Addiction is a disease that can tornado through family life and leave loved ones trying to pick up the pieces. While a person may act selfishly when in the grip of their disease, recovery, too, focuses on the self. If you have a loved one in recovery, they will need space and time to heal and begin their recovery journey. It’s important that you let them have the space to heal and change at their own pace. It may be hard for you to let go. This is why we recommend that family and friends have their own “recovery plan.”
Understanding Addiction as a Disease
Addiction, also referred to as a substance use disorder, is a disease that is progressive in nature. It affects the way the brain thinks and a person acts and feels. No one chooses to become addicted to substance, and most people say they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy.
There are many aspects of a person’s life that are affected by addiction, as well as their brain chemistry and physical health. Once the substances are removed from a person’s body, there are still many things that need to be worked on. Your loved one will never be the exact person they were before they started using substances; after all, addiction is a traumatic disease and trauma often changes people.
Learning About Addiction
Learning about addiction will help you understand the process your loved one is going through. There are many books you can check out from the library or recommended videos and movies that you can stream online. Treatment counselors or members of Al-Anon groups may be able to point you in the right direction.
Neither Addiction Nor Recovery Happen Overnight
When your loved one first gets clean and sober, it can seem like life is back in a whirlwind. It’s easy to worry about a person in recovery’s comings and goings and wonder if they’re going to be able to stay clean and sober.
Addiction didn’t take place overnight, and trust and relationships won’t heal overnight. You may find yourself falling into old patterns of behavior when you’re worried about your loved one, or questioning why they have to go to so many therapy appointments and 12-step meetings.
Recovery for Family Members
Family members may need a support group to help them as their loved one goes through changes. Many people who go to groups for family members of addicts say they’ve learned more about themselves and their loved ones’ addiction. A group can help you learn more about how addiction has affected you, as well as your loved one, and how you can start to heal from the damage and learn to focus on your own life.
There are many groups available for families of addicted people, including Al-Anon, Codependents Anonymous and groups hosted by treatment recovery centers. If you’re unsure of resources available in your own area, ask a local treatment center for recommendations.
Getting Help for Addiction
No matter what or how much you or a loved one has used, recovery is possible. At Present Moments Recovery, we offer a nurturing, addiction-informed environment that helps our clients chart their own paths to recovery. If needed, we can also provide Medication-Assisted Treatment, which has been referred to by the FDA as the “gold standard” of treatment options when offered alongside talk therapy.
Please contact us to learn more how we can help! Call us at 619-363-4767.