road to healing, and is almost always a very positive thing.
Page last updated 23/05/2014