Importance of Family Support in Recovery
by Brigette Dumas
When someone struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the disease of addiction can affect everyone surrounding that person. During the addiction, loved ones have been known to change their behavior to please the addict, leading to enabling their bad behaviors, and instead of showing them they are loved and cared for, the family member or friend turns to supporting them in some way in their addiction. Giving them a place to stay so their safe, giving money to them so they don’t have to get the money in illegal or dangerous ways, paying for their phone bill, buying their food, supporting their children, even speaking to them while you are pretty certain they are under the influence—the list goes on.
Family is deeply involved in addiction, which means they need to be that much more present, aware, and supportive in their loved one’s recovery. Resentments, hurt, anger, and distance are going to be felt. But the constant support of family and positive influences are so important not only for the addict’s recovery, but it’s about creating a healthy environment for everyone that has been affected by the disease.
According to the NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), there is a bond between the amount of positive social support a person has, and their potential for relapse. Studies show that those who have less positive support and outlets, have a more likely chance at relapsing. The family’s involvement can help better understand substance abuse, the triggers, the underlining issues, what healthy boundaries are, how to set them, and how to change the nightmare everyone has come accustomed to living.
Addiction is a disease. It can be passed down to family members, which means someone who doesn’t have that addictive trait, can try smoking pot and never think about it again, or who can drink socially without feeling that non-stop, overwhelming craving for MORE, MORE, MORE. Family therapy can help reduce the cycle of having more loved ones suffer from this disease, and the whole family can eventually build a solid foundation of trust. Offering encouragement, standing firm in their boundaries and setting an example can help the addict in early recovery remember this process, and continue with their treatment plan. Recovery is possible, no matter how low the addict or family feels, how hopeless it seems, IT IS POSSIBLE.
I know it is possible, because I myself have struggled with an addiction to heroin and meth for 9 1/2 years, and am glad to report that I’ve been sober for 5 months, although that might not seem like enough “clean time,” to be sounding so sure of recovery, its coming from me, who struggled staying sober for 1 day, 1 week, let alone 2 months at a time. So my 5 months is a big accomplishment and I know that addicts everywhere out there can have the same success and hope in their personal stories as well.
About the Author
Brigette is a freelance blogger who has a passion for writing about addiction recovery, spreading and providing comfort and awareness about special needs parenting and covering stories that will hook your attention, from beginning to end. Brigette has an interest in addiction and recovery topics because she has been an addict herself for 9 1/2 years, and has been lucky enough to be in recovery for 6 months now. Although her 6 month “clean time” might not seem like a comfortable length for an such an outspoken advocate on recovery and how it is possible to have a better life, this is coming from someone who struggled to stay sober for 2 hours at a time, 2 days at a time, let alone, 6 months at a time. And she has no plans on changing that sobriety date, unless it’s going up. Brigette has a passion for special needs awareness and a special affinity for the parents and care takers of those with special needs. She loves to seek the truth for every blog that sparks her attention, and is confident that if given the chance, she will not disappoint you.