Addiction is a unique disease because it does not exclusively affect the sufferer; it affects the suffers’ families just as much. You, as a family member of an addict, have most likely become just as sick as the addict. The only difference is that you may not be using the same addictive substance, but your addictive substance is the addict. When your loved one enters alcohol rehabilitation in America, excitement and apprehension enter every fiber of your being. When he or she completes rehab, apprehension outweighs the excitement that you feel. Knowing how to support your loved one after he or she attends alcohol rehabilitation in America is imperative for his or her success.
You can support your loved one after he or she attends alcohol rehab in America by:
Attend Family Sessions at the Rehab Center
Many holistic rehab centers value family involvement because they understand that the addict’s family must recover in order for the addict to successfully recover. Attending family sessions will show your loved one that you support their recovery and help you heal from the pain and resentment that addiction has caused. Family sessions will also educate you about your loved one's disease and recovery process.
Work on Your Own Recovery
Just as your addicted loved one needs to find a fellowship and work his or her program, you need to find a fellowship and work your program. There are recovery meetings to help family members of addicts recovery. The most common are Al-Anon/Nar-Anon, Al-Ateen/Nar-Ateen, and Co-dependent’s Anonynmous. There is no authority in those meetings, and the other members do not give anyone advice. The members support each other by sharing their experiences, strength, and hope. The steps and slogans are your tools to heal yourself. The focus of recovery meetings for family members of addicts is not how to heal the addict; the focus is healing yourself. There are also family meetings that you can attend with your recovering loved one that focus on repairing the family system.
Detach and Set Boundaries
Detachment is one of the tools that Al-Anon/Nar-Anon and Al-Ateen/Nar-Ateen teaches. Detachment is described as allowing others to live their lives and learn their lessons while you take care of yourself. You cannot control if your addicted loved one decides to relapse, engage in risky behaviors, or not work their program. You need to take care of yourself by not trying to interfere and stress over the situation. At the same time, you need to set boundaries (e.g. “If you start using again or start acting like a using person, you cannot live here.”). While you cannot control another person, you can control how well you take care of yourself.
Relapse is a part of recovery for many people. Many people do not achieve lifelong recovery after their first attempt. Relapse is not a failure; it is a learning experience. If your loved one relapses, treat is as a learning experience, not a doom or failure. You also cannot expect your loved one to go completely back to the person that they used to be or the live that he or she used to have. Life after addictions means a new normal. Recovery is a process, not an event; therefore, you cannot expect them to be gainfully employed and enrolled in school right away. You also have to keep in mind that recovery is not one-size-fits all. What may have worked for someone else that you know may not work for you or your loved one.
A saying in the rooms of 12-Step Meetings says, “If nothing changes, nothing changes.” Recovering addicts need to come home to a healthy environment. The family needs to be actively working their recovery and gaining an understanding on addiction and recovery. If the addict comes home to a family that still possesses resentment and is still ignorant about the disease, his or her risk of relapse is significantly higher.
Many addictions counselors and family therapists in rehab centers assess the entire family for addiction issues. To many people’s surprise, the addicts are often not the only addicted people in the family. Though other family members may not be addicted to the same substance, they often have other forms of addiction (including co-dependency), compulsive behaviors, or mental health disorders. Families are quicker to acknowledge a heroin addicted son, but they often fail to acknowledge a father that is a functioning alcoholic, mother who is addicted to food, and a daughter who has untreated bipolar disorder. All addictions, compulsive behaviors, and mental health issues need to be addressed for the best chances of success for the primary addicted individual.
Interventionists are individuals who are trained and certified to carry out interventions. Interventions have gained popularity due to several televisions shows centering around them or including them (e.g. Intervention, Dr.Phil, Addicted, and General Hospital). Contrary to popular belief, the primary goal of an intervention is not to get the addict into woodstock treatment center. The primary goal of an intervention is to make changes that will propel the addict to get into woodstock treatment center and maintain recovery. The changes start with the family. Most people do not have the resources within themselves to be an addict. Someone is usually providing shelter, money, food, etc., and that someone is usually a family member. Once the family addresses their enabling and codependency issues, the addict will soon follow by going to woodstock treatment center.
An interventionist will meet with the family to assess the situation, educate them, and come up with plans to change the family system. The interventionist will determine which model of intervention is appropriate. Some interventionists only do one type of intervention. You should choose an interventionist that does multiple types of interventions and is well-experienced in doing multiple types of interventions. The surprise models are the older models and have been proven less effective than the newer models that do not involve surprise.
Just Believe Recovery Center is located in Jensen Beach, America. We offer detox, residential, PHP, and IOP services. We take a holistic approach to treating addiction, which includes treating the family as well. Most major insurances are accepted.
Call us today at 800-723-7376