By: Sara Holt
Engaging family in the recovery process is important when focusing on this dimension of wellness. By educating families about the disease of addiction and how it truly is a family disease, the entire system can begin to look at how they are affected by the disease and how they contributed to maintaining an atmosphere where the disease can flourish. In early recovery, it is often suggested newcomers change their people, places, and things. The understanding is people struggling with addiction are often in surroundings promoting or triggering continued use. Some of the more obvious pitfalls are going to bars or hanging out with friends who use alcohol and drugs. A reality often difficult to understand or accept by newcomers and their families is that the home can be a triggering environment riddled with emotional traps and negative habitual responses. In short, the very place and people intended to be the safest can often be the most dangerous. Clearly, environmental wellness is instrumental in building a strong foundation for the recovery journey, so how exactly does one go about creating a pleasant, stimulating environment supporting well-being? To create a home environment conducive for recovery, everyone must look at their behavior and make necessary changes to create an atmosphere promoting health for the entire family. The person with the addiction is often engaging in treatment, support groups, and on-going therapy to ensure their continued sobriety. In the same way, it is suggested family members also attend support groups and therapy of their own. Lakeview Health offers weekly family therapy sessions and a weekly family group to help assist the whole support system embarking on the recovery journey. When the entire family engages in the recovery process, we see homes transform into a place of healing and wholeness. Some circumstances demand a person stay in a sober living home to provide the necessary environmental components to obtain recovery. Examples of those circumstances can be: someone still drinking or using substances in the home, not enough accountability in the home, family relationships have not yet healed enough, relational dynamics based around enabling and manipulation, or someone has lost their home or the right to be in the home. There is a wide array of reasons people may need a sober living home, so each of these homes offers very different levels of structure and cost. It is important to choose a sober living home that is the right fit for each person, so Lakeview Health has built relationships with sober living homes to ensure clients are safe and within a living structure and cost point that works well for them. Without a safe and healthy environment, people cannot get to or stay in recovery. Helping clients and their families identify unhealthy environments triggering relapse and assisting them in making decisions putting them in a healthy environment is one of the largest aspects of our jobs. From the first day of treatment, environmental aspects are assessed and addressed to begin the process of finding or creating the optimal environment for each client. When clients and families understand and engage with us to change their environment, relapse is much less likely.