Importance of Family Involvement in Rehab

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Table of Contents

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The Importance of Working With Families While Patients Are in Rehab

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Content Overview

Standing by Your Loved One in Rehab

There are many ways to support someone who has a substance abuse problem. How to help a loved one in rehab is an important question that family members should be asking themselves.

Family members should be loving and caring and supportive and compassionate. Learning more about their loved ones’ condition or conditions can help family members understand not only addiction and recovery but more about how their loved ones might need them.

The patient may be the one that wants to start a dialogue with their family. One of the steps of recovery is recognizing and righting wrongs from the past.

It’s not easy for everyone. This educational resource discusses why family involvement in rehab programs is essential!

Call now to ask questions about treatment for yourself or a loved one. Our helpline is free and confidential. Call (888) 906-0952

Content

Supporting a Loved One in Rehab

During recovery, the most important resource for someone suffering from addiction is family support. How to help a recovering addict is by participating in treatment as a family unit. Family involvement shows the patient that they have love and support during one of the most difficult times in their lives.

Family support also leads to having an intervention, which has high success rates when getting a person addicted to a substance to seek help.

These interventions can help those suffering from addiction can help for substance abuse and identify any psychological disorders, such as anxiety or mood disorders.

If a family is involved in the patient’s recovery process, they can help the clinicians and rehab professionals understand their patients better, allowing recovery to be more effective.

Counselors and therapists can identify any negative aspects of the family dynamics. Psychologists can see and identify family dysfunction and problems, such as:

  • Poor conflict resolution
  • Low relationship satisfaction
  • High interpersonal conflict
  • Criticism and blame
  • Hostility
  • Lack of agreeing that its a disease
  • Unreasonable expectations
  • Poor problem-solving skills
  • Inconsistent family structure
  • Family rigidity

Patients may feel alone and shamed when they go through rehab alone, as well as overwhelming feelings of anxiety and sadness. These feelings can lead to them leaving rehab, as the patient can lose sight of why they want to get better.

If they have a family that wants to help them and remind them what everything is for, often, it leads to a long-lived recovery.

Patients may also want to improve relationships with loved ones but may not know how to communicate. Interventions can be a powerful way to handle a breakdown in communication.

Patients may want their family members to attend family therapy to all talk about their feelings and understand how to move forward.

How to help an addict in recovery is by getting them to open up to their family and loved ones.

addiction-helpline

How to Get Involved in the Process

There are many reasons why a patient might want their families to be involved during recovery. Supporting a recovering addict is crucial, as this is their time of need. Most patients want their families to be involved, which is important to remember.

If they have love and support from family members, they are more likely to have a high success rate. Family support can be helpful when the patient is having feelings of anxiety or sadness, which is common during recovery if there isn’t enough support. These feelings often accompany guilt and shame, which lead to relapse.

It is important to the patient that the family is there for them as a support system to back them up.

Also, one part of the recovery process is identifying how their addiction has impacted their family, so they might want to improve relationships between them and family members.

The patient may invite the family to family therapy or inform them on how they are doing in rehab. The patient must remember that they may have hurt some family and friends, and they should focus on changing for the better and letting your family know that you want them in your life.

As with patients wanting their families to be involved in the recovery process, the family may want to be more involved in their loved one’s goals and achievements.

The family needs to remember that a cloud of feelings of shame or guilt might be hovering over their loved one, so a loving, supportive family system is important.

Family members and other loved ones can remind the patient that they are there for them and what their recovery means to the whole family.

Having people who can help support you on this journey can make all the difference in the world. If the issue of addiction has not been brought up or wasn’t a productive conversation, family members can search for intervention services.

An intervention can be where the family can achieve the first steps in being involved with the patient and their recovery.

Family members need to understand their loved one’s recovery process to help with medication side effects and effects on the patient, an outlet to vent to and keep track of when the patient attends rehab meetings.

Family Support During Stages of Treatment

Outpatient care is when the patient of a rehab facility remains living at home. Outpatient is geared towards those with a less severe addiction or dependency. Having structure and support outside of the walls of the rehab when they leave each day is vital.

The patient will commute to rehab services daily, such as one-on-one therapy or group therapy. This treatment plan is easy to maintain closeness with the patient as a loved one. They still have the same daily schedule and routine, and they come home every night to spend time with their loved ones.

Family members are encouraged to learn about the patient’s recovery process, such as their weekly schedule or any medications they are taking. This can help lighten the load for the patient while also getting their families involved.

Families may also attend a weekly family therapy meeting, where the patient and their family communicate about their feelings, both about when the patient was using and how they feel the recovery process is going. In 2011, there were approximately 6,089 clinics offering outpatient treatment. In that same year, 141,964 patients were guided through an outpatient program.

Inpatient care involves the patient living in a facility during their recovery process. This can last anywhere between 6 months to a year, but family support is still necessary. This type of treatment is for those who have severe substance abuse cases or who are suffering a mental illness on top of addiction.

Family members may call their patients or write them a letter. Visiting hours may also be a privilege to your loved one and should be taken advantage of whenever possible. Just taking the time to write them a letter, telling them encouraging thoughts can make all the difference.

While a loved one will be missing for a little while, they seek help, and they need your support to make the process a lot easier.

Families may also attend family therapy, where the family and the patient can work out their struggles and concerns.

However, the patient must focus on themselves first and make adjustments to help them live a happy, sober life. Counselors will help family members learn how to support an addict in recovery.

Recovering and Healing in Rehab

Patients can heal from having their family involved because they can apologize for what they have done while under the influence and understand how to make better decisions.

They can come to realize that what they have done is harmful and why it is harmful. Patients will also have to discuss anything they feel their family should apologize for, such as insults or a lack of support. People addicted to substances have emotions too, and their feelings matter just as much.

Your loved one can also talk to a counselor alone about how and why other people may feel differently than they do and learn how to communicate with family and loved ones effectively. Frequently, problems and arguments arise from a lack of communication.

When both parties feel like they can express themselves and be heard, problems die down. Effective communication should be the first stepping stone to working on healthy relationships.

Family members and other loved ones can also heal from being involved in the patient’s recovery. Family members have a chance to talk and communicate.

Loved ones can tell the patients how they were hurt by them while abusing drugs. Family members can get closure before forgiving their loved ones while in rehab.

If everyone talks through all the issues, there won’t be any issues lingering on as everyone is trying to move past what has happened.

Families can also learn about what their loved one is doing in rehab and improving themselves, and growing as a person.

The family can also learn more about how they work together with the patient and change some aspects of the family situation that might be causing some strife.

The family members can work with the rehab team to figure out all aspects of the patient’s recovery process. Everyone involved in the recovery process can learn and support each other through the entire journey.

Family Therapy in Rehab

The importance of families and patients working together during the recovery process is because sometimes the home environment might not suit the patient. It might involve triggers, such as a lack of family communication and understanding. These types of family dysfunctions should be dealt with before the patient returns home for good from a rehab facility. It is also how to help an addict in recovery.

Some aspects that a counselor or therapist will look for are:

  • Poor conflict resolution
  • Low relationship satisfaction
  • High interpersonal conflict
  • Criticism and blame
  • Lack of understanding that addiction is a disease
  • Poor problem-solving skills
  • Inconsistent family structure
  • Poor organization
  • Family rigidity

All of these can be issues within a family dynamic, and a therapist will want family therapy to occur during the patient’s treatment.

The Goals of family therapy are:

  • Increasing knowledge about illnesses
  • Decreasing guilt
  • Redefining problems
  • Increasing adaptive coping mechanisms
  • Clarifying boundaries
  • Learning about effective communication
  • Communicating with family and loved ones

What If I’m Struggling With Addiction Too?

It is not uncommon or unheard for multiple family members or loved ones to suffer from addiction. If you have a loved one who is currently in rehab, but currently face addiction problems yourself, this is the time to get help. Addiction and recovery can be very difficult situations to be in.

It is hard to admit that you are struggling with addiction, but if you do not admit it, you are walking alone.

Addiction feeds on isolation and denial. Do not allow yourself to become another statistic.

Family members loved ones, and friends can all support you through the process to get better. Visiting, calling, writing letters, and even staying at home are ways that family can be close to the patient during the recovery process.

In Conclusion

Keeping family members involved is how to help an addict in recovery, and counselors will do everything to make sure that family relationships are worked on. After all, the patient has to be involved with their family afterward, and it can’t be the same type of environment once they return. No one has to go through recovery alone.

Loved ones and patients need to communicate during the recovery process. Healthy communication can foster success in the recovery process and make it much easier for the patient. Family members can help the counselors learn more about the patient by learning about their family. They can see any resentment or anger within the relationships and help both parties recover emotionally from the struggles.

Sources

[1] Columbia.edu
[2] NIH.gov Study

If you have questions about and alcohol treatment options please give us a call at (888) 906-0952! Our Helpline is open 24/7.

Related Educational Content and Guides

Addiction as a Family Disease
Family Recovery for a Family Disease: Healing from Addiction Together
Drug Addiction’s Impact on the Family

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Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Patricia Sullivan MD MPH on 3/24/2022

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