The Role Of Family In Addiction Recovery

Loved Ones of Addicts Need Help Too

Addiction affects everyone in its path. It’s a family disease, with research showing families of addicts are emotionally, physically, and financially impacted by a loved one’s drug and alcohol abuse. Families play important roles in the development, sustentation, and treatment of substance use disorders. Family in Addiction Recovery involves everyone, not just the substance abuser. Families and friends impacted by addiction must go through their own version of recovery. 

Research finds that by providing families of addicts with support, they’re less likely to experience the detrimental effects of their loved one’s addiction. Family involvement in treatment can also improve addiction and recovery outcomes for the addict. While it’s clear that the addicted person needs help and support to recover, family, loved ones, and friends can benefit from support and help as well.

a happy family
Your family can help you overcome substance abuse and depression.

Educate Yourself 

The optimal plan for addiction management and rehabilitation may vary according to the substance on which your loved one is dependent.

Priorities reading information from sites with a medical or scientific bias or trustworthy sites such as government or university-sponsored information. There is information on the web but not everything you read about drug addiction is true or realistic.

Learning about the characteristics of your loved one’s drug and addiction can help you understand what to expect from addicts and how to best address the situation.

Family in Addiction Recovery – Love Them Without Enabling Them

There are four types of enabling behavior:

  1. Fear-based. Your loved one makes a lot of threats when they’re confronted about their substance abuse problem. You may enable them to avoid conflict.
  2. Guilt-based. Your loved ones may blame you for their childhood or criticize you for not being there when they needed help. If they do, you might enable them because you fault yourself for their addiction.
  3. Hope-based. Your loved one is consistently on the verge of a breakthrough. You fear that without your support, they’ll lose all the progress they’ve made. Unfortunately, their progress is often a deception used to maintain your support.
  4. Victim-based. In this scenario, your loved one might be a blameless victim. You might hear them say, “If you lived my life, you’d be drinking, too,” or “I would have never started using drugs if it wasn’t for…”

Enabling someone you care about isn’t an easy habit to break. You’ll have to redefine what supporting your loved one really means, and that may mean doing things that make your loved one upset. You’ll have to remember that even though they may get angry with you now, once they’re sober, they’ll thank you for truly caring for them.

Hold Healthy Boundaries with Family In Addiction Recovery

A common saying in support groups for families of addicts is, “Detach with love.” Some of your behaviors may feel like you’re helping your loved one, but they may be keeping them stuck in their addiction, taking away the motivation to get the drug or alcohol treatment they need. Examples of healthy boundaries include:

  • You will not allow alcohol and drugs in the house.
  • They will need to find somewhere else to live if there is any drug abuse or alcohol abuse in the home. No exceptions.
  • If they miss work, school, or social obligations, you will not make excuses for them.
  • You will not bail them out of legal or financial trouble due to substance abuse.

Finding a Healthy Role for Everyone in Family Addiction 

Family members can assume healthy roles and behaviors to encourage and support recovery. For example, a parent may play the role of a supportive but firm caregiver who encourages their loved one to take thoughtful and positive action. Healthy family roles and behaviors include holding the loved one accountable for their behavior and creating rewards for positive choices.

Family members may attend support groups with their loved one or attend their own support groups for families of addicts. The creation of healthy boundaries is a building block of recovery for the family.

Know Your Limits and Don’t Accept Unacceptable Behavior

Be prepared to maintain personal safety by cutting ties if the addict’s behavior warrants it. Behavior that may lead you to consider whether you need to separate yourself and any other family members you care for from the situation include:

  • If your family member or loved one is violent or abusive toward you or other family members or loved ones
    • Endangering the home or family with risky behavior (such as using drugs near children or conducting drug deals on the property),
    • Putting the family’s economic stability in jeopardy (by draining the bank account or selling items from the home to pay for the habit)
    • If necessary, consider options such as reporting the addict’s illegal behavior to civil authorities, admitting a minor to an in-patient substance abuse program, relocating without announcing your new location, or demanding the addict leave the home and not return until sober.

The Family Program at Little Creek

The family program at Little Creek Lodge is designed to promote healthy interaction between family members and their loved ones through education. Family members of Little Creek clients are a significant part of our addiction treatment process. This is because they contribute to our residents’ emotional growth. 

To be a part of the Little Creek Family Program, the family members of recovering alcoholics and drug addicts must be willing to recognize the co-dependencies that they’ve developed as a result of their loved ones’ addiction. Family members of males receiving addiction treatment at Little Creek must also recognize their impact on their loved ones’ addiction recovery. 

Ultimately, the Little Creek family can help families with individuals who suffer from addiction function better as units. In doing so, Little Creek is providing assistance to families along each step of the road to addiction recovery.  

With Our Families By Our Side, All Things are Possible

To learn more about Little Creek Lodge’s policies, we encourage you to download the Little Creek Parent Guide Booklet. Here, you will find Little Creek Lodge’s policies regarding communication, visitation, and home visits, as well as drug testing, medication, and payments.

The leaders at Little Creek Lodge are motivated by love. The families of Little Creek Lodge patients are motivated by love as well. It’s because we value addiction and family so much that we incorporate family into our treatment programs.   

If you have questions about our family program here at Little Creek Recovery, contact us today! You can also contact us by filling out an online contact form on our website. There is no moment to spare when it comes to repairing broken family bonds! Contact Little Creek Recovery today and start healing from addiction.

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“Adventure trek is always popular”

Little creek lodge is such an amazing place for people who want to make a serious change in their life. I’ve watched my loved one grow immensely through his recovery with the help of the caring staff and engaging programs. Adventure trek is always popular on the agenda!

Annabelle Stiso |

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