Family And Recovery: The Importance Of Involving Family

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Why does the addict’s family need to be involved in the progress?  It seems pretty clear that the addict, who has been abusing alcohol and or drugs and placing him or herself and family members in difficult situations, should be the primary focus of any treatment process.

But, this viewpoint holds the recovery of the addict in question back, although it still is possible to recover without the family’s assistance.

What about Addiction and the Family is So Important in this Process?

Unfortunately, one of the primary difficulties of treatment lies in helping the family understand that they engaged in behaviors which helped make the addiction possible.  This is a much different statement than assigning the family blame.  It’s just the way addiction works – everyone shares a bit of responsibility and can do something to help the addict better, including all family members.

Families provide “enabling” behaviors which allow the addict to continue his or her destructive behavior.  Some of these behaviors are common enabling behaviors families give to addicts:

  • Providing money to the addict for any reason, knowing it will most likely be spent on drugs or alcohol
  • Justifying the addict’s behavior as “only occurring once in a while”
  • Giving the addict too much love, figuring they’ll “get better in their own time”
  • Allowing the addict to drink or use drugs as long as they don’t do something too dangerous, like driving

The point is that these behaviors in family members allow the addict to continue their behavior, when it’s best for the addict to learn a clear line of what is acceptable and what is not.  Drawing a boundary and ceasing enabling behaviors like this helps the addict understand and find motivation for discontinuing their destructive behavior.

This is why family counseling and on-going support is so important.

It’s Difficult for Addicts to get Better Alone

For family members having a difficult time understanding why they need to be involved in the treatment process, it’s important to remember how difficult anything is to do alone.  They should recall a time where they tried to handle something without talking with other family members, friends, or other trusted individuals.  It’s never easy to do something alone.

The more support a family member can get in recovery, the more likely they are to have a successful recovery.  Above It All Treatment Center helps family members understand how to support their loved in a healthy way so they discontinue the destructive behavior and begin living a happy and peaceful life.

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