3 Ways To Support Family Members Of Recovering Addicts

Posted on: 10 March 2020

People recovering from addiction benefit from having social support. It may be difficult for family members of recovering addicts to feel connected to that family member due to difficult experiences in the past. In order to support addiction recovery, family members of recovering addicts also need help to sort through their experiences related to their loved one's addiction. The recovering patients and their loved ones need to be supported throughout this process. This helps to create an environment where position communication can occur. Here are three ways to support family members of recovering addicts.

Invite the family to participate in therapy.

Familial relationships have an impact on addiction and on the recovery process as well. Family members close to the recovering addict should have the opportunity to participate in therapy sessions. Family members may struggle with their own feelings about the patient, which may complicate communication. The patient's recovery process and the family member's experiences are both valid and important. Both parties need to feel that they are heard and that their feelings are validated. Participating in therapy allows each member of the family to speak about their feelings and also to recognize their roles in the recovery process. This is especially important if family members were enabling the addict's behavior prior to recovery. Therapy needs to be a safe place for all of the people involved.

Provide educational resources on the disease.

There is a lot of stigma surrounding addiction that can stand in the way of a true understanding of the disease. Often, loved ones of addicts do not fully understand all of the factors that come into play with addiction. Family members of recovering addicts need to be educated about the causes and symptoms of the disease. They also need to understand the process of recovery, and why certain steps need to be completed by the patient. Building an understanding of the disease and recovery process may motivate family members to support the recovery process.

Refer family members to support groups.

Seeing a loved one struggle with addiction can be an incredibly isolating experience for a family member. Just as the recovering addict requires social support to make it through the recovery process, family members also need a safe environment to process their emotions. Support groups such as Al-Anon and Alateen can be integral to family members of recovering addicts. These support groups often help to give family members social connections and perspectives from people who share similar experiences.

For more information about addiction treatment, contact a medical professional in your area.