Addiction recovery is a familial journey, with every family member being affected by even one person’s use of drugs or alcohol. From damaged relationships to stressful home atmospheres and traumatic experiences stemming from substance use, families are intimately affected by addiction.
While many of those overcoming addiction may feel alone in their challenges or avoid involving their family due to preconceived notions that they are somehow “protecting” loved ones from its effects, these ideas can actually be detrimental to their overall recovery. Families are already involved and are integral players in the journey through addiction and sobriety. Making an effort to actively involve the family in recovery efforts can make for the most effective and comprehensive sober transformation.
Acknowledge the Effects of Addiction on Family
Families are among those most affected by addiction, and acknowledging the effects of addiction on families is necessary to effectively begin the healing process and incorporate them into recovery. Feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and resentment are all prevalent among family members, and it is common for families to feel a complicated mix of these negative emotions and resentment along with love and the desire to support. Such a complex emotional state can be difficult to navigate, but understanding these effects is crucial.
Families may also be dealing with other effects of addiction. For some, home atmospheres can become compromised due to the emotional impact of addiction. Feeling as if an individual has to walk on eggshells, worry about the thinness of the walls, or otherwise carefully navigate what should be a comfortable home environment is a wholly stressful situation. Others may be tasked with financial burdens as addiction compromises budgets or loved ones miss work as a result of substance use.
Each of these impacts is profound, and incorporating the family means understanding their experiences with a loved one’s addiction to create the most honest and open atmosphere for healing to foster.
How to Involve the Family in Your Recovery
Effective recovery from addiction takes a family, and effective familial healing means getting everyone affected involved in sober efforts. Making an effort to create new traditions, activities, and more alongside each person’s family, whether connected by blood or the relationships developed, is necessary to begin a truly transformational journey to sobriety.
Explore New Traditions
One of the best ways to involve the family in a person’s sober transformation is to explore what activities and traditions can be established in a new sober life. A person’s former lifestyle may be intimately tied to the use of drugs or alcohol, and entire routines and habits may have been either consciously or subconsciously developed around their use.
Exploring new traditions, such as new ways to celebrate holidays or weekly rituals such as movie nights, game nights, and more, are all great ways to begin establishing new traditions in sobriety. Not only can families better experience these sober efforts themselves if they are involved, but it can also help families see the developing new lifestyles and intentions of loved ones navigating their recovery.
Isolation is common among not just those previously engaging with drugs or alcohol, but their families as well. Involving the family in recovery means finding new and effective ways to stay connected. Daily or weekly meetings, family dinners, regular text chains, or scheduled phone calls are all great ways to involve the family in a person’s sober transformation, providing constant updates on each person’s progress and mental health while helping identify new stresses or challenges that may manifest. Not only can this continue to foster a more open and honest relationship, but also help families better support one another through challenges to maintain their hard-earned sobriety.
Sharing personal stories, anecdotes, or other regular conversations can further develop these communication skills while ingratiating family as an integral part of daily life and support.
Addiction can fundamentally change the attitudes and perspectives of celebration. However, celebrating together can help transform previous traditions. Families commonly harbor resentment, anger, and blame, even if they are aware of the difficulties their loved ones face in overcoming addiction. Working with family members to celebrate holidays or milestones together and revel in the strides made throughout addiction recovery can make these accomplishments more tangible for all. Exchanging gratitudes or gifts can help explore a person’s current identity and create new traditions that can challenge some of these harbored feelings.
However, celebrating together also means celebrating the accomplishments of family members as well as those in recovery for overcoming addiction. Taking a unified approach to healing and progress and celebrating each person’s goals as equally important is part of creating a truly transformative healing atmosphere.
Utilize Family Programs
Family programs are instrumental in helping families address and overcome the challenges prevalent throughout addiction recovery. These dedicated programs are designed to foster effective communication, honesty, and accountability in a safe atmosphere. Dedicated family programs can help not just educate families on the disease of addiction, but also help those in recovery address the impact of addiction on family members.
Family programs also provide education to family members regarding effective support practices while opening up those in recovery to the idea of accepting help and repairing these relationships, all while learning to properly erect barriers and create an atmosphere of honesty and accountability for a truly transformative sobriety.
Families can be amazing supports, but healing is always a group effort. At Redpoint, we understand the intimate, important role that families play in the recovery process, and the necessity for family members to embark on their own healing, for a truly transformed life. Our dedicated outpatient programs can instill the skills and strategies needed to manage your life with your family while continuing to focus on your sober efforts. With multiple locations across Colorado, we can help you find the place to begin your journey to healing with your family today. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, call to speak to us today at (303) 710-8496.