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How Can Family Members Be Involved In The Addiction Treatment Process?


family support during addiction treatment

Addiction affects not just those with the disorder, but also their families and others who are part of their lives. Involving family members in the addiction treatment process is beneficial for both the family and the person in recovery.


Encouragement, understanding, and a supportive environment can help foster positive change.  Not only that, family involvement is linked with increased rates of entry into treatment, reduction of addiction treatment barriers like lack of finances and untreated trauma, decreased dropout rates during treatment, and better long-term outcomes, according to SAMHSA.


Here are ways in which family members and loved ones can be involved in the addiction treatment process and help with recovery:


1. Seek Education


Learn about addiction and its effects on both the individual and the family. Understanding the nature of addiction helps reduce stigma and provides insight into the challenges the person in recovery is facing.



2. Participate in Family Therapy


At Care Addiction, our addiction treatment program offers family therapy as part of the treatment process. Family therapy can help improve communication, address family dynamics, and provide a supportive environment for both the individual in recovery and their loved ones.



3. Make Clear Boundaries


Setting clear boundaries and sticking to them is extremely important. Sticking to the boundaries can be hard - it’s easier to give someone a second chance, or third, or just one more. But it’s crucial to take the hard path and stick to boundaries, or you step into the role of enabling an addiction.



4. Offer Support and Encouragement


Offer emotional support and encouragement to the person in recovery. Let them know that you believe in their ability to change and that you are there for them throughout the process.  Be careful though, there is a fine line between helping and supporting someone - and enabling them. 



5. Stop Enabling


What is the difference between supporting someone and enabling their addiction? It can be difficult to see because even when your intention is to help, it can have the opposite effect of enabling bad behavior. The difference is this:


  • Supporting is assisting with things they are incapable of doing for themselves.

  • Enabling is keeping someone from dealing with the negative consequences of their actions.


An example of enabling can be giving someone a place to live, paying for a cell phone, or paying for a car. Allowing yourself to believe someone to be incapable of paying for a cell phone, for example, simply because they spent all of their money on an addiction is not supporting them - it is allowing them to be codependent on you.



6. Improve Communication


Effective communication can help resolve conflicts and misunderstandings, reducing stress for both the person in recovery and their family members.



7. Get a Support System for You


What many people do not understand is the family of the addicted person suffers from the addiction, too. Find a counselor or therapist who specializes in addiction counseling and get help. Loved ones of addicts need support, too. The goal is to bring clarity to relationships and to foster repair and closeness if family members choose.


It’s also important for family members to prioritize their own self-care and well-being. Addiction can be emotionally draining for everyone surrounding the addicted person,, and taking care of oneself is crucial for providing effective support.


8. Attend Support Groups


Participate in family counseling and support groups like  Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, which are designed to help those who have a loved one with addiction. These groups offer a safe space to share experiences and learn from others.



Family members can also:


  • Keep a non-judgmental attitude - blaming or shaming the person in recovery can be counterproductive.

  • Help keep your family member or loved one on track with medications and doctor visits.

  • Remain committed to a drug and alcohol-free home environment.

  • Help your family member or loved one stay away from people, places or situations that have triggered past addictive behavior.

  • Encourage your family member or loved one to commit long-term to regular counseling, and/or attendance at a 12-step program or other support program.

  • Participate in healthy lifestyle changes and explore drug and alcohol-free activities as a family.

  • Be open to developing new social connections with those who abstain from alcohol and drugs.



Addiction treatment can be a long and challenging journey, and family support can make a significant difference in the individual's chances of successful recovery. If you're unsure about how to best support your loved one in recovery, consider seeking guidance from addiction professionals or therapists who specialize in addiction and family dynamics.



Getting Help For Addiction


While addiction recovery can be challenging, it is achievable with the right resources and support. If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol or suffering from addiction, professional help may be the best option for recovery.


At Care Addiction Center, we offer treatment plans that address every facet of your addiction, serving individuals in Geneva, Batavia, Sycamore, St. Charles, and Kane County, with online addiction treatment available anywhere in Illinois. 


To get started on the road to recovery, or if you have questions about helping yourself or a loved one, call us today or schedule a confidential assessment online and begin treatment.


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