How Families Can Support Loved Ones in Recovery

How Families Can Support Loved Ones in Recovery

Family engagement can improve the treatment outcome for clients recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring mental health disorders. According to the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), "While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a family member who is drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with a mental illness, research shows that family support can play a major role in helping a loved one with mental and substance use disorders." Samarpan Recovery encourages families to support their loved ones during treatment and continuing care.

How Can the Family Unit Support Treatment?

Families in India often have multiple generations living close together where they can provide daily support for one another. The large family units provide essential encouragement during rehabilitation and long-term recovery.

Families in India have a much more active role in recovery compared to Western countries. The close-knit nature of families and their hierarchy has a real-world impact on how well clients cope with stress and symptoms during treatment.

Many clients need to focus on their own healing before they can repair damage caused to close relationships. Sometimes that means having less contact with loved ones for the first few days or weeks of treatment. However, family involvement in the later stages of rehabilitation significantly improves the effectiveness of treatment.

The family unit impacts recovery in a variety of positive ways, including:

  • Holding loved ones accountable for their choices and behaviours
  • Providing essential insights into underlying issues that might impact recovery
  • Rewarding loved ones for making positive choices and improving their overall health

Families can also educate their community and improve the environment for their loved one's recovery. Mental health awareness ensures families and communities provide a safer space for healing and personal growth. According to the Industrial Psychiatry Journal, "Some of the strategies undertaken to target awareness and address the stigma around mental illness include participation by family members" in the recovery process.

What Are Family Support Services?

Family services help people support their loved ones during treatment and ongoing recovery. Most facilities offer the following:

  • Family therapy
  • Mental health education
  • Referrals for individual therapy
  • Information on local or online support groups for family members

Not all communities have access to essential mental health resources. However, most people can access support services online or through their treatment facility. Samarpan Recovery uses various therapy and alternative methods to help clients and their families as they transition into continuing care. In addition, we facilitate weekly client contact with family members to ensure their bonds remain strong and consistent.

Is Family Therapy Right for Every Client?

Not everyone needs or responds well to family therapy. However, it can be the difference between a negative and a positive treatment experience for many people. Clients who benefit from family therapy may experience the following:

  • Tension within the family unit
  • Miscommunication about mental health
  • Family belief in stigmas and misinformation regarding treatment, substance misuse, or mental health disorders

Families with unhealthy dynamics cannot support a full recovery unless each family member addresses their own problems and takes action to participate in their loved one's recovery. According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, "Families are generally unaware and lack information about mental illnesses and how to deal with them and in turn, may end up maintaining or perpetuating the illness." Family therapy can educate people about dangerous misinformation or disinformation.

How Can Families Support Their Loved Ones During Long-Term Recovery?

Some of the most common ways families support their loved ones during long-term recovery include:

  • Listening and providing encouragement
  • Offering practical support
  • Helping loved ones overcome challenges
  • Holding loved ones accountable for their actions during treatment and recovery

Not all families will be receptive to the idea of therapy. However, that usually does not stop them from providing essential support to their loved ones during treatment and continuing care. Religious, cultural, and personal beliefs may prevent some people from getting the most out of family therapy. Clients will need to collaborate with their care team to determine who would benefit from attending family therapy.

The Importance of Mental Health Education

Mental health issues are complex, and often the side effects and symptoms impact many areas of a client's life. Educating family and friends about the realities of addiction, mental health, and recovery ensures they understand how to support their loved ones. Families can show their support by providing love, compassion, empathy, and unconditional encouragement to individuals struggling with recovery.

Communities and family members can also do the following:

  • Combat stigmas with factual information
  • Offer practical assistance
  • Provide loved ones with recovery resources
  • Change policies or procedures within workplaces to support recovery
  • Adjust family expectations and dynamics to meet the needs of the person in recovery

Our team understands the importance of engaging with the entire family unit to ensure clients get the support they need to heal. In addition, Samarpan Recovery uses mental health education to engage with communities and help them become more informed.

Family support impacts recovery. In addition, it can influence how well clients respond to treatment and retain the lessons they learn in therapy. Families prioritizing their loved one's health and happiness often have a much better experience. The focus should be on the person being treated and not their diagnosis or past maladaptive behaviours. Clients may have families with multigenerational mental health issues. The care team at Samarpan Recovery uses mental health education, family therapy, and other services to help clients and their families repair relationships and heal from the damage of SUD. To learn more about our services and programs, call our office today at +91 81809 19090 to speak with an admissions representative.

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