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6 Reasons Family Members Should Be Involved in Your Addiction TreatmentAt New Directions for Women, we have been helping women and their families for more than 40 years. We know that a substance use disorder not only destroys the individual, it also wreaks havoc on family members and loved ones.

If you are considering addiction treatment, your first inclination may be to insist that this is YOUR problem and that you are the only one who needs help. It is completely normal for you to feel that way. However; your family has been through a lot too. They need hope and healing restored to their lives as well.

We offer extensive therapy to the family members of our clients because we want to address all aspects of recovery for the women who come to see us. This includes mending broken relationships.

Here are five reasons why we believe family members should be involved in your addiction treatment:

1. Addiction is a Family Disease

When an individual is afflicted with the disease of addiction, the whole family gets sick. Your family members should be involved in your addiction treatment because addiction is a family disease. You are not the only one who needs help. Everyone close to you is hurting too.

Dishonesty drives addiction. Trust is lost and relationships are damaged. There will likely be a lot of anger, resentment, and confusion among family members in your early sobriety. In order for you to get well, they need to get well too.

2. You Can’t Do This Alone – And You Don’t Have To

Recovery is not a “me” thing – it’s a “we” thing. We do not recover in isolation. We get sober and stay sober while basking in the love of the spirit. This love is felt in relationships with people who care about us. Without it, we will surely return to our addiction seeking comfort and shelter.

Your family will be there to encourage you, guide you, and support you. Our minds can easily trick us into believing that drugs or alcohol will somehow make life easier or better. We need family there to remind us why we got sober in the first place and tell us how far we have come.

It is completely normal to want to push your family away at some point in your sobriety. However; it is usually in these times that we need our loved ones the most. Your family wants to see you succeed. Stick close to them.

3. Your Loved Ones Are Your Biggest Fans

No matter what has happened in the past, your family members love and adore you. They want everything that is good and lovely for you. They are cheering you on from the sidelines of life!

In the early stages of your recovery, there may be some unresolved issues between you and your loved ones. There may be anger, doubt, and fear. But, as you continue to get better, your relationships will also change for the better. This happens when your family is involved in your addiction treatment.

Your family will be there to celebrate your recovery milestones. They will lift you up when you are feeling down. They will support you on your journey and love you unconditionally. You want them in your corner. They are your biggest fans!

4. Children Need to Heal Too

No matter how hard you tried to shield your substance use disorder from your children, they have been affected – no matter how young they are. It is not uncommon for mothers to neglect the needs of their children in the name of another fix. Kids have an intuitive sense about things. They know when something “isn’t quite right” with mommy.

There is no shame in getting help for a substance use disorder if you are a mom. You should be proud of yourself for taking making the brave step toward recovery. Admitting you have a problem and reaching out for help takes incredible courage. We applaud you!

But, we do want you to keep in mind that your children need help processing the events that took place when you were getting high or drunk. That is why at New Directions for Women, we help children through their own recovery process. We welcome women and their children to come and stay with us to help restore the bond between mother and child.

5. You Need Accountability

In the early days of recovery, we need to be accountable to the people in our lives. In the past, we have not made the best decisions. When addiction was running the show, we were irresponsible, negligent, and totally self-centered. Now that we are learning a new way to live, we need help from family members.

Loved ones can help keep you on track with 12-Step meeting attendance, calling your sponsor, following up with aftercare commitments, and performing the basics of recovery. This is not meant to nag you. This type of accountability is needed for your continued growth and development.

Addiction is a sneaky disease that can creep into your mind without you even noticing it. Before long, you can be on the road to a relapse. When you stop doing the things that have been keeping you clean, you can quickly fall into a trap. The people who care about you can keep you on the right track.

6. Your Family Members Need Their Own Set of Tools

Loved ones often engage in codependent behaviors in an effort to help the addicted person. This can create a dysfunctional relationship dynamic that is detrimental to everyone involved.

While you are in treatment, you will be learning how to live and enjoy life without the use of drugs or alcohol. You will be taught relapse prevention strategies and given tools to assist you on your sobriety journey. This is a great time for your family to learn tools for their own recovery process.

Loved ones need to learn new, healthy, and supportive behaviors. This will not only help them; these tools will also support you in your recovery. If your family continues to engage in old patterns, it will negatively affect your sobriety while robbing them of their peace of mind.

Ready to Start Your New Life?

If you or a woman you care about is suffering from the disease of addiction, we are here to help. We stand ready to help women and their family members find freedom from the grips of this life-threatening illness.

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