By Lyle Fried, The Shores Treatment & Recovery
In the past, the only involvement families had in the addiction/recovery journey was to arrange an intervention for their struggling loved one, or to send an encouraging letter to them in treatment. Families were largely detached from the process.
Today, experts recognize the significance of family involvement in recovery, so now the addicted person has a greater chance of recovery and experiencing success in sobriety. Broken families can be united once again.
Why Should Families Be involved in Recovery of a Loved One?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) the risk and occurrence of relapse are significantly reduced when the family is supportive and involved in recovery. There are also many other benefits to family engagement in recovery:
*The person in treatment is more motivated to succeed.
*Families who are involved become better educated about the treatment process.
*Family members have opportunities to communicate openly about their feelings and concerns. The client will learn how his or her addiction has affected the family. Many underlying issues can be resolved including anger, fear, confusion or stress caused by addiction.
*Families will learn about enabling or codependent behaviors. Family members will learn how to cope with addiction, and practice self- care.
Three Ways to Become Involved With Addiction Recovery
1. Weekly psychoeducational / supportive phone call sessions.
2. Weekly structured family recovery interventions.
3. Family retreats where the families engage with the recovery process by interacting with the therapists, and other professionals who are treating their family member. Especially important is to meet with the Case manager to address the treatment plan and goals.
Post-Treatment Life Families need to engage in the planning process for the after-care plan, because it can be difficult and confusing to transition to home after living in the recovery community. The client and his case manager must a****s all facets of life in society and create a plan for success.
Recovery is a constant “work in progress,” for both the family and their loved one. Clients must continue to learn, and develop real-world skills necessary for future endeavors.