Addiction affects every aspect of a person’s life. While people may be able to hide their drug or alcohol use in the very beginning, the truth eventually comes out. Sadly, the family members of an addict are often affected the most, and you may still be trying to come to terms with how severely your relationship has changed. As the family member of someone who uses drugs or alcohol, you have watched first hand as the substance abuse slowly altered the personality and habits of the person that you love. In fact, you may sometimes even feel as though your loved one is a stranger since the person you knew before addiction took over would never behave this way.
Fortunately, going to rehab is a sure sign that your loved one is willing to take the first steps toward fixing their lifestyle and healing you relationship. It takes courage and a firm commitment toward mending relationships for a person to go to rehab, and you should be proud of your loved one. Over the next few weeks to months, your family member will be provided with a wide range of therapeutic services that help them learn how to cope with cravings and establish a healthier lifestyle. Yet, you may be wondering where this leaves the rest of your family. After all, you may be grappling with issues in your relationship that interfere with your ability to fully heal from the effects of your loved one’s addiction.
Drug and alcohol treatment programs are designed to provide total healing to addicts, and your loved one’s counselors know that having strong family support is important for their recovery. Support groups for family members are commonly included in rehab programs, and your participation in group counseling sessions benefits both you and your family member throughout the addiction recovery process.
Navigating the Challenges of Supporting a Loved One With Addiction
Family members of addicts walk a fine line since you want to help without enabling their addictive behaviors. At times in your life, you may have felt emotions such as guilt for refusing to give them money that you believed would be used to purchase drugs or alcohol. Alternatively, you may feel a sense of relief at knowing that your loved one is finally in a treatment program where you know that they can get help.
Addictions that go on for many weeks or years take a toll on relationships. You may current find yourself dealing with issues left over from the addiction that affect your mental health. In a support group for families of addicts, you will be able to address the following issues along with others so that you can enjoy total healing.
• Financial distress
• Past emotional and physical abuse
• Poor communication
Although it can be hard to open up about your struggles, being in an atmosphere with others who deal with the same things makes it easier to talk about the things that affect your relationship.
Finding Support Groups for Families of an Addict Going to Rehab
Now that your loved one is surrounded by support in their rehab program, it is time to begin taking care of yourself. Resources are available for families of addicts, but you have to make the first step in reaching out. The ideal place to begin your search for support groups is at your loved one’s current rehab program. There, you will find counselors who have helped to design programs that are tailored to fit the needs of families.
You should also know that there are several different types of support programs for families of addicts. Each of these types of support programs are designed to fit the needs of families as they work through the different stages of recovery. For instance, you may join a support group even before your loved one goes to rehab where you talk to counselors about how to stage an intervention and cope until your family member decides to change.
Once your loved one enters the treatment program, you may be invited to join in on their individual counseling sessions to discuss matters that affect your relationship. You can also attend group counseling sessions with other family members where you can learn new strategies for coping with your loved one’s addiction. Participating with other people who are going through similar situations helps to alleviate the loneliness and isolation that you may feel regarding the impact of addiction on your family. In each session, confidentiality, compassion and trust are emphasized so that everyone feels safe talking about their challenges.
Healing Your Relationship With Your Family Member
When your family member completes their treatment, they need a strong family support system that helps them maintain their sobriety. At first, it may be difficult to accept their loved one has changed, and you may have fears that they will return to their former lifestyle. In support groups, you learn how to handle these emotional responses so that they are less likely to affect your loved one’s recovery. Your family member will also feel motivated to stay on track with their sobriety when they know that you believe that they can stop using drugs or alcohol.
Relationships do not heal overnight, and you should expect it to take some time to renew the level of trust and happiness that you once had as a family. However, attending counseling sessions and support group meetings at your loved one’s treatment program helps you to begin putting the pieces of your relationship back together. Since many people with addiction continue their treatment after rehab through attending after care programs, you can also keep up with your group sessions as long as you need. You may also discover that you have many things to share with new members of the group as you progress through your loved one’s different stages of treatment.
As the family member of an addict, it helps to know that there is support available that allows you to understand the nature of addiction. Whether you need help planning an intervention or learning how to mend your relationship, reach out to our counselors today at 877-978-3148