Why It’s Important to Have Family Involvement in the Addiction Treatment Process

More than 100 million family members are affected by a loved one’s substance use or alcohol use disorder. Family involvement in addiction treatment can reduce distress in family members as well as the entire family unit. It also improves treatment outcomes for the person who struggles with the addiction. When the family is involved in someone’s addiction recovery, the chances that the individual will enter and stay in treatment increase.

Benefits of Family Involvement in Substance Abuse Treatment

Family involvement has numerous benefits besides increasing entry rates in rehab and improving treatment outcomes. Here are some specific ways that family involvement in addiction treatment can help:

  • Loved ones can help mental health professionals understand a patient’s history.
  • Family members provide context and an external perspective about the patient’s substance use disorder.
  • Strong family connections help improve life skills, such as problem solving, communication, adaptability, resilience and boundary setting.
  • Family members can share some responsibilities with the patient, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Loved ones can monitor addiction treatment compliance.
  • Everyone can work toward common goals.
  • Families can get comfortable with support groups and access supportive resources.
  • Family members can identify how they have contributed to the problem and begin working toward solutions.
  • Family support helps patients transition to life after rehab.

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Family Members Can Help Someone Start Treatment

Fewer than 20% of individuals with substance use or alcohol use disorder seek addiction treatment. This statistic might be different if more families participated in their loved one’s substance abuse treatment.

It’s never too early for this involvement to begin. Family members often help their loved ones get into rehab. This is a big responsibility, though, and it can be difficult to approach a loved one with the suggestion that they get help.

Family members who work with a mental health professional to identify their loved one’s problem and learn how to approach the subject may have better luck than those who put together an ad hoc intervention. Learning how to communicate in a way that makes the other person feel trusting and safe is essential for helping your loved one.

You don’t have to wait until your family member hits rock bottom to encourage them to seek help. Treating a substance use disorder in the early stages can produce less distress and anxiety. But family support is also important for someone who has experienced repeated relapses.

What Can Family Members Do During Residential Treatment?

If you have a loved one in residential treatment, you might feel like there’s not much that you can do. You want to be there for your family member, but you may not have much contact with them while they’re in inpatient recovery. Still, there are several things that you can do during this period.

Stay in touch with the loved one in treatment. Be there for them, supporting and empowering them through this challenge. Encourage them to stick with addiction treatment even if they say that they’ve gotten everything that they need from it or want to leave early.

This is also an excellent time for you to focus on your needs. Working with a therapist and attending support groups brings awareness to your priorities. You can reestablish your routine and tend to your emotions so that you’re not operating from an empty tank.

Educating yourself about addiction is important. It helps you understand what your loved one is going through and manage expectations. Learning about the substance use or alcohol use disorder also helps you meet your loved ones needs without enabling them at any point in their recovery.

How to Involve the Family in Your Addiction Treatment Plan

Loved ones don’t always know what to do to offer the best support for someone in substance abuse treatment. That’s why it’s important to involve them in family therapy or counseling.

Anyone who has a close relationship with the person seeking treatment can attend family therapy. This includes spouses, parents, caregivers, siblings, children, best friends, extended family members and roommates. Working together with a mental health professional helps everyone get on the same page.

Some of the objectives that we address in the Burning Tree family program include:

  • Addiction education – Learn about the ways that addiction develops biologically, psychologically and socially.
  • Recovery education – Familiarize yourself with the process of recovery and understand that it’s a lifelong process with progress and setbacks.
  • Understand relationship dynamics – Identify the elements of healthy relationships and reduce codependency and unhealthy attachments.
  • Improve communication skills – When you learn how to interact constructively with each other, you’ll set a foundation for expressing yourself and building trust.
  • Developing honesty – Gain the ability to look at yourself honestly and take accountability for your behavior.
  • Building empathy – Learning how to put yourself in another person’s shoes helps create openness, trust and solid relationships.
  • Self-development – It’s not just the person in treatment’s job to work on personal growth; family members will also focus on self-development, including self-care strategies.

It’s not uncommon for loved ones and patients to have some resistance when it comes to participating in a family program. Individuals in addiction treatment may not want their care providers to have a broader perspective of who they are. Family members may feel apprehensive about interfering with their loved one’s substance abuse treatment.

But doing some groundwork now can help set everyone up for success throughout a loved one’s recovery. It allows for an easier transition into a newly sober life and improves the chances of ending the relapse cycle.

Addiction Treatment Program at Burning Tree

At Burning Tree Programs, we understand that you might be hesitant about family involvement in addiction treatment. That’s why we have developed a family program that’s welcoming, encouraging and supportive. Attending our treatment program can help you rebuild the most important relationships in your life and get you on the right path for sustained recovery.

Find an Inpatient Rehab Program Now

We are here to help you through every aspect of recovery. Call our admissions team to find the best for long-term recovery.

(866) 287-2877


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