Rehab treatment programs are valuable tools for overcoming addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. They provide the opportunity to finally break free and start over to the person caught in a desperate cycle of substance abuse. Rehab treatment also offers hope and renewal for all of the people immediately surrounding the abuser as well, because addiction never affects just the user alone. No matter how charming the picket fence and the front door wreath make things look on the outside, those who have lived inside the home where a person is addicted can tell you that eventually loved ones are faced head-on with disappointment, discouragement, exhaustion and sometimes even violence. Addiction takes a horrible toll on the user, but it also wrenches a price from anyone standing nearby. Families often begin by trying to cover up the loved one’s abuse problem. Resentment and co-dependency can develop as family members sacrifice to hide the reality and at all costs avoid confrontations. Family members often try to control the environment and the behavior to keep their loved one from abusing, but hyper-vigilance only exhausts everyone in the home. Without meaning for it to happen, everyone involved gets sucked into the powerful whirlpool of addiction. The impact on families is statistical and not just anecdotal. More than half of all cases of domestic violence are related to alcohol or drug abuse. When alcohol or drug abuse is present marriages are seven times more apt to end in divorce. Non-abusing family members take far more sick days from work than do those in families where alcohol abuse is not present. Patient benefits from rehab are the chief goal, but a German study recently registered an eight point improvement in family members’ assessment of quality of life after the person finished the program. Before treatment, everything in the addict’s life served his/her craving including family finances. Improvements in family finances usually take place once that drive is removed. In a similar vein, the family who has spent all of their emotional energy on protecting and controlling their loved one finds that after treatment individuals are once again free to focus on personal dreams and pursuits. Some rehab programs offer classes to family members even while their loved one is receiving treatment. Classes may be offered which explain enabling behaviors as well as what to expect over the coming year. Addiction professionals can help families understand the importance of nutrition, how to set boundaries and the proper responses to dishonesty. Most of all families who undergo counseling have a safe place to express and deal with their own anger and fear. Professionals who understand what they have been living through are prepared to give not only a listening ear, but sound and proven guidance for moving into a new life with their newly sober loved one.