The Importance of Family in Recovery


The family may start to feel like they are walking on eggshells, never knowing what will happen next. They may also start to blame themselves, thinking they could have done something to prevent the addiction. Individual therapy is the first line of defense for someone trying to find help as the family member of an addict. It’s simple to seek out therapy if no one else in the family wants to look for help. Individual therapy focuses on you, your goals, and the things that keep you from achieving them. They tend to be defiant and are filled with hostility toward the rest of the family.

  • Are you looking for resources to help you support someone struggling with addiction?
  • Some siblings take the path of refusing to follow the path their brother or sister took.
  • A loved one’s addiction can also adversely affect family dynamics and cause conflict and relationship strain.
  • As a result, family members must learn new tools to adapt to the new recovery lifestyle.

This exhausting role keeps the mascot from having to look at the reality of their family dynamic, regardless of its impact. Siblings of addicts are sometimes referred to as the “invisible victims.” These siblings feel various emotions like confusion, frustration, shame, resentment, and more. Their ongoing and increasing issues draw attention away from the other children. Families affected by addiction often experience problems with communication, which can make it challenging for those suffering to receive the support they need. Relapse Prevention—To help individuals and family members recognize triggers and devise strategies to prevent relapse and foster long-term recovery. Family therapy is a common approach to recovery designed to focus on the whole family and the impact of all of those involved.

SMART Recovery Family & Friends

They are erratic, frustrated, and angry, lashing out at those closest to them. They try to alleviate the chaos and stress by diverting attention through humor or silly behavior. Mascots always tend to be in motion, constantly trying to make other family members feel better with their antics.

how alcohol affects your skin

They do their best to stay out of the way and avoid creating any additional difficulty. The lost child watches as the chaos plays out among their family members and does what they can to blend into the background. Lost children tend to be younger or middle children, already used to their older siblings taking the lead. They all but disappear amidst the tumultuous environment in their home. It can often be difficult to support a loved one in recovery constructively, but there are several strategies families can use to help their loved one when they are in need of it most. One of our experienced intake professionals will contact you shortly to discuss your treatment and recovery options.

Challenges Families Face in Addiction Recovery

Like Al-Anon, Alateen literature focuses on common problems that family members of people with alcohol addiction face, including excessive caretaking, self-esteem problems, guilt or blame. It is not uncommon for someone suffering with addiction to feel shame in communicating their experiences. Having open and supportive communication with family and friends can ease the fear of judgment during and after recovery. Addicts say and do things that are hurtful to family members, affecting the entire dynamic of the family unit. In addition to the emotional pain and erosion of trust caused by addiction, financial or legal problems may also result.

Reestablishing communication can be challenging when trust has been broken, but the effort is worth it. Good communication can alleviate stress between family members and reduce the risk of relapse. It is easy for these unhealthy relationship dynamics and coping strategies to become normalized within a family. The concept of homeostasis helps to explain it—it means that a family unit tends to establish equilibrium in response to changes. Whether a change is positive or negative, the family adjusts to a new normal. In terms of addiction, habits that are not healthy become ingrained as the group settles into equilibrium.

Addiction Recovery Is A Journey, So Maintain A Connection

With both in-person and virtual options, the Children’s Program can help children learn self-care skills and how to make healthy choices when their care giver struggles with addiction. It’s important to understand that addiction is a disease, and no one is to blame. The family needs to be there for the person struggling, just as the person struggling needs to be open to recovery. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, we encourage you to
reach out for help. There are many
addiction treatment options available, and our
admissions counselors can help you find the right treatment program for your needs. OASAS partner Friends of Recovery New York (FOR-NY) leads and organizes a network of local organizations called Recovery Community Organizations across New York State.

family support in addiction recovery

If you or someone you care about is struggling with drug addiction, the experienced, trusted professionals at Guardian Recovery Network can help. Addiction affects entire families, not just the individuals engaging in substance misuse. When seeking treatment, your family also needs healing and to learn how to support you in your journey.

Addressing Family Communication Issues in Addiction Recovery

Regardless of where a person may be in their recovery, the lives of those closest to them can become painful, complicated and overwhelming. Many OASAS-certified treatment programs and OASAS-run Addiction Treatment Centers offer treatment services for family members that have been impacted by substance use disorders. You can ask a treatment provider if they offer treatment to family members.

  • The results will be disseminated through a peer-reviewed journal and will also be reported at local, national and international conferences on addictions and mental health.
  • The concept of homeostasis helps to explain it—it means that a family unit tends to establish equilibrium in response to changes.
  • Addiction is a chronic disease, so recovery becomes a life-long process.

When a family member embodies healthy roles and behaviors in the wake of addiction and recovery, he or she may hold their loved one accountable for their behavior and offer rewards for positive choices. Refusing to focus on the individual’s behavior and creating and implementing healthy boundaries are the building blocks of recovery for families dealing with addiction. When one person in the family changes, it affects how the whole unit operates. Addiction brings significant transition into a group of loved ones, often breaking down the unit and hurting individuals in many ways.

However, people who struggle with addiction are not the only ones who feel the impact. The effects of active addiction stretch out far beyond the person using substances. Immediate family members are also affected when their loved one has a drug or alcohol problem. Whether it’s a child, parent, or spouse, addiction alters the lives of anyone who loves the person. A loved one’s addiction can also adversely affect family dynamics and cause conflict and relationship strain. Substance use and addiction can dramatically affect the lives of family members emotionally, socially, and financially.