Sobriety isn’t a challenge you tackle by yourself. You need a good support system to make it through the tough days. When your interactions with family members are positive and healthy, these relationships can be some of your strongest forms of support during recovery.
However, it might take time and some hard work to repair the damage caused by addiction. In this post, we’ll talk about the value of family in recovery and discuss the importance of family counseling.
A Family Disease
Addiction is often called a “family disease,” and this description is accurate; substance abuse affects every member of a family, not just the person with the addiction. Dealing with an addicted loved one can put the rest of the family under considerable stress.1
When a family member is abusing drugs or alcohol, there are many things to worry about:2
- They might overdose
- They may not come home at night
- They can’t be relied on to do what they say they will do
- They might steal valuables or money to buy drugs
- They may lose their job due to their substance abuse
When you get help for an addiction, you’re not the only one starting out on the road to recovery. Each member of your family will face their own recovery journey as wounds heal and relationships are rebuilt.
Healing the Wounds
Relationships can be strained by addiction. A person with an addiction may be dishonest or may break promises; they may participate in risky behaviors that can hurt themselves and their loved ones. Once a person begins the recovery process, they want to reclaim the parts of their life that were lost to addiction.
In many cases, one of the most important goals of recovery is the repair of family relationships that were damaged by the addiction. It takes time to mend relationships and regain trust, but honesty and open communication can go a long way toward restoring family bonds.
It’s important to make sure that family members understand the nature of addiction and know how to support their recovering loved one. It’s also essential for the person with an addiction to see how their disease impacts others. Family counseling provides this valuable education and allows each member of the family to be an integral part of the treatment process.
These counseling sessions give loved ones a safe place to release their fear and frustration, and counseling helps the whole family in recovery improve communication and work toward a healthier dynamic.
Addiction may have stressed your family’s unity, but it’s not too late to turn things around. The recovery process can strengthen your relationships and bring your family closer together.