Family Programs – Family Education & More
Addiction research has determined that successful treatment of an addicted person ideally includes the education of family members. Just as the disease of addiction causes dysfunctional behaviors in the addict, so too does it have psychological, emotional, and spiritual effects on family members. At first the family commonly denies the reality of the disease. Then family members unintentionally enable the progression of the illness. Finally, the family might fall into an attitude of hopelessness of ever effecting any positive change in the addicted person.
Family members sometimes exhibit somatic disorders in relation to a loved one’s addiction. These might include heightened anxiety, stress, and depression. Historically, treatment focused only on the addicted person. However, addiction researchers Wegscheider, Black, et al., have conclusively demonstrated that untreated family members continue to suffer the effects of living with the disease. Further, family members who are educated and work a recovery program provide a highly encouraging atmosphere for recovering alcoholics and addicts.
An addict’s recovery requires support, and the best way to support recovery is to involve the whole family. Family education is a unique program that helps family members understand how they been affected by the disease of addiction and how they can participate in the recovery of their loved one. Family participation is an integral part of the total program.
Goals of Family Education are to educate family members about the disease, to reduce feelings of uniqueness and isolation, and to furnish family members with a recovery plan that will work. Family members participate in educational lectures with patients and discussion groups with other family members. The schedules for these functions vary between each Lakeside-Milam treatment center.
Group sharing allows family members to ventilate long-suppressed feelings, and to share these feelings with people who understand, who “have been there.” Skilled counselors use a variety of techniques to teach family members healthy communication patterns and behaviors. These newly acquired skills nurture a sense of competence in family members who may have lost all hope for change.
Contact us now at Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers for FREE Drug & Alcohol evaluations.