As family members with loved ones struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD), it can be confusing, and often overwhelming, to identify ways to be supportive throughout the recovery process. The fact of the matter is that familial support in addiction recovery is one of the most important components of the process. When you figure out how to best lend your support to your loved one in recovery, the journey is more rewarding for everyone involved.
It is important to understand that your loved one struggling with SUD is feeling a wide range of emotions. They may feel frightened or even feel like a failure for needing addiction treatment. If you lend your support from a place of true compassion, this will help your loved one to feel more confident and empowered through the process.
SUD can affect anyone, regardless of their background. Fighting, hostility, and arguments may cause your loved one to shut down, which can also perpetuate substance use. When you can approach your loved one with understanding and compassion rather than a place of judgment, they will be much more open to having honest conversations about their struggles. This will enable them to have greater success in their treatment program and beyond.
Participate in Family Therapy Sessions
Many treatment facilities offer family programs that help you to better understand what your loved one is experiencing while struggling with SUD. For adolescents especially, family-based approaches to addiction treatment are often necessary for helping your loved one achieve and maintain sobriety.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), research shows that family-based treatments are highly efficacious. Some studies even suggest they are superior to other individual and group treatment approaches. There are many different types of family-based approaches that can be incorporated into an addiction treatment program. Family therapy is extremely beneficial to both family members and their loved one(s) seeking treatment.
Some benefits of family therapy in addiction treatment may include:
- Education about addiction to better understand what your loved one is going through
- Sessions where the whole family can speak to one another with a professional in attendance to foster and support the conversation
- Improved communication and strengthened relationships
- The importance of setting boundaries
Learn as Much as You Can About Their Addiction
When your loved one is going through the journey of addiction recovery, it is extremely important to learn about their addiction to better understand how they are feeling and what they are experiencing.
The first thing to recognize is the fact that addiction is a disease. This disease affected over 40 million people aged 12 or older during the year 2020 alone. When you look at these statistics it is easy to see that addiction has had a huge effect on millions of people, as well as their families, across the country. Recognize that you and your family are not the only ones impacted by this disease.
To educate yourself even further, you can also reach out to professionals in your loved one’s substance abuse treatment program to help you. A good treatment program includes highly-trained professionals who are more than happy to help both you and your loved one understand the disease of addiction so that you can lend your support in the best way possible.
Have Meaningful Conversations With Your Loved One
Sometimes, when the conversation is always about addiction and addiction treatment, the overall feeling for both you and your loved one may become negative and depressing. While it is important to talk about your loved one’s treatment, you should also begin to infuse positive conversations into their journey. These types of conversations will help them start to focus on all of their goals for the future, which will remind them of why they wanted to get healthy and sober to begin with.
Ask your loved one what they intend to do after they successfully complete their treatment program. Listen to what their hopes, dreams, and goals are for the future. Oftentimes, for those suffering from SUD, a huge hole might be created in their life that used to be taken up by time spent using drugs or alcohol. When you can have conversations with your loved one that really gets them to think about what they truly enjoy in life, this void can be filled with positive goals and fulfilling activities to help them achieve and sustain long-term sobriety.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself, Too
Last, but certainly not least, another great way to support your loved one through addiction treatment is to remember to take care of yourself. Make sure you set aside time for the daily activities that you enjoy, focus on self-care, and have a routine that keeps your mind, body, and soul nourished as you continue to be a pillar of support for your loved one.
The saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” remains true for recovery. You need to make sure that your cup is full first, and that you take care of yourself first, in order to best support your loved one through their recovery journey.
The family unit is one of the most important components of the addiction recovery process. When you understand how to support your loved one suffering from substance use or SUD in the best way possible, the addiction treatment journey will become much more successful and rewarding for everyone involved. A good treatment program, like those at Lighthouse Recovery Texas, will include family addiction therapy programs that are customizable to the needs of each individual and their family. All of our therapists are licensed, Masters-level clinicians, specially trained in a number of different treatment modalities. We utilize a holistic philosophy that combines clinical therapies with life-skills programming in a compassionate and uplifting setting to set your loved one up for long-term success and sobriety. To learn more information or to receive a free psychiatric assessment, call us today at (214) 717-5884.