So your family member or friend finally went to rehab. With all the events leading up to this point and all the effort you’ve made to help them get here, the big day may seem anticlimactic.
You may be relieved or apprehensive. You may feel hope, or you may be waiting for the other shoe to drop. Or you may just want to sleep for the next 28 to 30 days. There may even be a brief period where you don’t feel anything before the big question hits you: what on earth are you supposed to be doing now?
What can you do now to help your loved one succeed in rehab?
At Duffy’s, we hear this question a lot–and our answer is always the same. Although there are many ways you can support your loved one in rehab, the single most important thing you can do is to participate in the recovery process yourself.
Why should I participate?
1) You must heal too.
…Because you have also been affected by addiction. As the drinking or drug use takes over, the entire family dynamic changes to survive under the strain of addiction.
Some family members work extra hard to keep everything together, neglecting their own needs, often blaming themselves for the problem, and even acting against their normal values to protect their loved one and preserve the integrity of the family. Addiction changes the entire family, therefore the entire family must learn how to handle to handle it constructively and heal together.
Constructive and active family engagement in the recovery process is essential if the family is to heal from the destructive impact of addiction. – NCADD
2) You play an important part in their recovery after rehab
Your loved one will find support through Alcoholics Anonymous and other support groups, but they also depend on you to help them along on their journey. The participation of those closest to them is a critical component to achieving lasting sobriety.
Initially it may be hard to understand just what they are going through or what they need from you to help them stay sober, but by educating yourself about their addiction, you will be better equipped to support your loved one once they leave rehab.
One of the best ways to learn about addiction is to talk with people who have been where you are and who understand the disease of addiction from a family perspective. There are two primary avenues for you to accomplish this:
Education groups or a family program offered by your loved one’s rehab center. The majority of rehab centers will provide education or support programs for the family, giving you the chance to ask questions and get answers from experts. See below for an example of what a family program might look like.
Support groups such as Al-anon, Nar-Anon or Co-Dependents Anonymous. These meetings provide you an opportunity to learn what your family member is going through and what you will be going through yourself. Even if you are attending the family program, it is important to stay connected to a support network after your loved one has left rehab. You can find a local meeting near you through the Al-anon directory.
Family Care at Duffy’s
As a family business working with a family-oriented approach to treatment, we take the family’s role in recovery very seriously. Duffy’s offers various opportunities for families to participate:
Family Counseling: Duffy’s offer one free family session for all guests participating in a 28-day treatment program or longer. These sessions are generally scheduled by your loved one and additional sessions are available for a fee.
Family & Friends Support Group: Saturday 10 -11 a.m. (Check in at 9:45) Led by one of our qualified Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors, this group is a supportive discussion that addresses many recovery issues, such as how to be supportive rather than enabling, how to take care of yourself, and relapse prevention along with an open forum for questions and answers. This group is for family and friends only.
Free Saturday Lunch: 11:30 a.m. As space allows, we invite family and friends to join us for a free lunch. Please make reservations through Guest Services.
Family & Friends Education Group: Saturday 1 -2 p.m. Conducted by a member of Duff’s Counseling staff, this is a lecture series for family, friends and guests about the disease of addiction.
Al Anon: Duffy’s holds open Al Anon meetings every Tuesday evening at 6:30. We also have meeting for the friends and family of current guests, scheduled by the clinical staff on either the 2nd or third Sunday of the month.
Lifelong Sobriety Requires Team Effort
Remember, you cannot put recovery in a box and assign it to one person. Recovery is not compartmentalized one one person or even one area of life. Rather, recovery becomes a lifestyle, and that new lifestyle will affect you. Your loved one has plenty to learn in rehab, but you must work together as a family unit to develop the skills and mindset that leads to lifelong sobriety.
If you or your loved one has any questions about family support or Duffy’s family program, give us a call! We’re here for you.