Watching a loved one suffer at the hands of a substance abuse disorder is one of the most helpless feelings you will ever experience and one of the most devastating experiences you will ever undergo. Addiction can be a difficult disease to grasp. While it might seem like your loved one has been intentionally ignoring your pleas, continuing to use chemical substances despite the rapidly accumulating personal consequences that he or she faces, the truth is that at a certain point, he or she lost all control and can no longer dictate when to stop or how much to use. Because the disease of addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful, family members must be equipped with all the tools they need to thoroughly understand substance abuse and how it affects the brain. addiction is also a family disease, meaning that substance use affects every single member of the family period, for this reason, immediate family members must be directly involved in the treatment process. there has been extensive research that points towards the fact that the majority of patients who actively engage in treatment do so because of positive family intervention and long-term family involvement.
Family Education – More on the Disease Model of Addiction
One of the best ways to benefit a loved one who is in earlier recovery is by working to fully understand the disease model of addiction. Substance abuse and dependency are often mistaken for matters of weak willpower or flawed character. In truth, addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease, characterized by changes in the brain structure and compromised functioning. Over time, an individual develops a physical and psychological tolerance to the chemical substance that he or she has been abusing, which causes brain abnormalities that are liable to persist long-term. If a chemical substance is reintroduced to the brain after a period of abstinence, the individual will quickly revert to chronic and uncontrollable substance abuse. For this reason, complete abstinence must be maintained long-term. To learn more about the disease model of addiction, or for a comprehensive list of family-oriented resources in your immediate area, feel free to reach out to Evoke Wellness today.
How Can Families Be Involved in Addiction Treatment?
There are many ways in which family members can be directly involved in the treatment program of their loved one, including:
- Addiction education – thoroughly learning about the addiction treatment program that their loved one is entering, and working to understand the overall recovery process.
- Helping to develop a plan for intake and actively participating in the recovery planning process.
- Attending family-oriented support groups, such as Al-Anon.
- Participating in family therapy sessions that might be offered by the inpatient treatment program, and attending any family retreats or family education seminars.
- Always encouraging their loved one to move forward in his or her recovery process without being judgmental or pushy.
- Taking the steps necessary to heal on their own, whether that means engaging in individual therapy, learning and implementing healthy communication skills, participating in the overall recovery process, or seeking more resources and information on the disease model of addiction.
It is important to understand that family involvement and drug rehab success are closely interlinked. When the immediate family members of the individual who is in treatment actively participate and make themselves available, he or she has a much better chance of staying sober long-term.
Evoke Wellness and Family Education
At Evoke Wellness, we believe that addiction is a family disease and that long-term recovery is only possible if the family unit heals comprehensively. For this reason, we offer an in-depth family education program that helps immediate family members grasp the disease model of addiction while learning the numerous ways in which they can help facilitate the overall healing process. We also offer intervention services, geared towards helping you get your loved one into the addiction treatment program that he or she needs. For more information, reach out to us at any point in time – we look forward to speaking with you soon and helping you in any and every way we can.