It has been said that,
“addiction is a family disease.”
After years of working in the addiction field we can attest to the important role family plays in a recovering addict’s life. Twenty years of addiction research validates our experience and has determined successful treatment of an addicted person ideally includes the education of family members. Just as the disease of addiction causes dysfunctional behaviors in the addict, so too does it have psychological, emotional and spiritual effects on family members. At first, the family commonly denies the reality of the disease and family members unintentionally enable the progression of the illness. Finally, the family might fall into an attitude of hopelessness of ever effecting any positive change in the addicted person.
Family members sometimes exhibit somatic disorders in relation to a loved one’s addiction. These might include heightened anxiety, stress, and depression. Historically, treatment focused only on the addicted person. However, addiction researchers Weg Scheider, Black, et al., have conclusively demonstrated that untreated family members continue to suffer the effects of living with the disease. Further, family members who are educated and work a recovery program provide a highly encouraging atmosphere for recovering addicts.
Family Education & Process Groups
Recovery Oasis conducts a three hour educational seminar for families of addicts the third Saturday of each month. Among other things, participating family members will learn about the disease concept of chemical dependency and family systems theory. Participants who would like to further engage themselves can do so during our ongoing weekly family groups. Please contact us to sign up.
Weekly family groups are facilitated by an experienced licensed counselor who educates about addiction dynamics, primary social stressors, and maladaptive reactions. A wide variety of techniques are used to teach family member’s healthy communication patterns and behaviors. These newly acquired skills nurture a sense of competence in family members who may have lost all hope for change. Additionally, the licensed facilitator gives a long awaited opportunity for family members to ventilate suppressed feelings, and to share these feelings with people who understand and who “have been there.”
Goals of our Family Education & Process Groups are to educate family members about the disease, to reduce feelings of uniqueness and isolation, and to furnish family members with a recovery plan that will work. Admission is not based on blood relation, but on whether or not the person has lived with, loved, or cared for an alcoholic or addict.
If your family is in need, take action and contact us today.