Embracing Recovery: Family-Centered Strategies For Overcoming Addiction

When an individual is plagued with something as bad as addiction, it is not just them who are affected. The family members who love them and refuse to leave their side through the time of turmoil.

In a way, it is the whole family which goes through the recovery process. Moving from one stage to another alongside the patient, making huge shifts to accommodate a healthy and nurturing environment to speak nothing of the financial support.

So, rather than simply focusing on the patient, many recovery centers have extended their recovery plan to the family member as well. Afterall, they might not require medical help, but they are mentally exhausted as well, and a few therapy sessions are imperative.

How Can Family Help With The Recovery Plan

Patients of addiction often feel isolated and melancholic, thinking no one understands their side of the story. Even though sympathizing with them might activate the enabling nature among any loved one, being extremely harsh isn’t the solution either.

This is why families should also know and learn the right protocol and communication measures to harbor a recovering addiction patient within their home. Because the support of family can help them heal in the following ways:

1. A Constant Support System

Family can act as a backbone for the recovering patient, constantly pushing them to reach the end. Especially at times when they will feel lost and depressed (they are indeed common symptoms even post-recovery). This support system will help modify their internal strength & motivation to help themselves. The sheer thought that someone cares will be enough for them to see themselves at the end of the tunnel.

2. A Constant Moral Compass

There is no other individual who will be stricter than a family member when it comes to becoming a loved one’s moral compass. Excessive cravings can lead to painful physical withdrawal symptoms. For example, diarrhea, stomach ache, headache, hallucinations, etc. Even with professional help, one can falsely convince oneself to relapse just to get that one ounce of relief. However, with family members around, they are less likely to find opportunities for relapse.

3. Accompany Them To Therapies

Therapies can be a little overwhelming for individuals when they are expected to open up about the traumas which lead to alcoholism. However, if a family member accompanies them, it is much easier for patients to open up in the presence of someone trusted.

Family-Centered Strategies For Overcoming Addiction

Since families have started to play such an important role in helping addiction patients with their recovery, it is only imperative to add families to the different recovery plans. Here are some of the family-centered strategies which can help someone overcome addiction.

1. Intervention

It is a carefully orchestrated and planned process where you confront someone trying to hide their addiction. Often organized with the help of close personals, family, and friends who genuinely care about the individual.

However, sometimes family members also take help from a medical professional who has expertise working with addiction patients. For example, a therapist or a sober coach from a reputed recovery and rehabilitation center like Pinnacle Recovery.

This is probably because a sudden confrontation can overwhelm the patient. This, in turn, can lead to them overreacting in terms of heavy denial or pick verbal and even physical violence toward the one trying to help.

Taking help from a professional will help the family members understand communication cues. Words that might trigger the patient (alcoholic, drug addict, etc.), words one can substitute the triggering terms with, and most importantly, how to approach the situation carefully.

2. Practicing Absolute Abstinence

Another strategy encouraged by every expert in family-centered addiction therapy is to practice abstinence, especially by family members who are staying with a recovering patient. This not only prevents any craving upon being in the vicinity of the substance but also shows support and confidence towards them.

For someone who is not suffering from any kind of addiction, it would be fairly easy. Yes, one might have to sacrifice a few Friday night invites even with a stellar moderation rate, but it will be all worth it.

3. Join Family Therapy

Family therapy is not just to showcase utmost support towards the patient but for the family members as well:

Pre-recovery is a difficult period of time for the family members. Trying to help someone who is not ready to help themselves, asking for help, organizing an intervention, and spending more than the intended dime to help them does take an emotional toll. They might need therapy to prevent any secondhand induced trauma.

If the patient has been in a rehabilitation facility for quite some time now and they are planning to return home, family therapy is crucial. It will teach both the patient and family members cues of communication which can speed up the recovery. One can learn topics they should avoid during the vulnerable period of recovery and how to deal with post-recovery relapse periods.

Family therapy can also help address periods of family trauma that might have triggered the addiction. In the presence of a therapist as a moderator, there are fewer chances of incomprehensible heated arguments and better understanding from both parties. It is better to resolve matters beforehand to prevent any future chance of relapse due to a past trauma resurfacing.

4. Help Create A Sober Community

Just because someone is putting alcohol in the past doesn’t mean someone has to give up entertainment altogether. As a family member of a recovering addiction patient, you can help them find sober communities to find better and healthier company.

This will ensure they are not tempted by fair-weather friends who do not care much about their recovery journey. Plus, this community will encourage them to keep going and become a strong backbone of motivation in their beginning of sobriety.

Heal & Forgive

Overcoming addiction involves healing for both the individual and the family. These family recovery strategies could explore techniques for healing past wounds, rebuilding trust, and fostering forgiveness.

Caring for a loved one with addiction can be emotionally taxing. Emphasizing the importance of self-care for family members and providing ideas for maintaining their own well-being can provide the support they have been missing all this time.

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