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What Makes Family Support Essential to Recovery

Aug 10, 2020

Any successful attempt to overcome a significant challenge in life comes back to who’s playing on your team. The significant “players” in the recovery process are the multigenerational family members of the patients who begin treatment for a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental health disorder. While their role is very different than the multidisciplinary team a patient will work with throughout a program, let’s talk today about why it’s no less important to have caring, supportive loved ones in place before the treatment even begins.

Family members are the people often most impacted by your lack of sobriety, yet they can become some of your best allies during recovery. Family members are often the most invested in your recovery, in fact, which makes them ideal as a support system, if they are willing and able to participate in family therapy sessions and in other ways to support your recovery efforts. Their active involvement in your attempts to protect your sobriety, from providing healthy boundaries to giving you a ride to and from an intensive outpatient program, can drastically reduce your risk of relapse after the successful completion of a residential treatment. 

Your involvement as an individual or collectively within a family is defined by you.

There is no predetermined way to help someone with a substance use disorder. How much you want to be available can be set by you and what you’re willing to do to help is the same. Determining healthy boundaries can be an important first step for any family system. It is, however, important to communicate with your family member who’s in treatment so they have clear expectations of what you are willing to provide. This is an important step in mutual understanding and boundaries.

You never need to feel like you’re “reinventing the wheel” when supporting a loved one in recovery.

What will empower you is being equipped with helpful information and guidance on how to best serve in this supportive role. That’s why many facilities offer family programs. They recognize the sense of uncertainty and fear in loved ones with a family member struggling with substance use, and they offer a way to navigate the situation from a place of understanding.

A multi-day family program keeps the focus on the need for sustainable solutions for recovery.

A loved one entering a treatment program is only the beginning of a longer journey to lasting sobriety, and the family who sees it as more than that misses an opportunity to understand its role in helping reduce the risk of relapse. Family programs lasting multiple days, such as the Five-Day Family Program at Hanley Center, help a patient’s loved ones recognize their involvement is for both the patient receiving care and for their own personal recovery from the harm done by the substance user.

Multi-day family programs use structured curriculum to cumulatively build on the knowledge and experience of each day.

Family counselors lead daily sessions about addiction and its personal impact on the lives of people in the family. This becomes a safe space to learn, discuss, and reflect on what’s changed in the family since the emergence of the substance use disorder. You can also benefit from interacting with other family members and learning from their personal experiences with SUDs.

Family programs are ramping up to what comes next in a patient’s care.

The main objective of a family program designed to develop a continuing care plan collectively is to give each person a voice in shaping that plan. Once a treatment program comes to an end, your loved one will need a concrete plan to bridge them from the care to a multidisciplinary team of professionals to the new version of their independent lives. In some cases, if the scenario is severe enough, that next step in care could be transitioning to an intensive outpatient program or a form of transitional living.

Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting recovery.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.

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