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Supporting from the Outside

Having a loved one fight addiction puts pressure on the entire family.  Separation and isolation create gaps in relationships. Addiction continues to push people apart, until the individual decides to find help.  While the person with an addiction is in treatment, the family can also begin to heal. Some members of the family will feel a large void in his or her life.  With so much attention on the person with a substance abuse disorder, the loved one will have to learn how to continue to aid from the outside. How can someone support a family member who is in treatment?  What can the loved one do to prepare for the graduation and return of the person in recovery?

A family torn apart by addiction can begin to see changes from the individual in treatment without being side by side.  Knowing the person is willing to work towards sobriety is a small success in itself. Understanding the difficulties which lay ahead for the person in treatment will help the family support from the outside.  Al-anon meetings or personal therapy can teach the family about treatment and positive ways to help the loved one. Al-anon meetings are similar to 12 step AA meetings which give people an opportunity to express emotions and find support from others with similar experiences.  One on one or family therapy will teach how to react to the person in treatment. Getting personal support can enhance the healing process between family members and give the best ways to help the person in treatment.

Communication and connection from the person in treatment to the family is sometimes limited.  The doctors and care team helping the individual will want total focus on recovery. Limiting distractions from the person fighting addiction will build strength and understanding in recovery.  Many people with addiction have leaned on enabling individuals to support the negative habits. The family can build a tolerance to the emotional side and begin to know how and when to say no to the person in treatment.  A person in treatment will commonly want to leave and go back to old habits. The environment of treatment is difficult without the regular amenities of society. Asking the family to remove them from treatment will interrupt the focus on recovery.  Communication and emotional healing can be handled better with letters. Writing to the person in treatment is a less stressful way of overcoming the gap in the valuable relationships.

Addiction breaks loving relationships.  Find out how to reconnect with your loved ones by calling Resilient House and discover the tools and techniques needed to overcome addiction.  833-change1 (833-242-6431)