Providing addiction support for your loved one in recovery can be challenging at times for a family. It can be difficult to know how to offer your time and help. Every individual’s recovery process is unique, so it is important to navigate your loved one’s process the same. Addict family support is a topic that generates much discussion here at Bridging the Gaps.
A recent news story highlighted the important role that family plays in their loved one’s recovery. Patrick, a long-term heroin user struggled the majority of his life with addiction and time in and out of jail.
Patrick’s mother Sandy, Father Dennis, and Sister Betsy played a significant role as Patrick’s support system. They all played a role in trying to get him the help that he needed.
Patrick and his family’s story were documented over a year’s time, and much has changed for their entire family since. Since overdosing 4 times in the timespan of 6 hours, this single event 1 year ago would change the course of Patrick and his family’s lives for time to come.
The thing about Patrick’s story is that it is not uncommon. The crippling fear, which is paralyzing at times, was experienced by his family as with many other families with recovering addicts.
Addiction is a widespread disease, affecting the addict as well as their families and friends. To support long-term sobriety and one’s recovery journey, family engagement is important. Research supports family involvement in the recovery process with guided communal and clinical support.
As a starting place, giving support to your loved one in recovery is also about becoming more informed. Being informed about the disease of addiction is a good starting point for families.
The better educated you are about the disease and your family member’s issues they are facing; the better you’ll be able to support their overall recovery. Education is the foundation of addict family support.
Make it clear that you want to help. Simply saying that you are here to help with whatever it is they need, initiates an important conversation piece.
If your loved one is receptive of the idea, discuss the ways in which you’d be able to assist them best.
You may be able to help out in the beginning with transportation to appointments. You may also offer a supportive shoulder to lean on in difficult times.
Whatever it may be, make yourself available and keep your commitments.
Know that your willingness may not always be asked for or well received. It is however important that you start by making an effort to relay your commitment to at least try.
The disease of addiction often times takes front stage, however, it is important to not overlook the person with the disease.
While it is important to give proper acknowledgement to the disease, we must not allow the disease to define who we know our loved one to be.
The disease will always be there. More importantly, it is about acquiring the tools to manage it.
Structured Family Recovery® is a program for families of recovery addicts. This program provides tools to help families cope, feel supported, and better navigate life with a recovering loved one.
Structured Family and Recovery® also supports a cohesive-environment in which families work to improve their communication and support of one another.
We at Bridging the Gaps strongly feel that families play a key role for their loved ones throughout recovery.
Our Family programming follows the Structured Family Recovery® guidelines at and includes: educational sessions, group family sessions, and conjoint therapeutic sessions. This programming focuses on meeting individual needs while allowing positive movement forward to take the next steps.
Al-Anon is also a resource BTG encourages that provides a supportive community for families and friends of addicts.
This program does not focus on a solution, rather encourages hope and fosters growth.
Patrick and his family continue to work on their relationships and recovery.
His parents and sisters have found ways to support their own self-care so that are in better shape to help support Patrick as his journey continues. Patrick’s mother found support in an Al-Anon group, as well as in support groups for families of addicts.
So if you have a loved one or a friend in recovery, there is hope and help out there for you. Addict family support does work!
Contact Bridging the Gaps today to speak with a representative about our Family Program.