Addiction is a family disease.
What does that mean? Substance Use Disorder (SUD) affects more than just the person struggling with the disease. It affects every member of the family. It can damage and destroy even the strongest of families.
However, the Road to Recovery offers everyone the chance to rebuild and reclaim family health and relationships. It requires the committed participation of all involved to achieve long-term recovery.
Sometimes, the first step on the Road to Recovery for families involves eliminating the stigma surrounding the perception of addiction. SUD is a chronic brain disease that requires clinical treatment and supportive care, not a moral failing. When it comes to understanding addiction, many family members still have dangerously misinformed perceptions and fears about loved ones suffering with SUD. Stigma not only puts up barriers for loved ones to be successful in treatment and recovery, it prevents families from healing and from being successful partners in recovery.
In addition to understanding that SUD is a medical condition, an important part of the Road to Recovery includes family members finding the support necessary to help them through their own recovery process. Often, family members find that support with others who have loved ones in treatment and/or recovery such as Al-Anon or Valley Hope FIT (Family Intensive Treatment). Others may need a deeper level of support and care to help facilitate long term healing and recovery.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers these suggestions for families ready to begin and sustain the recovery journey:
- Joining a local family support group to meet others experiencing similar challenges.
- Participating in family programs in which education and treatment sessions include loved ones.
- Attending individual therapy to learn appropriate coping skills.
- Eating healthy meals and getting adequate sleep.
- Managing stress by engaging in hobbies and getting exercise.
- Sharing their stories with the virtual recovery community and reading about others who have similar experiences.
To help ensure the family unit as a whole receives the care needed to be successful on the Road to Recovery, Valley Hope offers a variety of services for individuals, couples and families at our residential and outpatient treatment facilities. Individual, family and small group sessions explore emotional responses to addiction and consider positive ways of managing emotions. Interactive lectures help families understand the disease of addiction and learn behaviors that will support their loved one’s recovery.
Even when a loved one finds hope and health , family members can relapse or trigger a loved one’s relapse by exhibiting past fears, losing patience with the ongoing treatment, recovery and 12-step process, and even applying an abundance of pressure and suspicion.
By engaging in a Family Care treatment program, families can avoid destructive self-inflicted potholes on the Road to Recovery, and strengthen their loved one’s recovery.
Explore VH Family Care services, or share with those in need of family support.