As happy as friends and family may be that you’re in recovery, they may not realize that it’s a process and that it takes time. With daily stressors and temptations to use popping up left and right, anyone in recovery knows it only takes one wrong choice to set the drug abuse cycle back in motion.
In effect, wanting to meet your family’s expectations and hopes can become a pressure in itself; one more pressure that you just don’t need. Helping your family understand the ups and downs of recovery can go a long way towards helping everyone get on the same page, and greatly reduce some unneeded pressure on your end.
The Addiction Recovery Process
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, addiction, in and of itself, is chronic in nature, altering a person’s life on a physical, psychological and behavioral level. Things can be going along smoothly for a week or a month followed by a period of emotional distress or intense drug cravings.
Under these conditions, people who live in close proximity to someone in addiction recovery stands to get caught up in the ebbs and flows if they don’t understand how the process works.
Family-Based Treatment Support to Consider
Your living environment plays a fundamental role in your recovery process in terms of the day-in, day-out behaviors, interactions and routines that make up your overall lifestyle. In effect, stability within the home goes a long way towards supporting drug-free living.
Family therapy works with the family as a unit to establish healthy communications between family members. Family therapy support also emphasizes the importance of accountability with each person taking responsibility for their emotions and actions.
As a general rule, people in addiction recovery should delay entering into an intimate relationship during the first year of recovery. As this isn’t always possible in cases of marriage or couples with children, relationship counseling can go a long way towards helping your partner understand the challenges you face in recovery.
Relationship counseling also helps improve communications between partners, which is an area that tends to spin out of control during the more difficult periods in the recovery process.
12 Step Support Groups
Addiction not only affects the addict on a mental and emotional level, but also those closest to him or her. During the course of using drugs, your significant other and/or your children may have internalized the effects of addiction on a mental or emotional level, according to the Journal of Social Work in Public Health. These kinds of effects can stay with a family member long after drug use ends.
Twelve Step support groups for families fulfill the same role as 12 Step groups for addicts in terms of providing needed emotional support and equipping family members with needed tools for managing the effects of addiction in their lives.
For many in recovery, helping family members cope with the addiction recovery process makes a tremendous difference in terms of supporting their own efforts in recovery. In effect, addiction recovery involves a process of healing, not just for the addict, but also for friends and loved ones who may also need some level of treatment support along the way.
If you have any questions about family-based treatment supports or need help finding a treatment program, call our toll-free helpline at 800-429-5210 (Who Answers?) to speak with one of our addiction counselors.