Addiction feels isolating for those suffering from the disease, but it has drastic effects on families and loved ones as well. Uncovering the role that family plays in a patient’s journey is paramount for informing recovery plans and is also instrumental in understanding the sources of addiction and the resources available to sustain a healthy, sober future. While discussions around family can be difficult depending on a patient’s unique situation, it is important for both the professional and patient to understand the role that family plays in order to create the most informed plan for the future.
The Family Is Always Involved
There are two key ways in which family can impact a patient’s sobriety. For some, families can be instrumental resources that, with education and understanding, can become powerful supports integral to the healing process. However, families may not always be the best possible support for every patient. In some cases, one’s family may be intimately tied to the reasons behind the use of dangerous, addictive substances.
Familial stresses, genetics, and the use of addictive substances within a family all impact one’s recovery and prolonged sobriety. However a family impacts a patient – either in a positive, supportive manner or a negative one – is important to discuss. Understanding a patient’s unique relationship with family members can uncover them as either potential supports with relationships that may need mending or as potential dangers to a patient’s sustained sobriety.
Discussing the Family
Talking about a patient’s family can present a number of hurdles. Some may be opposed to the topic with many difficult memories or emotions. In contrast, others may blame their family entirely for their situation and utilize them to avoid blame or accountability themselves. However, these reactions are not without value and can begin creating a portrait of one’s relationship with their biological family and how they may be involved in a patient’s addiction and recovery path.
Creating an Effective Support Circle
While unfortunate, a patient’s family may be a significant source of stress or present dangers to their sobriety. Whether because of tense familial relationships or the prevalence of addictive substances in the household, biological families are not always the most supportive resources available.
In some cases, these families may enable dangerous practices and the use of addictive substances. They may also house a stressful atmosphere or environment, and creating a recovery plan may begin with learning to erect effective barriers and create a more self-sustaining lifestyle.
However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a supportive family to be made. Practicing essential social skills and strategies can develop into community engagement, even within a treatment facility. A patient can rebuild a familial unit alongside peers and professionals more conducive to their sober goals and future. The earlier in recovery this is discovered, the more beneficial it can be to focus on these social goals.
Involving the Family
Regardless of how a patient’s sober family may form – whether a patient’s biological family becomes educated and unified begins the healing process as a familial unit or a patient creates their own family in their newfound sober lifestyle – it is a powerful resource inside the walls of a center for alcohol and drug treatment and beyond. One’s family can be integral for creating relapse prevention plans and escape strategies and are crucial sources of perspective throughout the recovery journey.
Family therapy programs can be extraordinarily effective. Even visiting family members and maintaining regular contact can help both a patient and their family set appropriate goals for a healthy future. Addiction is a family disease – parents, siblings, and children may all take time to heal.
However, identifying a potentially supportive familial network can promote an effective plan for educating and healing together. Being able to set goals with family members also ensures an individual always has the means to attend treatment programs, outpatient therapies, and community outlets, all while also holding a patient responsible and accountable for their actions.
Starting the Conversation About Family
Knowing whether a patient has a positive relationship with their family that needs healing or if they may need to create a loving family of their own in sobriety is a significant part of the recovery journey. These families will impact a patient’s sobriety throughout their life.
Discussing family may be a sensitive subject for some, and navigating these conversations can be difficult with many swirling emotions and histories to address. However, it is crucial information that informs the best recovery plans and helps professionals and patients alike begin to utilize the most effective resources for sustaining a healthy, sober lifestyle.
Family members are integral to one’s relationship with addictive substances and can be powerful recovery resources. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we embrace the need to understand the role that family plays in one’s journey. We are prepared to help your patients identify and overcome the unique struggles that may lie within. Whether rebuilding relationships or starting new ones, we can guide your patient each step of the way while addressing the way in which alcohol or drugs have affected their life. Offering quality substance abuse treatment in Hawaii, we embrace each unique story to create an atmosphere of community and healing. We are prepared to help your patients take the first step in drug and alcohol rehab while discovering the power of family in their recovery journey. For more information on how we can help you and your patients, call Hawaii Island Recovery today at (866) 390-5070.