Addiction Information for the Family
We know addiction information can be overwhelming, and our excellent admissions staff members are available to answer any questions you and your family have, and provide you with all the information needed.
We tried to pack this page full of anything you could possibly need to know about your role in your loved one’s recovery journey. However, if you still have questions we are available to talk any time at (818) 666-3083.
If you want to help your loved one with their substance abuse, here’s what you need to know.
Topics on this page:
Understanding Addiction as a Disease
One of the most important things you will need to understand is your role in your loved one’s addiction. You must understand that substance addiction does not just affect the addicted person and that you are a part of this. Addiction is a family disease. When one member of the family struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction, everyone suffers. And because everyone suffers, it only makes sense that you will need to recover together.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease of the brain. What does this really mean?
The disease model consists of three components, an organ, a defect, and symptoms. The organ, in this case, is the brain. Simple enough. But here is where it can get a little confusing. Kevin T. McCauley explains the defect and symptoms best.
“The defect is the interaction between genetic burden and environmental stress that changes the dopamine and glutamate response to rewards. And the symptoms are the loss of control, craving and persistent use despite negative consequences.”
Benefits of Family Involvement
Family members blame themselves; they feel shame, guilt, and remorse as they attempt to cover up the family condition. The actions of the addict impact all of their loved ones and close friends, and it is often necessary for these individuals to get help as well. A family addiction program can be very beneficial for families struggling with the drug problem or alcoholism of a loved one.
Addiction therapy and family counseling sessions help everyone involved learn how to maintain healthy relationships and how to heal each member. Family therapy helps to mend the family and teaches loved ones how to be that source of encouragement that someone recovering from an addiction needs. It also helps family members to realize they are dealing with a condition that they didn’t cause and they can’t cure.
Helping Your Loved One Recover
You know a lot about addiction from your firsthand experiences with it. But have you ever asked yourself, how much do I really know what is going on with my loved one?
Chances are you haven’t. And that is totally understandable. You’re too close to the situation.
When you participate in your loved one’s recovery, you will learn to better understand their addiction. Even if things get dark and scary for a bit, this will only contribute to the success of their recovery. Plus, you will learn about all the positive ways in which you can support them.
Choosing an Alcohol and/or Drug Treatment Program
Every person is different and so is their addiction. This means that the way that addiction is treated from person to person will also be different. Don’t be swayed by the amenities and luxuries offered by a substance abuse treatment center. It’s more important to look at the therapies and support services offered. A good treatment program doesn’t just address the substance abuse, it also addresses the underlying issues that can fuel addictive behavior.
When you are doing your research, don’t be afraid to ask about these things. Each treatment center should offer at least one or all of the above, no questions asked. This whole experience isn’t going to be ideal but you want to feel confident about your final decision. The only way you will know is if you ask.
Paying for Rehab
Sifting through the information about insurance coverage for drug rehab can be time-consuming and confusing. Unfortunately, this task often becomes the most necessary at a time when someone is facing the challenges of drug addiction. When your family member is ready to enter a substance abuse treatment center, the last thing you want is to spend hours on the phone trying to figure out if your insurance will cover the treatment you need. Time is of the essence, as they say.
So guess what? You don’t have to. We put together this helpful guide: Does Insurance Cover Rehab? which will answer any question you may have about co-pays, levels of care, rehab programs, and everything in between.
Addiction Information and Resources for Family Members
In addition to being involved in a family therapy program like the one we offer here, there are other resources for family members that can be great supplements.
Al-Anon Support Groups
If you do one thing and only one thing from this list, go to Al-Anon. It’s a great way to connect with others who are dealing with some of the same problems as you.
According to the Al-Anon website:
“Al‑Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic admits the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.”
What you won’t find at an Al-Anon meeting are schemes or magic formulas that will make your loved one stop drinking. It’s merely a place to talk about your experiences, listen to others, and learn to cope.
Online Resource Groups
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, is a free and confidential addiction hotline. They also have a robust library of reading materials and resources about addiction topics. Unlike their hotline, not all of their resources are complimentary but require a small fee to purchase.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is another great resource library. Here you’ll find information for people struggling with drug abuse, as well as resources for their families and friends.
Addiction Recovery Blogs
Thanks to the world wide web, anyone can start a blog nowadays. Reading the stories and experiences of other families who have struggled with addiction can be instrumental in the healing process. Some of our favorites include The Recovery Revolution, Buzzkill Pod, Sober Unicorn, SobrieTea Party, The Sobriety Collective, The Sober Senorita, and Walking in Sober Boots.