Addiction is one of most challenging aspects for family members and friends who are dealing with a drug or alcohol addict. Drug and alcohol abuse can become a vicious cycle that has a negative impact on the family. Families often do not understand how to approach the subject of addiction treatment and choose to avoid it out of fear that they will push their loved ones away in the event of a confrontation. Families have legitimate concerns. While they should know that a supportive and gentle approach is the best way to go about approaching their loved ones, it’s also important that families understand that many patients are seeking treatment for substance abuse because of family intervention and involvement www.renewwellnessrecovery.com/why-renew/.
Prior to Substance Abuse Treatment/Intervention
Every family is unique, so the approach you take to family addiction treatment will vary from person-to-person. Counselors are available in your locality who have been trained to help drug and alcohol addict patients and their family members. While they may be able to assist with the intervention, you and your family might decide to hold a non-confrontational, honest and private conversation with someone to urge them to get substance abuse treatment. Whatever approach you choose, remember that family dynamics are incredibly important in addiction. Addressing an unhealthy communication imbalance is the first step to moving your loved ones towards inpatient or outpatient treatment. Positive family involvement will also lead your entire family on a path of self-discovery and recovery.
The Patient’s Treatment for Substance Abuse
The best outcome of an intervention is for the person suffering from alcohol or drug addiction to be forced into either an outpatient or inpatient treatment program. Outpatient and inpatient treatment programs offer different benefits to patients and their families, depending on the patient’s circumstances and needs. Outpatient programs allow patients to remain with their family, attend classes at a location near their homes, and continue their substance abuse treatment over a longer period of time. Patients who enroll in a residential program (or an “inpatient”) travel to the facility, where they participate in a 28-30-day intensive detoxification program. The patients are completely immersed in their recovery and cannot leave the campus. Inpatient addiction treatment programs encourage family members and friends to visit frequently.
Inpatient treatment for substance abuse has many benefits. As mentioned previously, the needs of patients vary. However, it is clear that inpatient care offers the benefit of taking the addict out from the environment which was encouraging their addiction and allowing them to focus on addiction therapy. The same benefits are transferred to friends and families of the patients, as they gain new perspectives about their loved ones’ addictions and behaviors. Once the patient has been admitted to a substance abuse facility offsite, family involvement is ongoing and allows families to step back and identify patterns of bad behavior. Before addiction treatment, family members and friends can become caught in a vicious cycle of codependency and enabling. Family members often pretend that nothing is wrong and, unintentionally, help the patient develop an addiction through ignoring it. In the other direction, some family members may become angry and distant because they feel that it is impossible to address the problem for fear of upsetting the patient. While their loved ones are in addiction treatment, family members can take time to assess themselves and their environment. They may identify certain behaviors or traits they need to change to stop the cycle.
It is incorrect to assume that substance abuse residential treatment isolates the patient and their family. On the contrary, it does the exact opposite. A quality residential substance abuse program focuses equally on the physical and mental recovery of the patient from addiction. Positive and frequent involvement of the family is a key component in addiction therapy. Family support is crucial to the success of a recovering addict. Residential centers often encourage family members to participate in their educational treatment programs, including workshops for recovery and family involvement.
Families and friends are encouraged to attend Al Anon, or Nar Anon meetings outside of residential treatment facilities. The free meetings are offered all over the country and provide group support for family members and friends of people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. Meetings include topics such as helping a drug addict to seek help for their own addiction; addressing the alcohol or drugs addiction of a family member or friend; building ties through addiction therapy, and supporting you or your loved one during the recovery process. The programs help to support family members and friends during and after the treatment.
What to do After Substance Abuse Treatment Program
There is no “end” in the treatment of drug or alcohol abuse. To continue an educational and supportive program, families who are struggling to cope with their loved ones’ drug or alcohol addiction need to attend Al Anon and Nar Anon (or both). Both alcohol and drug abuse are considered to be “family diseases”. Therefore, family members who have a loved one with a drug or alcohol problem should attend these meetings regularly during the inpatient and outpatient therapy sessions. These meetings not only help people understand drug and alcohol abuse to support and help someone close to them, but they also provide emotional support to friends and families during a time that is often incredibly stressful and difficult. Friends and families of addicts can benefit from addiction therapy by attending Al Anon or Nar Anon meetings.