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How Can I Help Loved Ones Understand Addiction?

When you are recovering from addiction, it becomes clear that some who have not experienced addiction firsthand may struggle to understand it. It can feel isolating when your loved ones do not know what you’re going through. Helping your loved ones to understand addiction better involves taking it one step at a time to build more effective communication.

Addiction is a family disease. Addiction to one family member can create toxicity in the entire unit. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe in incorporating loved ones into the healing and recovery process.

Can My Loved Ones Understand Addiction?

Without experiencing addiction firsthand, your loved ones will have a different perspective on addiction. However, they can understand it as they learn alongside you. Loved ones are likely to have frustrations. Your behavior, choices, and journey are unfamiliar to them, which can be frustrating. Additionally, addiction commonly brings chaos, which likely has impacted their lives as well as your own.

There are certain aspects of addiction that you can help your loved ones to understand. By incorporating them into your treatment, they can learn about addiction as a disease. At Enlightened Solutions, we help family members to understand that addiction is a disease. As they learn about the different aspects of addiction, it can give them a more educated perspective that goes beyond their direct experience of watching you struggle with substance abuse.

Your loved ones can also learn by communicating with you during your treatment. In family sessions, all parties have their turn to speak and share. Both sharing and listening are educational experiences. Your loved ones have the opportunity to learn about your direct experience with addiction and be able to share theirs. This setting helps all members to communicate, connect, and understand each other better.

Benefits of Your Loved One’s Participation in Treatment

You and your loved ones make up a family system. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), when a family member’s thinking and response to addiction changes, the entire family system changes. This, in turn, has a very positive outcome for all involved.

It is helpful when your family understands addiction and how they can support you in a way that benefits you and them. Their participation in treatment provides the tools to protect their health and aid in the recovery process. While every family unit looks different, family therapy in addiction treatment often includes learning about boundaries, communication, and respect. This will be two-sided, meaning you and your loved ones will both need to make adjustments to these aspects of your relationship.

There are many benefits of including your loved ones in treatment. Below we will outline a few that can be highly impactful for you and your loved ones.

Family Healing

Addiction often causes a tremendous amount of damage to your relationship with your loved ones. In Enlightened Solutions’ family program, we work to address this. We want to involve family and loved ones in the process of healing so that they can heal alongside you. When this is facilitated in a safe environment, such as a family program, it is more likely to be successful. You and your loved ones will learn the skills needed to both heal and move forward with an improved relationship.

Family healing means more than simply addressing each individual. It is a unique blend of addressing the past and looking forward. For you and your loved ones to heal, you must find a way to function differently in the future. We help your loved ones learn the skills they need to protect themselves while improving their understanding of addiction as a disease.

Strengthened Communication

As the foundation of the relationship, communication is vital. For both you and your loved ones, many adjustments will improve your relationships. You and your loved ones can learn how to communicate how you feel and what is happening internally. This helps both parties heal and move forward with a more intimate knowledge of each other.

Improved communication helps you and your loved ones in and out of your direct relationship. In recovery, you will be returning to many social situations that will benefit from the practice you have put in through our family program. Practicing listening, articulating, and exploring different ways to communicate will help you at work and with other friendships in your life. Recovery will require you to make changes in many aspects of your life, including relationships. A family program, like the one at Enlightened Solutions, helps you learn how to communicate better as you move forward.

Healthy Boundaries for You and Your Loved Ones

Communication is also vital in the formation of new and healthier relationships with your loved ones. In many families in which a member has struggled with addiction, there is commonly a lack of boundaries. Healthy boundaries are integral to healthy relationships for you and your loved ones. Acknowledging and communicating these boundaries will help all parties care for their needs while maintaining a relationship.

Without experiencing addiction firsthand, it can be tough to understand. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a family program that can be participated in remotely or in person. We believe in the power of family healing. In sharing your experience, your loved ones can start to understand you better. As they learn more about the process of addiction, the relationships will change. Healing as a family requires listening and sharing from all parties. As you hear about each others’ experiences, you can work together to adjust how you function as a family unit. To learn more about our family program and how we can help you, call (833) 801-LIVE today to speak with a staff member. 

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