The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) explains, “Addiction is a family disease that stresses the family to the breaking point, impacts the stability of the home, the family’s unity, mental health, physical health, finances and overall family dynamics” Addiction causes major consequence to the family and loved ones of the suffered. Healing from the consequences that addiction has on the family can take time but can also be an important step in the recovery process. The family can play a vital role in supporting an individual attempting to overcome their problems with drugs and alcohol. Family members often react to a loved one’s addiction by minimizing or denying the reality of the problem. These behaviors can have the opposite effect intended and serve to enable the individual to continue their drug and alcohol use. The NCADD explains, “Helping a loved one struggling with alcoholism or drug dependence can be heartbreakingly painful, but with help, it can be remarkably rewarding. At times, it can seem so overwhelming that it would be easier to ignore it, pretend that nothing is wrong and hope it just goes away. But in the long run, denying it or minimizing it, will be more damaging to you, other family members, and the person you are concerned about.” The NCADD gives several suggestions to support someone in recovery: learn all you can about alcoholism and drug dependence, offer your support, express love and concern, don’t expect the person to stop without help, and support recovery as an ongoing process. As for what not to do: don’t preach; don’t be a martyr; don’t cover up, lie, or make excuses for them or their behavior; don’t assume their responsibilities; don’t argue when using; don’t feel guilty; and don’t join them. Through these actions, we can be supportive without enabling or exacerbating their addiction. The importance of family involvement cannot be understated. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains, “The process of recovery is supported through relationships and social networks. This often involves family members who become the champions of their loved one’s recovery. They provide essential support to their family member’s journey of recovery and similarly experience the moments of positive healing as well as the difficult challenges.” It may be a difficult journey toward healing the family, but the support that comes from family involvement can be invaluable to one’s recovery.
Your story doesn’t have to be one of pain and suffering as a result of addiction. You can begin building a brighter future on the journey of recovery by making the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, located in beautiful Laguna Beach, offers a variety of highly-effective treatment options, including a Family Program designed to help family members learn about addiction and how to move towards being a healthy part of a strong family in recovery. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777