Addiction is a family disease. People struggling with addiction and substance use disorders often end up suffering alone, cut off from their families and loved ones, but that rarely happens overnight. It happens over months, years, and in some cases, even decades. Close family members, spouses, and friends have a front-row seat as the disease progresses. They can feel the negative aspects of addiction almost as acutely as those in active addiction. They may experience fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, and in some extreme cases, physical or emotional abuse.
Families do their best to help, but neither the disease nor the addict comes with an instruction manual. Most families try to protect their loved one in any way they can think of. They may try to restrict or control access to alcohol or drugs. They may take away car keys. They may make phone calls to the workplace to explain lateness, absence, or impaired performance. They may try to keep the addiction a secret to avoid the shame or stigma attached to alcohol and substance abuse. Sometimes, however, these actions have the opposite effect of what the family intends: they end up enabling the addictive behavior to continue, and family members fall into a state of co-dependency, which further complicates the situation.
If you have a family member, friend, or loved one suffering from alcohol addiction or a substance use disorder, you know we’re not exaggerating. You may not realize this yet, but you need support, too.
We’re here to offer that support. We’re here to help.
Substance use disorders occur in the context of a larger relational system that includes partners, spouse, children, parents, and significant others. Family Program Services are offered to provide treatment to the individual’s system to assist with identifying dysfunctional relational patterns and develop new ways of relating that achieve the outcome of sobriety.
Family Therapy is the primary method used to facilitate recovery in the relational system. When you participate in the PHP or IOP programs you will have the opportunity to participate in individual family therapy with a licensed therapist.
Group therapy is another method used to facilitate recovery in the family system. A weekly multi-family group therapy session is offered for the significant others (spouse, partner, son, daughter, parent) to attend. The family program will provide you and your loved ones with the opportunity to learn relational recovery skills and process individual family dynamics with helpful and supportive clinical staff.
For individuals who participate in our residential program in Jacksonville, FL, we offer a three-day family workshop based on the most current, evidence-based practices in the science of addiction recovery. The core of our family workshop is an introduction to Family Systems Theory, which recognizes that every person who struggles with addiction – and therefore every single one of our clients – is part of a complex web of emotional relationships that make up what’s known as a family system. Family Systems Theory proposes that it’s impossible to understand an individual without considering the family they come from. Sometimes, addiction causes the primary relationships in the family system to become dysfunctional. We work with families to heal those relationships and help both the individual struggling with addiction and their family members to move forward in a healthy way. We’re committed to teaching families how to mend fences, heal past wounds, and restore balance.
Family engagement is an important part of our holistic, integrative approach to addiction treatment and recovery. We promote growth and healing at the level most appropriate for each family and work to proactively include the family system as part of the treatment process.
We welcome immediate family, extended family, partners, and close friends. We include anyone okayed by the person in treatment.
We encourage you to participate in the treatment and recovery process as much or as little as you’re willing and able. We understand some families want to be very engaged, while others do not. You may be at the end of your rope, or you may be at the beginning of your journey. Wherever you are – tapped out or filled with energy – we get it. We honor your decision, whatever that decision may be. However, the level of your involvement is ultimately determined by the person in treatment, who is our client and primary responsibility.
Sometimes individuals will contemplate leaving treatment before they have completed the program. In these cases, our staff may partner with family to discuss what is best for your loved one, whether that means leaving against medical advice or remaining in the program for the recommended treatment.
Our three-day family program is not the only way you can participate in the recovery process. Family involvement at Lakeview Health also includes:
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