Addiction affects not only the addicts but also those around them, particularly their families. As their loved one’s addiction to drugs or alcohol progressively worsens, families can experience fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, and even abuse. At Lakeview, we know that families need help to get through this time.
Families sometimes view addiction as a condition limited to the addict. They reason that addicts are the ones who use the drugs or alcohol, so they are the ones who need treatment. Research has shown, however, that family therapy as a part of a recovery program is one of the most effective approaches for treating addiction in both both adults and adolescents.
Family therapy addresses two aspects of addiction. The first focuses on the personal issues family members have encountered because of the addiction. They may have experienced abuse—physical and emotional—and have feelings of guilt, shame, and anger. Family therapy gives them the opportunity to work through these issues and begin their own healing process.
The second facet of addiction addressed by family therapy focuses on dysfunctional relationships within the family structure that can enable the addiction to continue. Families may provide a safety net or financial support that allows the addict to continue using. They may ignore the problem or keep it a secret to avoid public embarrassment and the stigma of addiction. These types of behaviors are known as codependency. Overcoming codependency can contribute to the success of the addict in recovery.
Lakeview offers families the opportunity to participate in a three-day family workshop. The workshop is a group session with up to eight families. The workshop runs from Wednesday to Friday.
Patients and families are integrated into this three-day workshop. Families report that they find the workshop immensely helpful. In addition to the information and therapy, families often develop supportive relationships with one another.
Our Alumni Family Program provides additional support and guidance to families of recovering Lakeview Health patients after they leave treatment, so they can continue to heal and support their loved ones’ recovery.
Families can participate in the alumni program regardless of whether or not their loved ones complete the full treatment at Lakeview Health.