Family members dealing with alcohol or drug abuse

Getting any of your family members to abstain from drugs or alcohol means that you will inevitably face or even struggle with many worries, problems, and some misunderstandings about how professional treatment works.

Things to remember when your loved one is being treated for addiction

The following content may answer some of these questions.

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First, relax and take a deep breath. Your family members are not detained, nor are they detained. Obviously, they have problems with drug abuse and decided to seek professional help. If this is the case, then they are exactly where they need to get the help they need.

They are in the hands of professionals, including medical and nursing staff, who have received specialized training and education to help people with alcohol or drug problems. Peers around them are also or have been in the same situation as your family members and will provide them with an additional support system when they begin to recover.

They will receive group therapy, personal consultation, medical treatment and a balanced diet. In other words, the person you love is in the hands of the person they need to get the help they need to solve the drug abuse problem.

Don’t personalize it

Your family is in a healthcare facility. Due to confidentiality issues and federal privacy laws, staff at this facility are prohibited from providing you with any information about their situation. Your loved one will have to tell you in person.

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No, you can’t talk to them now, but don’t treat it as an individual. In the early stages of their rehabilitation plan, contact with the outside world will be highly restricted. They also usually cannot access the media or the Internet.

This is necessary so that they can concentrate on staying awake, with as little distraction or external influence as possible. In the early days and days of treatment, their full attention needs to be on doing what they need to do to maintain abstinence.

Your participation will help

When you are asked to participate, the rehabilitation of your loved one will be valued. Most professional alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs include the patient’s family in the rehabilitation process, because studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of relapse.

Usually, in the first month of recovery, you will be invited to a treatment facility to participate in a “family education program” or family day. During this period, you will be able to express your concerns, problems, experiences and feelings about your family.

Benefits of family involvement

There are several benefits of participating in a family workshop:

  • It allows rehabilitation consultants to obtain opinions from families, observe how families interact and learn more about family dynamics.
  • It can encourage your loved ones to continue their treatment plan knowing that family members support them.
  • It provides an opportunity for your family members to understand how the entire family is affected by their addiction.
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What you can learn in the family workshop

The main purpose of allowing you to participate in the seminar is to provide you with information about the dynamics of alcoholism and addiction, and how family members are affected by drug abuse by others. The goal is to reduce the burden on the family, increase beneficial behaviors, and reduce any unhelpful behaviors.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the following topics are usually discussed during family seminars:

  • An overview of drug abuse and dependence, including prevalence, symptoms, causes, and basic concepts.
  • The impact of substance use disorders on individuals, family systems, and individual family members (including children).
  • An overview of the rehabilitation problems (physical, psychological or emotional, social, family, spiritual and other) of the affected person and how to measure the results.
  • How family members can provide help, including helping family members avoid behaviors and behaviors that support family members’ recovery.
  • How family members can heal from the adverse effects of close relationships with people who suffer from substance use disorders.
  • Self-help plans for family members and how they can help.
  • Common warning signs of recurrence, the importance of a recurrence prevention plan, how the family can participate, and how to deal with the actual recurrence.
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Family workshops are not treatment

Although there are many benefits to attending a family education seminar while your family is recovering,These meetings are not treatment. Many times, these workshops will generate strong feelings between family members, and they will become emotional. But from the perspective of the treatment center, these courses focus on support and education, not treatment.

The purpose of the rehabilitation program is to help family members. If you feel that you or other family members are psychologically or emotionally affected by the alcohol or addiction of your loved one, you will need to seek additional help yourself.

Consider asking for help for yourself

You can seek professional marriage counseling, family counseling or personal therapy for yourself. If you need further support, you can join a mutual aid group, such as Al-Anon or Naranon, and your child can join Alateen. Many family members of people with substance use disorders find that joining the Al-Anon family group can be a positive, life-changing experience.

You can also start to educate yourself about alcoholism and addiction and how it affects every member of the family. The more you know about the dynamics of the family affected by addiction, the more you will be able to provide understanding and encouragement to your family.