When individuals become addicted to drugs or alcohol, their loved ones, including family members and friends, feel the detrimental effects as well. Addiction not only affects the users; it affects everyone around them, causing an entire family to be thrown into chaos.

Those addicted to drugs or alcohol eventually spend almost all of their time planning how to continue to access, use and recover from the effects of drugs or alcohol. Users’ lives become focused around their drug of choice, causing them to neglect themselves and their health, skip out on work or school, and isolate themselves from family and friends.

Family members and friends are usually the first to witness the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on their loved ones, often pleading with the addicted person to get help and treatment for a long time. In many cases, because of denial, the downward spiral of addiction continues. It is very difficult to live with addicted individuals, never knowing what might happen next and worrying about their safety and health. In addition, individuals who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol put their own and others’ lives in jeopardy. Finances can be affected if the addicted individuals are spending money on drugs or alcohol that they cannot afford. Some even resort to borrowing money or crime to finance their addiction. The constant stress and strain can affect the lives and health of family members.

Recovery and the family

Family involvement in recovery is crucial in the recovery process. Families need support, encouragement and information to work through the recovery process. Here’s what families can do:

  • Don’t be isolated: Connect with community resources, join a support group such as Al-Anon or participate in family counseling
    ● Learn about addiction: Understand how addiction affects both the person and the family
    ● Learn communication skills such as assertiveness and setting limits
    ● Eliminate unhealthy behaviors such as enabling, denial or minimizing the problem
    ● Learn to detach with love and refocus on self and other family members
    ● Develop strategies to deal with relapse and other possible setbacks including anxiety and anger
    ● Support and protect children
    ● Discover personal and family strengths
    ● Pursue activities that are a source of fulfillment and happiness
    ● Rebuild family trust and accountability

Whether a loved one is in treatment, or out of treatment and working to continue his or her recovery, it is vital that family members continue to seek help for themselves. One family member receiving therapy or attending Al-Anon or Alateen meetings may encourage other family members to do the same.

Sovereign’s Family Program

Sovereign Health’s Intensive Family Program was designed to help family members realize that they are not at fault for their loved one’s problems and to eliminate any denial or enabling systems which may exist. Participants are encouraged to share their stories and develop trust, which helps staff identify how a loved one was impacted and offer advice on how to handle it.

Our family wellness program focuses on rebuilding relationships. Some elements of the Intensive Family Program include:

● Presentations by clinical staff
● Personal and family goal setting
● Reading and reflection
● Workshops
● Individual, group and family psychotherapy

Discussion topics include: family roles and dynamics, establishing appropriate boundaries, enabling and co-dependency, managing symptoms and triggers, continuing care planning and alumni services.

Sovereign’s Alumni Services

Sovereign Health Group Alumni Services offers a diverse set of support groups, workshops, events and activities, allowing the alumni to receive aftercare. Our alumni services include:

● Technology enhanced aftercare and monitoring (T.E.A.M.)
● Chapter meetings
● Speakers
● Panel speaker meetings
● Alumni volunteer opportunities
● Peer-to-peer support via Sovereign private Facebook page
● Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings
● Social media resources and support
● Annual alumni and family reunion
● Quarterly alumni dinner events
● Community planned events

Sovereign Health Group Alumni Services provides family members with resources that are intended to offer information and therapeutic support. If you would like to speak to a member of our team for details on our supportive programs, please call 866-501-9425.