Your addiction has undoubtedly had a negative impact on many areas of your life, including your health and your financial situation. But we know that another part of your life that requires immediate attention is your relationships with those you love. It is impossible to keep things on the right track with loved ones when addiction is a factor in your life, and you have probably noticed that many of your relationships have been suffering lately. With our family recovery programme, we will work hard to help both you and the people you love overcome the illness that is threatening the survival of your family unit.
At Fenton House, we understand that addiction is a massive problem both for you and the individuals around you. The very idea that you could be the only one affected by this illness is false, but it is a notion that many people believe.
Those with experience of addiction will know first-hand that this is not the case though. Living with or being close to, an addict can take its toll. Life changes completely and many family members struggle because they simply do not know what best to do for their addicted loved one.
With a family recovery programme, we will work closely with you and your family members to address any underlying issues within the family that may have contributed to the development of the addiction in the first place. We will also work hard to help every single member overcome the addiction so that your family has an excellent chance of a full recovery.
While our main priority is treating you and your illness, we know that other members of your family will also need support. We believe that family involvement in your recovery is essential.
It used to be the case that addicts would be treated away from their loved ones and would then return to the family unit once their programme had finished. However, upon their return, many of the issues that led to the illness in the first place would still be present, or family members would still be harbouring anger and resentment to the recovering addict. This would place a strain on already-damaged relationships.
Today we know that the whole family should be involved in the recovery process; after all, the addiction will have had an impact on the entire unit.
Within your family unit, there may be several issues that require attention. These can include:
With a family recovery programme, these issues can be addressed so that everyone can move on to a healthier, happier life.
Your family members will be invited to take part in counselling sessions from time to time, either on a one-to-one basis with your counsellor or as part of a group with other family members, yourself, and your counsellor.
Initial sessions may begin with questions and answers, where your family members will be given the opportunity to ask questions about your illness and share their experiences about how they have been affected.
Your counsellor will talk with your family members to try to educate them on addiction and what causes it. Discussions will probably take place concerning each person’s role within the family unit, as well as the issues within the family that are unhelpful.
With the use of various techniques and therapies, your counsellor will attempt to identify ways that everyone can improve how they communicate with one another. This will help with rebuilding trust and learning different ways to interact that can ensure everyone’s needs are respected.
The impact of addiction on the family can never be understated. Unfortunately, the nature of addiction means that you may not have realised the damage that your actions were causing to your loved ones. Addiction clouds the mind and makes it difficult to see things clearly.
Your actions while under the influence of alcohol or drugs might have caused pain and suffering for your family members. Some of them could have even changed how they behave in response to the changes in you.
Some of your family members may even be blaming themselves for your illness, while others might be blaming you for the harm that is being caused to the family unit. All these emotions can fester and build up within each person, which can then place a massive strain on the entire family.
Until your addiction is treated, the impact of your illness is going to get worse. But rather than just treating you and your illness, your programme will need to include family therapy to help everyone else deal with the issues they are facing.
If there are any children in your family, it is vital that they are included in the family recovery programme. Children are often referred to as the silent victims of addiction. This is because most adults do not realise the impact that addiction can have on them.
Younger kids with little understanding of addiction often do not know why their addicted family member is acting the way he or she does. They struggle to deal with the complex issues within the family unit and will experience a range of emotions including fear, rejection, anger, isolation, loneliness, and sadness. Some will blame themselves for the actions of their addicted loved one and might even believe that they have caused the unpredictable behaviour.
Children within a family where addiction is an issue often suffer deep and lasting emotional issues as well. Without treatment for the child, these issues can continue into adulthood where they can impact his or her everyday life. Some kids will struggle to form healthy relationships with their peers, while others will develop substance abuse issues themselves as they seek comfort in the one thing they are familiar with.
Since there are a number of issues that can affect family members, such as co-dependency and enabling, family therapy is a huge part of the recovery process – not only for you but also for your family members.
It is important that these issues are dealt with if the family unit is to progress to normal everyday life once your treatment finishes.
Co-dependency and enabling are common among family members of an addicted individual. The love your family members have for you may have caused them to jump into action when they realised you had a problem with addiction. They might have been trying to ‘fix’ you for many years, or they may have been enabling you without even realising.
Family members tend to make excuses for their addicted loved ones. Some will unwittingly make it easier for the addicted person to continue with their substance abuse by providing money to help repay debts or to buy food because the addict has spent his or her own money on mood-altering chemicals.
Some family members become controlling of their addicted loved one because they believe that the addict is unable to take care of him or herself. Others will neglect their own needs and will change their behaviour completely as they become consumed by trying to help their addicted loved one.
With a family therapy programme, these issues can be addressed. Many family members do not realise that their own behaviours and actions have actually helped the individual to continue abusing drugs or to be unaccountable for his or her own actions.
With family therapy, members of the family will get a greater understanding of addiction and will be helped to identify the ways in which the illness has had a negative impact on their own life.
Your family members will be helped to learn their own role in your illness and will then learn how to work with you to address any underlying issues before developing solutions to address these issues. In a group setting, you can all work together to move forward to independent sober living.
Just as there is aftercare support available for you when you leave your rehab programme, your family can also access support within the local community – and they would be strongly advised to do this.
Support groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are available for the family members and friends of addicted loved ones. These groups can help your family members to learn how to live with you now that you are sober. They can attend regular meetings with the family members and friends of other recovering addicts.
Just like support groups such as AA and NA follow a 12-step principle, so too do groups such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. To get the most from these programmes, your family members should join, attend regular meetings, and work through the twelve steps. However, this is not compulsory.
Fenton House offers first-class treatment programmes for those struggling with all types of addiction. It is our mission to develop a treatment programme that will work for you to ensure that you can leave our clinic clean and sober and ready to move on to a permanent substance-free life.
We believe that to ensure your permanent sobriety, a family recovery programme plays a vital role in your treatment programme. Failure to help your family overcome the illness too could be a disaster for you as you try to move on to a new and sober life.
We will work closely with you and your family members to support them through this incredibly tough time. We find that family members often experience a huge sense of relief when they can finally talk to someone who can understand the issues they have been facing.
Your family members will have support from our fully qualified counsellors and therapists and do not have to worry about judgement or condemnation, no matter how they are feeling.
We have been helping families to overcome addiction for a long time and we want to help you and your family too. Please contact us today for information on our family recovery programme and how it could help you and your loved ones to overcome addiction for good.