Addiction is often called the “family disease” because it impacts every individual in a household differently. The often traumatic and distressing change in behavior exhibited by a loved one who struggles with addiction can cause their relatives to react in various ways ranging from overbearing concern to distant avoidance. Each intimate relationship that someone in addiction recovery shares requires a specific approach once they begin to rebuild their lives and repair what substance use disorder disrupted.
Where to Start?
Those in recovery often feel overwhelmed when faced with the idea of approaching their loved ones to mend relationships disrupted by substance use disorder. Overcoming the guilt and shame of things said and done while addiction took priority over everything else in their lives takes place early in treatment while attending substance use counseling, but it often lingers as they work to reset their closest connections. When speaking with a specialized substance use counselor, in combination with a comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program, patients are guided through critical self-reflection to help initiate the process of healing.
Benefits of Family Counseling
Once a patient feels they’re ready to resolve the rifts in their family caused by substance addiction, involving a third-party mediator can be invaluable. Substance use counselors and other specialized psychotherapists provide helpful tools for families to strive towards a resolution. Having an expert explain how the disease of addiction can cause people’s brains to develop disordered behaviors such as drug-induced paranoid psychosis, drug-seeking, and other disruptive manners validate the patient and their loved ones. The family unit will start to recognize that trust can be rebuilt with the person in recovery, not the one whose negative and regrettable actions were controlled by addiction.
Family substance use counseling focuses on improving communication between loved ones as they begin to reestablish trust with the patient in recovery and also with each other. Often, when someone is struggling with addiction, family members may find each other at odds when coping with the trauma and grief the situation brings, making family substance use counseling beneficial for more than the patient enrolled in treatment.
There is Hope for the Future
The damage addiction causes to familial relationships doesn’t occur overnight, and neither does the healing process once the family member in question is in treatment. Patience, forgiveness, and trust can only be truly repaired when meaningful efforts are made. That’s why family substance counseling services aren’t limited to immediate family members, and patients are encouraged to improve all of the broken relationships in their lives as they make goals for a brighter, more fulfilling future without substance misuse and the negative consequences of addiction.
Applegate Recovery is proud to serve the communities most impacted by the opioid crisis by providing effective, evidence-based treatment for those with opioid use disorder. Our specialized and highly trained staff of administrative coordinators, medical providers, substance use counselors, and nurses makes every patient feel comfortable as they embark on their journey towards long-lasting recovery.
To learn more about the substance use counseling services provided through Applegate Recovery, message or call your local office-based outpatient treatment center today; we are looking forward to assisting you the best way we can.