Drug and alcohol addiction is one of the loneliest diseases on the planet. The very nature of the disease often drives people to isolate themselves away from coworkers, family, and friends. Sometimes, they do this because of the profound shame they feel about what they are doing to themselves. Other times, they simply want to keep their actions hidden so they can continue abusing their drug or drugs of choice without interference.
One of the biggest tragedies of addiction is the destruction of family relationships. It’s nearly impossible for family members to avoid becoming collateral damage while a family member is falling victim to drug or alcohol abuse.
For the most part, family members react to a loved one’s addiction issues in one of three ways
- They become enablers who take actions that keep the door open for continuing the drug abuse
- They ignore the drug abuse, hoping it magically goes away
- They become angry and start distancing themselves away from the problem
Regardless of what happens to their family relationships, addiction sufferers still need their family members. It’s for that very reason that Delaware rehab facilities like ours make every effort to get family members involved in the addiction treatment process.
Will a Recovery Center of Delaware Include Families in Addiction Treatment?
As we already stated above, yes, many of the top recovery centers in Delaware take steps to get family members involved in the treatment process. They do this by offering family therapy programs that bring family members together to deal with relationship issues and try to mend fences.
To be clear, family therapy programs are intended to be beneficial for both the client and their family members and friends. This is an important distinction because at some point down the road of recovery, there is a reasonable expectation that family members and friends will become a primary support resource.
For the client, family therapy provides an opportunity to do two things. First, it opens the door to mending fences between disgruntled family members. By the way, that includes the mending of fences between family members who are at odds with each other over their respective positions regarding their loved one’s addiction. Family therapy provides a forum for everyone to come together and clear the air for the benefit of everyone in the room.
The second thing family therapy offers to the client is an opportunity to address family issues that might be playing a role in the client’s desire to hide in a world of drugs or alcohol.
Consider this. It is very plausible that someone would start abusing drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with childhood trauma within the family. It might be something like physical or sexual abuse issues that have existed for a long time. Drugs and alcohol became a way out.
Dealing with these issues as a family can have a great healing effect on someone who sought comfort from their pain by using drugs or alcohol.
At this point, we want to discuss how family therapy could benefit family members. There are two ways family therapy helps family members. It educates them about their loved one’s addiction, and it teaches them how to be supportive without becoming codependent enablers. Let’s look at two ideas in more depth.
Educating Family Members
If someone has never experienced addiction, it’s difficult for them to understand how their loved one can be so weak as to succumb to drugs or alcohol. First, addiction is not a sign of weakness. It’s a disease. Second, a good education about the realities behind addictive behavior often serves to create a level of understanding that opens the door to more understanding and forgiveness.
Being Supportive Without Enabling
It’s easy to understand why family members might get caught up in becoming enablers. It’s difficult to watch a loved one suffering and not reach out and try to ease their pain. However, it’s never good to condone addictive behavior. In family therapy, family members will learn about codependency and how to avoid falling victim to it. At the same time, they will learn how to lend support to an addiction sufferer without compromising their own lives.
We hope you are ready to address your addiction. We hope you and your family will come to us and let us help you resolve your addiction issues and mend fences with your family. We encourage you to contact us at 302-842-2390 as soon as possible.