Our Family Recovery Program is one of the most crucial aspects of what we do here at Grace’s Way Recovery. Research in the field of addiction treatment clearly supports the idea that working with the patient AND the family promotes long-term sobriety. Drug and alcohol addiction IS a family system disease and family members are always deeply impacted by a loved one abusing drugs or alcohol, which is why we implement family therapy techniques.
Addiction and the Family
When a loved one suffers from addiction, they often behave in ways that negatively impact the family. This can lead to strained or broken relationships, arguments, estrangement, enmeshment and codependence, and a variety of other emotional consequences for both the identified patient and their family members and loved ones. Sometimes, recognizing drug addiction or alcoholism in a family member can be difficult. Some common symptoms of addiction to watch out for include:
- Stealing or lying
- Mood swings
- Drastic changes in appetite or weight
- Disturbed or altered sleep patterns
- The presence of drugs or drug paraphernalia in the home
- Excessive drinking or binge drinking
- Inability to keep promises or to show up to commitments and family events
- Financial difficulties and always needing to borrow money
- Loss of jobs or inability to keep a consistent job
- Slipping grades
Once addiction or alcoholism is identified, it can be difficult to treat, and it can impact the family in a myriad of ways that can be painful for the addict or alcoholic’s loved ones. This is especially true for children of addicts and alcoholics or for family that lives with the addict or alcoholic, as their behavior can have a huge impact on the family’s daily life. Drug addiction and/or alcoholism within the family system can result in:
- Secrecy or deception among family members
- Enabling behaviors that keep the addict/alcoholic sick and breed resentment in the enabler
- Manipulation or lying
- Loss of trust
- Financial difficulties
- Co-dependence or enmeshment
- The development of addictive behaviors in other members of the family
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms as a pattern
Unfortunately, addiction and alcoholism can harm family members who do not abuse alcohol or drugs, because their connection to the addict/alcoholic can consume their thoughts, routines, and daily lives. For example, for a parent who enables a child who is in active addiction, that enabling behavior can fuel codependence that prevents the parent from pursuing hobbies or work, or that breeds a resentment or anger towards the addict/alcoholic. In this case, both the addict/alcoholic and the parent are emotionally unhealthy and harmed by addiction. Fortunately, when an addict or alcoholic decides to get help, the family can also seek help for their emotional distress or unhealthy behavioral patterns developed as a response to active addiction in the home. With effective treatment, the entire family system can recover.
Family Recovery Program at Grace’s Way Recovery
At Grace’s Way Recovery, we understand that the family of the addict or alcoholic suffers just as much from active addiction as the identified patient, although in different ways. In order for the addict or alcoholic to fully recover and achieve long-term sobriety, and for the family of the patient to live full and joyful lives, the whole family must be treated effectively. That’s why we offer a regular family therapy techniques that allow the families and loved ones of our patients to address the impact that alcoholism and addiction have had on their lives. The Family Recovery Program at Grace’s Way Recovery is held every 10 weeks and families are invited and encouraged to attend this 3-day program. Grace’s Way Recovery is a small, family-owned program started by a mother and her son in recovery. Having experienced the devastation of addiction and alcoholism first hand, they have made family therapy techniques a strong priority for the treatment program at Grace’s way.
Families who have attended our Family Recovery Program and learn family therapy techniques leave feeling hopeful and finally heard and understood. They also leave with a thorough understanding of the neurobiology of addiction taught by our medical director Dr. “S.” and clear tools to help them communicate with their loved ones. The purpose of family work for us has always been to reunite the family unit and reestablish bonds strained, and in some cases broken, by addiction to drugs and alcohol. Over the course of the Family Recovery Program, families of addicts and alcoholics will have an opportunity to process their experiences in a supportive environment, with guidance from our fantastic clinical team of therapists. Families will have a chance to:
- Express their emotions and process their experiences together and with the addict/alcoholic in their family
- Receive support from other families affected by addiction and therapists
- Learn to establish healthy boundaries that meet their needs within relationships
- Communicate assertively, honestly, and effectively with the addict or alcoholic in their family
- Learn coping mechanisms
- Learn about support programs for families of addicts and alcoholics, such as Al-Anon
- Receive support and validation for their feelings
- Break codependent patterns of interpersonal relationships and develop healthy relationships with their family members
- Learn how to support the addict or alcoholic in their lives in their recovery journey while still honoring their own needs and experiences
- Build a therapeutic relationship that aids in the development of communication skills, trust, and self-esteem in all relationships
At Grace’s Way Recovery, we understand that addiction and alcoholism are deeply painful not only for the addict or alcoholic but for their family and loved ones. Addiction and alcoholism break family bonds and breed mistrust, resentment, anger, pain, and despair. Fortunately, there is hope for addicts and alcoholics and their families, and healing is possible. Through our Family Recovery Program and family therapy techniques, patients at Grace’s Way and their families learn to communicate and rebuild trust and to repair their relationships with one another as they all move towards long-term recovery from active addiction. Families leave Grace’s way Recovery with tools for coping with addiction, and more importantly, healed relationships with their loved ones who suffer from addiction.
The testimonials below will show you how powerful the family work we do really is!