The Importance of Family
We all have family that we can turn to in times of need. We look to our family for support and love during our toughest moments. In the case of recovery, families may not know everything about the disease of addiction. As a family member of someone in recovery, you might struggle to communicate with your loved one or understand where they’re coming from. This is completely normal – it’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone in recovery. However, there are many steps you can take to make sure you are being the best support system possible for your loved one.
Substance use adds stress and strain to any family dynamic – and understanding that you, as a family member, play a key role in your loved one’s recovery, is a big step in healing wounds and friction caused by addiction. After all, addiction is known as a “family disease” – it does not simply affect the addict, but the close family members around them as well.
What role do family members play in recovery?
When someone is in active addiction, the support of close family and friends around them is crucial to the success of their recovery. As a family member, you can play multiple roles throughout the entire process of recovery, from beginning to end:
- Accountability: Telling your loved one the truth, straight from a source they know, love, and trust. Holding your loved one accountable, rather than simply brushing off their mistakes, reinforces that they need to change.
- Helping during treatment: Your loved one’s success in recovery is severely hindered if you are not willing to help them get through the process of treatment. Be the supporter that accompanies them to treatment facilities, talks with them on the phone, and visits them to encourage them to keep going.
- Participating in the family program: Ensure that you are being the best possible supporter to your loved one. The family program will guide you through the addict’s way of thinking, allowing you to see things from their point of view. You’ll learn how to set important boundaries, and you’ll be able to begin the healing process. When your loved one returns home from treatment, you’ll be all set to communicate with them in a healthier, more productive way.
- Acknowledging your own needs: When your loved one is in active addiction, it’s easy to get wrapped up in their life and, accordingly, blame yourself for anything that goes wrong. However, you need to keep your own mental health in check, because your loved one requires your full support and love – which isn’t possible if you’re mentally struggling. Take time out to practice self-care, attend individual therapy, or anything else that can help keep you in a healthy mindset.
Remember — other family members to your loved one are struggling as well, so it’s important to let them know the number of ways they can help both your loved one and themselves. Through willingness to help and determination to see your loved one succeed, you can all go forward as a family, knowing that you are doing everything in your power to be their best support system.
About Fellowship Hall
Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.