Our families help to shape our lives in many ways. When it comes to addiction, they can be instrumental in recovery. An important way they can be instrumental in their involvement in increasing treatment entry, treatment completion, and general outcomes.[1] This is particularly relevant because only about 20% of those with substance use disorders seek treatment.[2]

Family-Focused Services

The truth is, that addiction recovery is a process that can take time. Having the support of loved ones can go a long way in helping someone in recovery.  Another reality is that families can be negatively impacted, damaging the family structure. A family-focused service can help reduce the impacts on the individual and the entire family. That’s why we provide a free Family Education on substance abuse. This educational program provides information on the signs, symptoms, underlying issues, treatment, and long-term support options to our clients’ families. We make this a part of our program for anyone who attends our family visitations to ensure our clients have a well-prepared support system when they are discharged from our program. 

Related: What is Addiction and How Can it be Treated?

Family Education Class Topics

We know that the more that families understand the causes of addiction, what to look for, and how to help, the better the chances are that the person suffering from addiction will enter treatment and be successful in their recovery. We’re proud to be able to offer this program that includes such topics as:

Understanding addiction — Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences to the individual with addiction and to those around them. It’s important for family members to truly understand what addiction is.

Common addictive behaviors — We see many negative behaviors with addiction issues that are not specific to using drugs such as manipulation, stealing, and escape or avoidance behaviors. When family members are able to see these addictive behaviors, they may be more able to recognize if their loved one is sufferance from addiction issues rather than behavioral problems.

How to identify withdrawal/intoxication — There are many tell-tell signs of intoxication as well as withdrawal that are specific to the substance, but all inhibit a person's ability to function. A loved one may appear to be manic, which could be indicative of being on a particular drug.  

Why addiction continues despite severe consequences — Many people who struggle with addiction encounter several legal issues, lost relationships, guilt, incarceration, homelessness, and many other issues. They may also suffer from self-defeating behaviors. It can be mind-boggling why someone would continue to put themselves through this pattern. We educate loved ones on how addiction can be so strong that it overrides a person's basic needs.

Stages of recovery — We explore the stages of addiction as well as the stages of change that those in addiction transition through during the process of recovery. This addresses issues ranging from the denial of having a substance use problem to key skills to prevent relapse.

Vital recovery supports — We provide information on community support organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). We also inform families how to help their loved ones decide what level of care is appropriate after they complete our program. Some people may only need to attend AA, while others may need the structure and accountability found in transitional living facilities, which include a balance of treatment, drug screens, freedom to come and go from the facility, and employment.

How to help your loved one manage cravings and triggers — We provide education to the family on the nature of cravings and triggers and how they work. We do this to empower the family to actively participate in the recovery of their loved one so that they no longer have to watch helplessly as their loved one sinks further into the abyss of addiction. 

The impact addiction has on the entire family — Our program acknowledges that addiction is often a family disease, assuming the family has not given up on their loved one. With this in mind, we provide education on unhealthy family roles, patterns that enable drug use, and strategies for setting boundaries that promote healthy change.

Improved communication skills — True to our motto of Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit of our clients, we recognize that the process of recovery is one of holistic healing. The opposite of addiction is connection. Therefore, we also provide families with a brief education on how to improve communication skills with their loved ones. We address potential barriers such as mood swings, high-risk situations, and broken trust. We also inform families how to talk with their loved ones about these delicate situations as well as teach assertive communication techniques that reduce conflict and promote clear and healthy boundaries.

Related: Lake Point Recovery and Wellness Services

These are just some of the topics we address in our Family Education class. If you have a loved one struggling with addiction, we encourage you to call us to learn more about this free service. We provide this education to the public regardless of whether you have a loved one enrolled in our program. At Lake Point, we are passionate about our community and helping anyone struggling with addictions. If you or a family member are struggling with addiction, call 1-833-4HANDUP for more information.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5781095/#R23

[2] Hasin D, Keyes K. The epidemiology of alcohol and drug disorders : Johnson BA, Addiction medicine. New York: Springer, 2010:23–49.

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