After drug addiction treatment, it’s important to do whatever it takes and use as many possible resources to be sure that the addict continues on the path of recovery. When one family member struggles with addiction, most if not all other members of the family are affected. Working together as a family can be an important part of an addict’s continued recovery, and it can also improve the health of the family unit. During drug addiction treatment, addiction professionals usually acknowledge the stress and confusion of the family members of the addict. While the addict needs to understand the underlying problems that caused him or her to turn to drugs and how to remain vigilant regarding future triggers, the family also needs to learn as much as possible about the disease of addiction. This is important not only for their own peace of mind in understanding what has happened, but also to be aware that some of the ways that the family relates may have triggered drug or alcohol dependence or even encouraged the addictive behavior.
Finding Family Counseling After Drug Addiction Treatment
Family therapy is often recommended as part of an aftercare program, so the best resource for family counseling is often the drug addiction treatment facility itself. If family therapy isn’t started during or immediately after treatment, family counseling resources can be located through your family doctor or by contacting an addiction professional. Your family will need a counselor who is specially trained to work with drug-addicted patients and their families. There are many ways to define family, so your counseling needs may depend on the dynamics of your own family. For instance, if you are married and your spouse has had the greatest involvement in your addiction, marriage counseling may be an important part of your recovery. If the closest people to you are peers, you may need to participate in group therapy. You may have an extended family with many members, but the ones who need to participate in family therapy are those who are closest to you. Therapists don’t decide who should attend family counseling. The addict decides whom he or she considers most important.
How Family Therapy Benefits the Whole Family
Family counseling is most effective when the addict is committed to the recovery process. In counseling, the family learns to make changes so that family members can stop any enabling behavior and learn to trust each other. Family therapy strives to improve communication and helps everyone understand and support the recovery process. The best family counseling after drug addiction treatment must be facilitated by someone who is very familiar with the disease of addiction and what it takes to recover. The goal of family therapy is to meet the needs of all family members. Addiction is a family disease, and all members of the family need to work together toward creating healthier patterns of relating. Sources: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Family Therapy Can Help Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Treatment Improvement Protocol Series: Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy