Substance abuse and addiction recovery affect more than just the person experiencing it. Whether you abuse illegal drugs like heroin, prescription drugs like Ativan, or alcohol, your actions will directly impact the lives of everyone in your family unit.
Similarly, overcoming addiction is often a united effort. Whether you are the one seeking help or you are simply trying to support your loved one’s recovery, understanding the importance of family during addiction recovery is vital to the success of your or your family member’s substance abuse treatment.
The Familial Roles
Having a loved one suffering from a substance use disorder is never easy. The shock, stress, and anxiety it creates may lead to many family members falling into roles that help them cope or help them feel more in control of the situation. Even after your loved one seeks treatment, the characteristics of these roles may continue to manifest themselves in family members throughout the recovery process.
The Hero feels a deep sense of responsibility toward the person with the addiction problem and may feel obligated to care for them and influence the way their addiction is seen by the rest of the family.
The Mascot will routinely try to lighten the mood, minimize the seriousness of the situation, or deflect the emotional trauma caused by the person suffering from addiction as a coping mechanism.
The Lost Child
Faced with the shock of learning one of the members of the family has an addiction problem, the Lost Child will do everything in their power to avoid conflict and suppress their emotions, often isolating themselves from the rest of the family.
The Scapegoat may feel a responsibility toward the person abusing drugs or alcohol and, as a result, will try to draw attention away from them by developing other negative behaviors.
The Enabler in the family will often excuse the behavior of the loved one suffering from substance abuse by running interference while preventing the substance user from experiencing the consequences of their choices and actions.
What You Can Do
If you are struggling with addiction, getting your family involved in your recovery can make a genuine impact on your mental health, dedication to addiction treatment, and optimism. Start by being open and honest about your addiction and your desire to get treatment with a close, trusted family member.
As your confidence builds, you can then look at talking to your family as a group and getting them involved in the recovery process.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, it’s important to educate yourself on the particular substance they are abusing, its effects, the process of withdrawal from it, and how to support them in recovery. Fortunately, there are many resources available online to help you learn more about coping with addiction and how you can help without enabling their substance abuse further.
The Dos and Don’ts
For the Substance User
Getting family involved in your addiction recovery is an important step in maintaining sobriety and successfully ending your substance abuse.
Some of the helpful dos and don’ts of involving your family in your recovery journey are:
For Family Members
Balancing your support for your loved one with maintaining your mental health can be tricky. Some of the dos and don’ts to help you stay positive and healthy while helping your family member get treatment and enter recovery include:
The Secret to Long-Term Success
Seeking addiction treatment with your family’s support is the secret to long-term sobriety and recovery. One way to ensure healthy family involvement is by choosing a treatment facility that offers family counseling or family therapy sessions and understands how family dynamics are affected by addiction.
How One Touch Recovery Center Can Help
If you or a loved one are looking for a rehab center in Pomona, CA, One Touch Recovery offers a variety of treatment modalities, including non-12-step rehab programs that focus on positive family involvement. Contact One Touch Recovery today and see how we can help you overcome your addiction today!