When families find out their loved one has a drug or alcohol addiction, it turns their lives upside down. Maybe your family is going through this right now. If you are the addict, your loved ones feel guilt over your addiction, even though they are not the ones with the problem. They feel responsible, worried, and afraid, as well as angry at you and the addiction itself.
It will help your family to have something to do during your rehab, and you could certainly use all the help and support you can get from them if they are willing. It is important for your loved ones to check with your treatment facility to learn exactly how they can help, but there are plenty of ways for your family to help you out with your recovery.
Families Can Connect with a Facility
No one knows you better than your family, and at this time your parents, siblings, children, and other relatives can be a big help in getting you into treatment. Trust their instincts and listen to their opinion about what you need and how well the facility will meet your needs. If you have the time, look into several facilities with your loved ones to find one that you all feel comfortable with.
Once you have decided where your recovery should take place, it is time for you to enroll, and time for your loved ones to get connected. Your family can talk to the admissions staff to help give them some background on the family’s dynamics. If you are enrolled in an inpatient program, your family and close friends can encourage you through letters, phone, calls, and visits when allowed. It will be important for you to know that you have a familiar support system to help you through this life-altering challenge.
Families Can Facilitate Healing
Your addiction does not just affect you – the entire family is impacted. Whether they know it or not, your loved ones are part of this disease, because of their history with you, their current interactions with you, and their willingness to support you in your recovery. Many addictions stem from dysfunctions in the family, and if you and your loved ones have issues to work out, your family’s participation is absolutely needed at this time.
If your facility offers the option of family therapy, loved ones can participate in these sessions, helping you get to the heart of the addiction and becoming part of the solution. Your loved ones should consider talking to a therapist themselves as well as participating in family therapy. If they need more extensive counseling, your loved ones can connect with their own therapist to help work on their own healing.
Loved Ones Should Prepare for Your Return
There is much work to be done at home before you return, and your loved ones can help with this too. If you have a home that is typically full of alcohol or drugs, this should all be cleaned out, as well as drug paraphernalia, and even possibly t-shirts, posters, and magazines that promote substance abuse. The more clean and sober your home is, the easier you will find your return to be because you won’t have all the triggers and temptations right in your face. Your recovery demands a complete change in your lifestyle as well, and there may be friends and acquaintances that you or your family need to send packing because they are toxic to your recovery. The early planning and support of your loved ones during this time of transition can make your recovery much more pleasant.
Communicate Your Needs to Your Loved Ones
Sometimes families aren’t very helpful when it comes to recovery because they have too many of their own issues holding them back from being supportive of you. Even if your loved ones are well-meaning, there might come a time when you just need time away from them. If either of these cases are true, it is important that you communicate this to your family and to focus on your own recovery first and foremost. If your loved ones are not able to provide you with the support and encouragement you need, be sure to get that support elsewhere, such as from your therapists, others in recovery, or a support group.
Recovery is not something you should attempt alone. With the help of your family, friends, or the recovery community, surround yourself with those that care and with those that can help you achieve sobriety. Contact Sober Helpline at (888) 907-8039 to learn more about your addiction rehab options.