Substance Use Disorders can affect the family. Substance abuse can wreak havoc on a family in many ways, whether it be lack of trust, poor communication, dishonesty, worry and much more. When there is a loved one who is during their addiction, the whole family tends to suffer. However, when the identified patient seeks help and starts to gain recovery, family support makes a huge difference.
The family has an important role when it comes to helping their loved one. There is a line between codependency and being able to assist in a healthy way. There are support groups for families as well, where the family of the addicted person can learn some coping mechanisms to help them set boundaries with love.
The addict’s behavior that has been going on for some months, possibly years, will take some time to really change. New habits take time to be reinforced. It will take some time for the family as well, to establish trust and have a firm belief that recovery is really happening. Change doesn’t happen overnight. If the loved one chooses to get help, having their family understand some of what they are going through and support them on their journey can be quite helpful for them, in the both the short and long run.
This is not always the case, I’ve often reminded some of my clients that while they are in treatment, they are getting help, their family is not. When this happens, the family can either stay in the place they were prior to their loved one gaining some assistance, such as the lack of trust or move on from the disfunction they had been experiencing. Having the option available for additional support for the family when they are open to it can give them the tools necessary to assist their loved one in recovery. The whole family will then benefit.