According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 23,000,000 people need treatment for alcohol or drug abuse. It’s tempting to think that most of these individuals live on the street or get treatment right away, but unfortunately, addiction is a disease that hides in plain sight.
Addiction Affects the Whole Family
When a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, the consequences negatively affect everyone in the family. A sober spouse must take on all the responsibilities of home and childcare, and often provide financial support as well. Years of making excuses for the poor behavior of an addicted loved one can breed lingering resentment, too. Children suffer from increased anxiety. Siblings grow resentful over endless excuses and embarrassing behaviors. Getting sober is unquestionably the right move for everyone in the family, but change presents its own challenges.
Addiction professionals already know that family involvement makes a big difference when it comes to maintaining sobriety. It can be difficult to know what to do when you’re trying to break years of enabling habits. A great start is getting rid of all mind-altering substances in the house. It’s even better if you can commit to sobriety yourself.
A bigger question is how to manage lingering anxiety and depression, financial problems, professional troubles and other aftereffects that can haunt a family long after recovery begins.
You’re Not Alone
The most important thing for you to remember is that millions of families deal with the aftereffects of addiction every day, and you’re not alone. Join a local support group so you can learn how other families deal with a post-addiction lifestyle. You’ll also develop new relationships, and get an opportunity to express your own frustrations.
One of the benefits of joining a support group for family members of addicts is learning how to reduce stress. Exercise is a proven mood booster, but it doesn’t have to be intense — you could make a habit of taking a long walk after dinner with a new friend or your recovering family member.
The point is that you and your loved ones are walking the path to sobriety together.
How Your Family Can Help a Newly-Sober Loved One
For any addiction treatment plan to be truly effective, it’s of vital importance for each alcoholic and addict to continue on the path toward long-term sobriety in the days, months and years after they have completed inpatient rehab treatment.
While many qualified addiction treatment centers offer sound after rehab programs, 12 Keys Rehab believes in implementing an after rehab treatment plan for its clients, for it’s clients that also in many ways maps out how family members can assist their loved ones in their recovery as well.
Family counseling is an important part of the comprehensive addiction treatment programs offered at 12 Keys, and the dedicated staff of counselors and therapists are certified and trained in family counseling. Family-involved therapy can be very useful in helping clients with their after rehab planning. Family-involved therapy helps educate family members about their own actions and behaviors that may have been factors in the continuation of their loved one’s substance abuse. Through weekly counseling sessions, family members can work on identifying those behaviors and implement new behaviors and actions that will support their loved ones after they have completed inpatient treatment.
Oftentimes, family members are completely unaware that they were in fact enabling their loved ones during the throes of their active addiction. At 12 Keys, counselors will work with family members to not only identify and address those behaviors and actions, but also to help them deal with their own feelings and emotions brought on by their loved one’s addiction.
Clients at 12 Keys will engage in counseling sessions with their family members to see how their actions affected each family member. Family members will often write impact letters that detail the level of pain experienced by them through their loved one’s actions during their addiction. When a client sees for the first time how much their actions while actively using hurt their families, then the process of healing can truly begin.
Family members can indeed play an important role in the ongoing after rehab of their loved ones after they have completed inpatient treatment. 12 Keys Rehab is a substance abuse rehabilitation center that firmly believes in giving each family member their own set of tools and resources that can in fact help their loved ones maintain a long-term life in recovery.