Involving Family Members in Addiction Treatment
In many addiction treatment settings, family involvement is encouraged. What is a family program, and how can family members play a role in the treatment process when you are in rehab?
Let’s go over the basics about varying levels of family involvement for those overcoming drug and alcohol addiction and how it can be helpful to involve family members in your recovery journey.
Keep reading to learn more about rehab family programs and what makes them so helpful, and find out more about our offerings at Icarus Behavioral Health as well!
What Is A Family Program?
A family program refers to the process of involving family members in addiction treatment. Family rehab programs can include family therapy, family education services, planning for aftercare, and other types of family involvement.
Family programs are often part of a person’s treatment plan at a rehabilitation center. Family members can support a loved one and attend a family program whether the addicted family member is in inpatient or outpatient care.
Who can attend a family program?
As for who is considered a family member in treatment, the term is broad. Most substance abuse programs acknowledge that every family is different. Direct relatives such as partners or spouses, parents, siblings, and children can all attend family programs.
However, family programs can also include close friends, extended family members, or other important people in your life.
How Does Addiction Affect Families?
Addiction most certainly affects the whole family. Substance use disorders can lead to lying, financial difficulties, and negatively impacted relationships. If people do not get help, they may lose custody of their children. Children of parents who live with substance use disorders are at an increased risk of neglect, poor academic performance, low socioeconomic status, and an increased risk of developing a substance abuse problem themselves.
Families may experience difficult emotions, like anger, or lack of understanding. For some families, enabling or codependency is a factor. This is part of why involving loved ones in your recovery can be so helpful. Families can work together to repair relationships and get through challenges unique to their familial unit.
What are the Benefits of Family Involvement in Treatment?
Family programs can improve family functioning and help individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse and mental health conditions in their recovery journey. Here are some common benefits family programs contribute in substance abuse and mental health treatment:
- Family involvement supports long-term abstinence. Research shows that involving family members in substance abuse treatment can lead to longer periods of abstinence and support long-term recovery.
- Family dynamics can improve with family rehab programs. In family therapy, trained professionals promote family communication in a safe environment. Often, this helps individuals and their family members feel more comfortable discussing topics they may not know how to bring up or navigate otherwise.
- Families gain coping skills in therapy. Just as family therapy can facilitate helpful conversations in therapy sessions, trained professionals can also help the whole family gain communication and coping skills to use long-term. This means that families will have the tools they need to address scenarios that may arise after a loved one exits the height of their care at a treatment program.
- Family rehab can help family members gain insight into addiction. In family therapy sessions, family members become more confident about how to support the well-being of their loved one in recovery.
A number of different behavioral therapies can be used for family therapy sessions. You will likely be surprised to learn that the subjects, scenarios, and concerns that come up while your loved one is in recovery are more prevalent than you think. A family program is nothing to be afraid of, and family therapy does not mean that anything is wrong with your family.
What Do You Talk About In Family Therapy?
It is normal to wonder what to expect before attending family therapy. Family therapy programs spend time on various topics that are applicable to your unique family. Common primary goals in family therapy include:
- Rebuilding trust and relationships
- Repairing damage caused by substance use
- Understanding and listening to one another
- Building conflict resolution skills
- Addiction education for family members
- Healthy emotional expression
You and your loved ones are unique to other families and will focus on what is most helpful for your family unit. Close relationships have many benefits in our lives, and learning how to function harmoniously can aid healing tremendously for you and your loved ones.
Can I Go To Rehab If I Have Children?
You can go to rehab if you have children. It is not at all uncommon for people with children to attend rehab centers for addiction, and what this means for your family and your treatment can vary based on a few factors.
First, there are treatment options where you will not have to leave your child. Some inpatient or residential family treatment programs are designed specifically for parents and children in their care. Centers that offer these programs usually have ranging levels of supervision for children and a range of specialized professionals on staff, including child-development specialists, therapists, and a childcare team. Some provide educational or residential services, whereas others have onsite daycare services.
Rehab Options for Women with Children
While residential services for children of people in treatment are somewhat rare, they’re out there. Since these facilities are rare, the more common option for parents who seek treatment is to have other family members watch the child. This may be a spouse, grandparents, or someone else you trust and can make arrangements with.
A case manager may be able to help you find the right accommodations if you aren’t sure what to do to care for your child while in treatment. Parents sometimes opt for outpatient services so that they can continue to live at home while in care.
No matter what, remember that attending an appropriate level of care is a positive step for your family members just as much as it is for yourself. Going to treatment is hard, but it is worth it.
Showing Support For Loved Ones
What if you’re the loved one of a person with a substance use disorder?
It is crucial to take care of yourself as well as your loved ones. There are many free support groups out there for family members of those who live with or are recovering from a substance use disorder.
Support groups for family members include but aren’t limited to Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. Search the web to find support groups in your area.
Join Our Recovery Family and Bring Yours Alon
Icarus Behavioral Health offers cutting-edge substance abuse and mental health treatment based in New Mexico. We provide inpatient, outpatient, and long-term rehab, dual diagnosis programs, and medical detox for alcohol and drug use.
The treatment programs at Icarus Behavioral Health provide clients with a full spectrum of therapies and tools that help them meet their goals and find healing. We will verify your health insurance plan before you attend our programs.
Our addiction specialists are here to help you or your loved one seeking care. Contact Icarus Behavioral Health through our website, or call us at 505-305-0902 to learn more.
FAQs About Rehab Family Program Offerings
Can my family make me go to rehab?
In most circumstances, family members cannot make an adult attend rehab. However, if you are a minor, a family member will usually be able to make healthcare decisions for you. This includes healthcare decisions regarding addiction treatment.
There are a couple of exceptions to both of these rules. Most notably, if you are an adult and someone has the legal authority to make healthcare decisions for you, it is possible that they will make decisions on your behalf related to addiction treatment.
Sometimes, loved ones do stage interventions. Interventions can be positive in some cases, but they do not necessarily force an individual to attend a rehab center.
What are the stages of family recovery?
When you have a loved one with alcohol or drug addiction, the whole family is affected. This means that the whole family also gets a chance to recover as their loved ones move through and beyond their addiction treatment process.
The four main stages of family recovery include the following:
Active addiction or drug use
Active addiction refers to the stage where an individual with an alcohol or drug addiction is currently engaging in alcohol or drug abuse. At this stage, you may or may not be considering treatment.
Family members may be in denial during active addiction, though not always. Sometimes, one or more members of a family unit will enable the person living with a substance use disorder at this stage.
The transition stage of family recovery refers to when an individual with a substance use disorder first transitions to a sober life. This will usually involve attending medical detox and addiction treatment programs. During this stage, the addicted family member will start to learn coping skills, work toward understanding their triggers, go to behavioral therapy sessions and/or support groups, and engage in other activities.
This is also when a family program will usually begin in treatment programs. If you are a family member, you may start to attend family sessions or otherwise get involved with your loved one’s treatment process. For many clients and families, the transition stage is a difficult one, but it is well worth it.
Early recovery usually refers to the stage where a person steps down or exits treatment from an alcohol or drug abuse rehabilitation program. The person in recovery may still attend therapy sessions, an alumni program, therapy, and support groups, or receive care in the form of other applicable mental health services at this stage and beyond. It is the first venture into sober life outside of alcohol and drug rehab centers or initial abstinence.
Ongoing recovery is exactly what it sounds like. After substance use disorder treatment, individuals will ideally venture into healthy, sustainable life routines. Someone may attend work or school, even if they’re still receiving mental health support. This is the last stage, and it is characterized by a sense of stability. Family members should start to feel more at ease, and life should start to feel more “normal,” so to speak.
These stages can be applicable to people with mental health conditions other than substance use disorders, too. For example, families with an individual who experiences an eating disorder may relate to these stages.
What is the average length of rehab?
The average length of stay at rehab centers varies significantly based on the treatment center you go to, your individual needs, insurance coverage, and other factors. Long-term residential rehab treatment in our programs typically involves 90 to 120 days of intensive substance abuse therapy sessions and aftercare planning. Some people attend detox prior to starting a long-term treatment program.
We provide support in the form of the following:
- Medical detox
- Long-term rehab
- Inpatient treatment
- Intensive outpatient care
- Dual diagnosis care
- Mental health services
Dual diagnosis programs are ideal for those who experience both substance abuse and another mental health disorder (e.g., depression or bipolar disorder). If you’re not sure what form of care is right for you, one of our admissions specialists can help.