The word family does not only encompass immediate family.  It ranges from the standard parents and children to a family unit including friends and loved ones.  It is important to embrace anyone the addict defines as family and welcome those individuals into a family program.  Treatment centers offer a variety of groups and classes.  Among these courses there is family programming where they integrate your home life and loved ones into the intensive process of drug and alcohol rehabilitation.  Families and loved ones can be a part of the process from the intervention, to the aftercare of the addict or alcoholic.  Family Program bases their programming off the understanding that addiction affects not only the addicted person, but the entire family.  A good family program is dedicated to providing emotional and spiritual healing.  Programs such as these guide each family through the process of recovery, giving them insight into the world of recovery that has immersed the clientele.  Family Programs of this nature offer intensive family treatment that involve  groups helping loved ones with means of being supportive without enabling the addict, educational multi-family process groups,  family focused Al-Anon groups, possibly include individual family therapy, as well as discussion and intervention services for families and individuals in need.

What Does a Family Program Entail?

Family involvement is both an effective and integral part of drug and alcohol rehabilitation.  Family involvement is not only beneficial to the clients, but also for the betterment of the recovering addict’s family and loved ones attending.  Oftentimes family members and loved ones can feel left out of the process entirely.  The families being an integral part of the addicted person’s recovery can give them a much needed sense of security and faith in the process.  Families can often be involved in regular therapy sessions with their loved one facilitated by a trained alcohol and drug addiction counselors.  The family programs are a powerful aspect of healing and recovery from addiction.  Whether the recovering addict is willing to admit it or not, family members are severely influenced by their loved one’s drinking and using. Families reactions to their loved ones abuse of drugs and alcohol will gravely influence aspects in the recovering addicts life, being that positive or negatively. Comprehensive family involvement can help explore, address and deal with these concerns with therapeutic and educational sessions.

A few means of family involvement treatment facilities might utilize would be; family therapy sessions, educational programing, family weekends, or other support groups.  In Family therapy sessions treatment centers will bring family members in on the treatment process through regular group therapy sessions, possibly using means such as phone conferencing for those family members that live out of town or have scheduling conflicts.  With educational programing valuable information of the treatment process, substance abuse education, as well as relapse prevention tools will be provided to the family through educational programs possibly involving support groups interacting with other family’s struggling with similar issues revolving around the client’s substance abuse.  Some programs may include comprehensive family oriented events.  These events usually consist of an all-inclusive weekend jam packed full of therapy, seminars, as well as quality time spent with their loved ones and give the families a better understanding of the program as well as guidance in supporting the addict in their time of need.

Benefits of Family Programming

Family education can provide families with an adequate understanding of addiction giving them insight for making healthy changes as a family unit.   This gives the families of residents’ informative techniques on being supportive in a healthy manner to their newly sober loved one.   Statistics show that patients whose families participate in their drug and alcohol treatment have lower relapse rates than patients whose families are not involved.  A few aspects that might be discussed in family groups include; enabling, codependency, disease theory, family dynamics, 12 step program, after care options, ways of dealing with someone in active addiction.  It is important for the family to be educated in such matters, even if only for their own sense of security. The ultimate goal with drug and alcohol treatment is to help the addicted person become not addicted, and stay that way.   Family members are usually unaware of what alcoholism or drug addiction is, as well as what it does to the brain and to our behaviors.  Family programing has many different educational features to help the family better comprehend how to appropriately help our loved one, avoid enabling, and to assist in the healing process in a manner beneficial to the addict while keeping healthy boundaries for themselves.  Multi-family process groups and Individual sessions with client’s and their families are used to further assist the clients and their families. Trained counselors work with the family members on being honest and open with each other to establish healthy means communication. This can be a heavy feat, but overall a very powerful and necessary tool for healing and recovery for the entire family.

A family involved in there loved one’s recovery, will grow together and heal together.  There is no way of knowing what will happen to the families who participate in family programming.  There is no guarantee that it will benefit the family’s dynamic.  The recovering addict has a long road ahead of them.  It is crucial to utilize every tool available in order to stay sober. There are many support groups out there for addicts as well as their families. Groups such as Al-anon or Alateen provide a 12-step method to the family which can help them relate to their loved ones process as well.   Continued family therapy can also be beneficial after the client graduates treatment.  Many family members as well as anyone who loves an addict may suffer with severe co-dependency issues. Codependent Anonymous meetings are held all over and can be found with a simple google search.



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