It has been said before, but it bears repeating; addiction is a family disease. The effect of a loved one’s addiction has significant and negative impacts on families. The frustration, pain, and resentments that family members feel can devastate the family unit to the point of complete dysfunction. When the addict makes the decision to get treatment to heal, the family also must take the necessary steps to heal.
The following are ways in which families of addicts can get the help they need.
Learn What You Can
A huge part in families of addicts getting help is learning as much as possible about the disease of addiction. Fortunately, there are many great websites available that provide excellent content and resources. These include the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCAAD).
When you learn about addiction, you better understand the physical, psychological and spiritual roots of substance abuse. When you get a better grasp on what addiction is, you and your family can feel and sense of hope and confidence that your family member’s addiction can be treated and conquered.
Join a Support Group
Another way families of addicts can get help is through a family-oriented sober support group. Groups like Alanon and Ala-Teen specifically cater to families of addicted family members. These groups are full of people just like you who share similar experiences. They can provide the help and support you need to better handle your current situation. Knowing that you aren’t alone in dealing with a family member’s addiction will empower you.
Attend Family Therapy
As already stated, addiction is a family disease. Along with your loved one, you and your family must understand the roots of their addiction and heal. Fortunately, many treatment facilities feature family therapy. During family therapy, each family member can share their feelings and thoughts in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
Through the help of an experienced therapist, the family can work through the underlying causes of addiction together and identify those behaviors and thought patterns that can stand in the way of healing. Together, you can heal the wounds brought by addiction and create a healthy foundation for recovery.
Find Healthy Pastimes and Pursuits
A huge part of an addict’s recovery is finding hobbies and pastimes which are recovery-oriented. This also holds true for families of addicts. Like your recovering loved one, you and your family should find healthy outlets. That can include exercise, reading, music, painting and a variety of others. Doing things that are fun and positive as a family strengthens bonds and provides a safe framework for your loved one to grow in recovery.
Be an Advocate
As your loved one and family recovers, an excellent way to get help is to simply help others. Volunteer your time as a local drop-in shelter or be a mentor. When you share your experiences with others, it gives you and your family a sense of pride and accomplishment. You are creating a positive environment for others to grow and learn, and your loved one and family strengthen your healing and recovery.
Would you like to learn more about family therapy and ways you can heal from the ravages of addiction? Call Drug Rehab Program Journal today at 1-800-205-1201 and speak to one of our experienced staff. Start the journey to healing right now!