When a family member suffers from alcohol, opioid, or heroin addiction, it affects the whole family. An addiction causes tension, estrangement, and more frequent arguments within a household. Everyone lives in a stressful, unhealthy, negative environment.
For that reason, a family on the rocks needs to participate in the therapeutic process in full force. Spouses and children should join their efforts to make the addict quit and heal their wounds.
Living with Addiction
Family rehab centers provide help for everyone who is willing to stop abusing alcohol or drugs and terrorizing the closest people to them. Children are especially vulnerable. Living under great emotional strain can traumatize them.
According to the Child Welfare League of America, 12 percent of children (under the age of 18) live in households with at least one alcoholic or drug-using parent. Timely therapy interventions can heal those traumas. Otherwise, they can haunt an individual for a lifetime.
This situation also takes a heavy toll on adult members of the family. When a teen starts drinking alcohol or using some substance, it’s a curse for the parents. The sleepless nights, worrying about their safety, feeling anger, fear, and despair. If only they could quit!
Just like one member’s addiction affects the entire family unit, the recovery program should involve the entire family. Without a professional help, people may suffer from effects that last for many years.
Family Recover as the Best Option
Family rehab offers a comprehensive support for the alcohol and drug addicts and their relatives in the form of counseling sessions. So, a client gets treatment and learns to control his addiction effectively, and non-addict relatives focus on building the healthy relationships within the family. Here, the emphasis is made rather on the system than on the individual.
Parents are asked to encourage their children to participate in therapy sessions. This allows talking over the problematic issues in a safe and controlled atmosphere in order to solve them.
Does It Really Help?
It is vital for the success and long-lasting sobriety of the client that people close to them attend family therapy sessions. A meta-analysis of 15 studies showed that family and couples therapies are more effective for drug abuse than individual counseling or peer group therapy.
It was found out that patients who received couples or family therapy reduced their substance use to the lower rates than did patients who received non-couples and non-family therapy. The results were effective for both adults and adolescents.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Family Support
Patients and family members can get a range of counseling on various issues. The main focus in this type of therapy is a crisis-management. The knowledge people get help them break the chains of addiction, clarify their short-term and long-term goals, and strengthen family bonds.
There’re different techniques of therapy for couples with children:
- Very young children take part in the process via play therapy. They are in a safe and supportive place where they can voice their worries without fear of getting a negative drug-driven reaction from their parent. To create a healthy climate and reach the best results, some centers provide accommodation for children. It can be daycare, residential, or educational services.
- Teenagers can also stay in safe living conditions while their parents get treatment. The patients and their children can discuss the damage caused by their substance abuse issue and decide on the future relationship. These topics are not easy to talk about. That’s why families need the therapist who will enable the conversation to the level where everyone is heard.
- Older children can attend a rehab center as outpatients, returning home after the full-time sessions.
Providing Support to a Person in Rehab
If a close person is going to family addiction treatment, you surely feel a huge relief. However, you still have a long way to go. Many people don’t know how to demonstrate their support to someone in rehab. Therapy specialist will teach you to do that in the best way. But you can get some tips right now.
Families of people who are going to quit alcohol or drug use may face two challenges:
- Keeping the loved one in family rehab facilities.
The majority of patients receiving treatment want to get out of the recovery housing during the treatment process. It usually happens at the very beginning of treatment when the addicted person is going through detoxification. The physical and psychological symptoms are quite uncomfortable.
Sometimes clients want to stop rehabilitation after a few weeks when they are required to work with more complex issues. Facing the harsh truth can be unbearable for some people.
The task of a family in this situation is to say no to their loved ones when they beg to go home. Otherwise, they will lose the opportunity to quit their devastating habit and save the life.
- Preventing a family member from relapse after rehab.
A family should use the knowledge and techniques learned from the therapists. They explain the nature of the client’s triggers and empower with techniques to deal with this problem.
To reach long-term sobriety, one should attend 12-Step meetings, work the 12 steps with a sponsor, and participate in an aftercare Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).
Relapse does have a high potential for occurrence. Remember, just because someone relapses, it does not mean they failed at recovery. When it happens, it’s important to analyze the reasons and understand how to avoid the trigger next time.
Do you wish your loved one the best prospect of recovery? Is your family’s emotional health a priority for you? Give family therapy a proper chance. Your close person will become drug/alcohol-free and your whole family will transform stress to strength, guilt to forgiveness, and anger to peace.
About the Author
Phyllis Backer is a American blogger who focuses on the health issues. Currently, Phyllis investigates the area of family support, specifically family rehab centers for those with addictions.